BEEF PRICE SURGES FOLLOWING HARSH US WINTER
Beef prices are soaring after cattle failed to fatten up during the harsh US winter and cash-strapped ranchers culled herds to cope with the recession. Cattle futures have risen more than 20 per cent since December and are again flirting with $1 a pound, a milestone previously reached during the commodity price rise of 2008. Worldwide, beef and veal production is heading for a third straight year of decline, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
AMSTERDAM CONCERNS PUSH FUND TO LONDON
The lack of liquidity plaguing shares of private equity groups listed on Euronext Amsterdam has caused HarbourVest, one of the world’s biggest private equity fund of funds, to launch a secondary share offering in London. The Boston-based group, which has more than $30bn (£19.5bn) of assets under management, said it would seek a dual-listing in London.
LENIHAN STICKS BY REGULATOR’S DECISION ON QUINN
Brian Lenihan, the Republic of Ireland’s finance minister, has rejected as “unthinkable” demands from politicians that he reverse a decision by the Financial Regulator to put Quinn Insurance, the country’s second-largest insurer, into administration. The watchdog has raised concerns about the company’s solvency ratios and its ability to meet its claims to policyholders.
OLYMPICS BOOST FOR TELFORD HOMES
A surge in demand for new housing close to the site for London’s Olympic Games boosted sales at Telford Homes during 2009. The London and Essex- residential property developer said its performance in the year to April would be ahead of expectations.
BRITISH MIDLAND CUTS JOBS AND FLIGHTS
Bmi’s German owner yesterday announced massive job losses and a cut of nearly a quarter of its capacity in a move to save £100m a year. The revamp will cost 800 people their jobs and see the return of the airline’s former name — British Midland International.
MAN OWED £1,000 TAX REBATE FINED £1,400 FOR GETTING SUMS WRONG
The taxman has come under fire after a man who tried to claim a rebate after overpaying his taxes received a hefty fine for making a mistake in his sums. The taxpayer tried to reclaim £3,000 in overpaid tax for the year to April 2010, but Revenue & Customs calculated that he was owed £1,000 and fined him £1,400 for the error. The Revenue has new penalty regulations.
The Daily Telegraph
OIL ABOVE $80 COULD STALL ECONOMIC RECOVERY SAYS IEA
Global economic recovery could be put at risk if oil prices remain above $80 (£50)
A barrel, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned. The energy division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said there were still concerns that oil markets were “overheated”.
TOYOTA’S LEXUS SUV A “SAFETY RISK” WARNS CONSUMER REPORT
Drivers in the US have been warned not to buy one of Toyota’s newest models amid concerns over its safety in a move that only deepens the car company’s problems in America. The embattled Japanese manufacturer’s new Lexus GX460 4x4 has been branded a “safety risk” by Consumer Reports, which cautioned readers not to buy the vehicle.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
STARBUCKS PLANS MAJOR CHINA EXPANSION
Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Howard Schultz said China is set to usurp Japan as its biggest market outside North America, as the coffee titan plans to open “thousands of stores” in China over time. He also said the Seattle-based chain was eager to crack the potentially lucrative Indian and Vietnamese markets, where it doesn’t yet have a presence.
IRELAND REDUCES PAYMENTS FOR LOANS
Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency Chief Executive Brendan McDonagh said that the agency will pay €43bn of the total book value of loans – not the previously estimated €54bn – based on the discounts on the first tranche of loans. NAMA will buy property and development loans with a book value of around €81bn.