OPTIONS TRADING REACHES RECORD VOLUMES
Options trading volumes in the US soared to a record last month as market volatility and the “flash crash” added to secular growth in the industry. Nearly 406m listed options contracts were traded in May, according to figures released by the Options Clearing Corporation, up 29 per cent from May 2009.
GHOSN SEES RECORD YEAR FOR CARMAKERS
The global car industry is poised for a rebound to a record year in 2010 on the back of strong demand in emerging markets, the chief executive of Renault and Nissan has forecast. Carlos Ghosn said the global industry should produce and sell 70m light vehicles in 2010, with most of the growth coming outside the US, Europe and Japan.
HALABI’S £150M PICCADILLY ESTATE PUT UP FOR SALE BY RECEIVERS
One of the most exclusive addresses in London has been put on sale for more than £150m after receivers took control of a 1.3-acre site on Piccadilly owned by the family trusts advised by Simon Halabi, the property mogul. The buildings were once at the centre of plans by Halabi to create the UK’s most exclusive six-star hotel and club. Allsop and Jones Lang LaSalle have been appointed to sell the Piccadilly estate.
SHAN QUITS TPG TO START ASIA FUND
TPG Capital’s leading China dealmaker is quitting as a partner of the US private equity group, becoming the latest high-profile investor to launch an Asia-focused investment fund. Weijian Shan established TPG as a pioneer in foreign private equity investing in China and Asia and led a string of lucrative deals after joining the firm in 1998, including its buyout of Shenzhen Development Bank.
VIVENDI’S MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE LANDS IN PARISIAN COURT
Jean-Marie Messier, the dashing Frenchman who proclaimed himself a master of the universe while chief executive of Vivendi Universal, will stand trial for criminal fraud in a courtroom in Paris today. Messier, who transformed Vivendi from a sleepy French water company into a $51bn media group, is accused of misleading the stockmarket, manipulating Vivendi’s share price and misappropriating company money.
THE BELL NEVER TOLLS FOR WHITECHAPEL FOUNDRY
Output at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Britain’s oldest manufacturing company, rose 27 per cent last year. Alan Hughes, whose family has run it for more than 100 years, says the foundry is often at its busiest during times of recession.
The Daily Telegraph
EU PLANS GREEN TAXES TO CUT DEBT
The European Union could seize control of green taxes across the continent in order to make low-carbon energy cheaper. Biofuels and wind or wave power would become less costly than energy produced from fossil fuels, under draft plans obtained by Reuters, the news agency. The EU wants to overhaul Europe’s €240bn annual taxation of energy.
BUY-TO-LET LANDLORDS “CONSIDERING SELLING UP OVER CGT RISE”
A quarter of landlords claim they are considering quitting the buy-to-let sector ahead of the new government’s planned hike in capital gains tax, research has shown. Around 26 per cent of landlords said they were thinking about selling their properties before the tax is increased from its current rate of 18 per cent, according to LSL Property Services.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
COVIDIEN TO BUY EV3 FOR $2.6BN
Covidien agreed to buy vascular device maker ev3 for $2.6bn in a move aimed at accessing markets for products that treat problems with blood vessels in the legs and head. Covidien has been reshaping its portfolio since its separation from Tco International in mid-2007 to focus on higher-growth, higher-margin businesses. Yesterday, it agreed to sell its sleep-therapy business to privately held PH Invest in Luxembourg.
TELEFÓNICA SWEETENS BID FOR JV
Spain’s Telefónica has sweetened its bid for Portugal Telecom’s indirect stake in Vivo Participacoes to €6.5bn from an earlier offer of €5.7bn. In a filing to Portuguese stockmarket regulator CMVM, Portugal Telecom said it had received Telefónica’s revised bid. The new proposal comes with two alternatives.