PRINCE ANDREW’S TRADE ROLE DEFENDED
Buckingham Palace defended Prince Andrew’s globetrotting role promoting British business on Sunday after a newspaper sting appeared to show his former wife selling access to him for £500,000, offered by a reporter posing as a tycoon. Both the royal household and the government said the Duke of York’s taxpayer-funded work in mostly oil-rich nations in north Africa, the Middle East and Asia was perfectly proper and had helped generate big contracts for the UK.
SILICON VALLEY BATTLES TAX PLAN
Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are lobbying to modify a bill that would force them to pay significantly higher taxes on their successful investments. They say higher taxes would put an industry operating on already thin margins in even further jeopardy.
TOYOTA BUYS STAKE IN NICHE ELECTRIC CARMAKER
Toyota has agreed to invest $50m in Tesla, the niche US builder of battery-powered sports cars, as it seeks to extend its dominance in petrol-electric hybrids into the next generation of green vehicles. The deal will save a California Toyota plant from closure and could help the Japanese company repair its reputation in the US.
SINOCHEM BUYS STAKE IN BRAZIL OIL FIELD
Sinochem, the Chinese state-controlled oil company, has bought a $3bn (£2bn) stake in a Brazilian offshore oil field in the first sizeable Chinese energy investment into South America’s biggest economy. The sale of a chunk of the deep water Peregrino field, owned by Norway’s Statoil, concludes a tightly contested auction process.
NORTHERN ROCK SAVERS LOSE THEIR GUARANTEE
Millions of savers with Northern Rock will lose the unlimited guarantee on their deposits after the Government lifts the measure on all variable-rate accounts today. The move, which brings the bank in line with its competitors, reduces the guarantee to the first £50,000 for each customer under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Existing fixed-rate accounts will continue to benefit from the unlimited guarantee until their agreed term expire.
FSA BLOCKS BANKING STAR’S MOVE TO NOMURA
The City watchdog has scuppered a leading Morgan Stanley banker’s move to Nomura. John Hyman was to join the Japanese bank as co-head of global finance. Nomura confirmed yesterday he would not be joining.
The Daily Telegraph
RESISTANCE GROWS TO ANY BID BY ASHLEY FOR BLACKS
Mike Ashley’s hopes of buying Blacks Leisure have been dealt another blow by Pentland, owner of outdoor brand Berghaus, which has built a 5pc stake in the retailer. Pentland, which owns a range of other brands including Ellesse, Mitre and Speedo, is expected to disclose its stake later this week, throwing a further obstacle in the way of the billionaire Sports Direct owner.
LSE PROFITS ERODED BY COMPETITION
Tough competition and a poor new issues market drove a 20pc fall in profits at the London Stock Exchange over the last year. Pre-tax profits fell to £242m in the year to March 31 from £305m in 2009 as the LSE continued to suffer an erosion of its market share in its equity trading business amid increased competition.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
LOW MORTGAGE RATES BACK
The financial turmoil in Europe is providing an unexpected windfall for American home buyers, as international money seeking a safe haven is flowing into the US, pushing domestic mortgage rates to the lowest levels of the year and back near 50-year lows. The housing industry had been bracing for months for a period of rising mortgage rates, at the end of the Federal Reserve’s $1.25 trillion mortgage-securities purchase programme.
GEITHNER PLANS TO PRESS GERMANY ON EUROPEAN RESCUE
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is bringing two messages to officials in Berlin next week: be more sensitive to potential market reactions to policy moves, and work faster on the massive European rescue programme that German lawmakers blessed Friday.