APPLE, HP AND DELL INVESTIGATE FOXCONN AFTER SPATE OF SUICIDES
Apple, Dell and HP, three of the world’s largest IT companies, said yesterday they were investigating working conditions at Foxconn after a series of suicides at the huge factory in southern China where Foxconn makes electronic goods. Nine workers at Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant, which employs and houses 300,000 people, have died after falling off buildings.
LOUIS VUITTON OPENS LUXURY STORE
Louis Vuitton will open its new London luxury emporium tomorrow, to tempt customers to defy economic austerity and splash out on high-end goods. Billed as the most luxurious Louis Vuitton store to date, the Masion on New Bond Street features artworks, special products and vintage pieces on one of London’s premier shopping streets.
RIO TINTO SHAREHOLDERS PROTEST AGAINST REMUNERATION POLICY
A total of 41 per cent of Rio Tinto shareholders failed to support the multinational miner’s remuneration report, in the biggest shareholder vote this year against top mining companies’ pay policies. Rio, which is dual-listed, published the results of its annual meetings yesterday after concluding its Australian meeting. Some 37 per cent of shareholders voted against the company’s pay policy, which saw chief executive Tom Albanese earn a total salary of £3.8m for 2009.
BREWIN DOLPHIN WARNS ON REFORM
The impact on Britain’s wealth management industry from the upcoming overhaul in financial advice regulation remains uncertain 18 months before the rules take effect, the executive chairman of Brewin Dolphin warned. James Matheson said the implications of the Retail Distribution Review were not clear.
INVESTORS SCRAMBLE TO ESCAPE CAPITAL GAINS TAX
Anxious investors are preparing to offload second homes and shares in an attempt to avoid a government tax raid that is causing growing fury among Conservative ranks. Simon Aldous of Savills, the estate agent, said that he has seen a 40 per cent increase in valuation inquiries over the past ten days.
TATA STEEL EUROPE’S RECOVERY FAILS TO SAVE MOTHBALLED REDCAR PLANT
Tata Steel Europe yesterday reported a bounce in profits in its fourth quarter, but the turnaround was too late to save the Teesside Cast Products business, owned by its Corus subsidiary. The managing director and chief of Tata Steel Europe said the first profit after tax in 18 months was as a result of rising demand from carmakers and construction companies.
The Daily Telegraph
REMORTGAGE NOW, SAYS HSBC
The recent rise in house prices means that home owners who bought between 2006 and 2008 now have sufficient equity in their homes to remortgage, according to one of Britain’s biggest lenders. The recent rise in the property market, combined with a low bank rate, allowing home owners to overpay their mortgages, means that thousands are now in a position to take advantage of lower interest rates by switching to a new mortgage, HSBC said.
ITALIAN POLICE EYE £4.8BN IN HSBC CLIENT ACCOUNTS IN TAX CASE
The financial police in Italy have said that their investigation into data stolen from HSBC in Switzerland has revealed that funds of up to $6.9bn (£4.8bn) may be affected in Italian accounts alone. Around 7,000 Italian clients of HSBC are on the list.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
BANKS TRIM DEBT, OBSCURING RISKS
Three big banks – Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup – are among the most active at temporarily shedding debt just before reporting their finances to the public, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows. The practice, known as end-of-quarter “window dressing” on Wall Street, suggests the banks are carrying more risk most of the time than their investors or customers can easily see.
EU: CRISIS REDUCED COST OF C02 CUTS
The economic downturn has reduced the cost of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions in the European Union by about a third, the European Commission said yesterday, spurring debate on whether the EU should make a more ambitious 30 per cent cut to carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, from a 20 per cent goal now.