TOP CITY SKYSCRAPER FOR SALE
Tower 42, the tallest occupied skyscraper in the City, will be put up for sale as booming prices return to London’s commercial property market. The 600ft former NatWest tower near the Bank of England is expected to fetch more than £300m ($461m) when its owners, Hermes Real Estate and BlackRock’s UK property fund, put it on the market this week.
TORY FOREIGN WORKER PLAN HIT
The Conservatives came under fire on Monday night from business for the first time in the election campaign.
On the eve of the party manifesto launch, London First, the City lobby group that represents many of London’s biggest companies and banks, warned that Tory plans to curb economic migrants threatened Britain’s position as a global commercial centre.
QINETIQ SEEKS TO AVERT STAFF BATTLE
Qinetiq, the former government defence research group, is due to meet union representatives today to head off a potential battle with its UK employees after announcing plans to terminate all collective agreements, including the current redundancy terms. The move does not “reconcile well with the company’s stated intention to negotiate constructively with the trade unions around creating a sustainable future for Qinetiq”, it said.
CHINA TO BOOST IRON ORE SUPPLY
New global ore mining prospects are seeking and finding China backers as steeply rising prices add urgency to the country’s quest to secure fresh supplies. Last month’s doubling of contract iron ore prices was pushed through by BHP Billiton and Vale, which supply China’s steel mills from the two nodes of iron ore exports: Australia and Brazil. China financing stands to open new iron ore provinces.
PIMCO WARNS OF STERLING PRESSURE
The head of European investments at the fund manager Pimco has warned that sterling could come under pressure if the UK fails to tackle its budget deficit after the general election.
The warning from Andrew Balls will be seen as all the more significant by the markets because he is the younger brother of Ed Balls, one of Gordon Brown’s key lieutenants in the Cabinet and frequently seen as a future Chancellor of the Exchequer.
GOOGLE BUYS UK FIRM
A search engine company founded by two PhD students has been acquired by Google in its first UK buy-up. Google will use the technology in Plink to strengthen its visual search engine tool Google Goggles. Both sites allow people to carry out web searches on artwork simply by taking a photo of a painting using a mobile.
The Daily Telegraph
CAAN TAX STATUS SPARKS DRAGON ROW
Duncan Bannatyne has taken issue with James Caan’s non-domiciled resident tax status and it has now led the fiery Scot to issue an ultimatum – he will not invest alongside any Dragon that does the show using offshore companies. Bannatyne has a company search report that reveals that Caan’s UK private equity company HB Advisors Limited, Hamilton Bradshaw’s sole shareholder, is registered in the Cayman Islands.
CHINA'S RESERVES HIT NEW HIGH
China’s foreign exchange reserves rose to a new high of $2.447 trillion (£1.59 trillion) at the end of March. It was a 25 per cent increase on the same period a year ago, and a rise from $2.399 trillion at the end of December. The data will be watched closely by the US, which looks to China to support its stimulus spending.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
CERBERUS TO ACQUIRE DYNCORP
Cerberus Capital Management struck a deal to acquire defense contractor DynCorp International for about $1bn (£650m), as the New York private-equity firm looks to expand its portfolio of government- and military-related businesses. A buyout of DynCorp also includes the assumption of $500m of debt.
REPORT SLAMS ICELAND LEADERS
A report on Iceland’s 2008 banking collapse charges that the island nation’s former prime minister and its central-bank chief acted with “gross negligence” in failing to prevent the meltdown. The 2,300-page government-commissioned report released yesterday is Iceland’s boldest attempt to come to grips with a crisis that turned it from a wealthy paragon to a cash-poor pariah on international markets.