The Sunday Telegraph
$2.6M BUFFETT LUNCH WON BY ANONYMOUS BIDDER
A mystery benefactor has paid $2.6m (£1.8m) to meet with billionaire investor Warren Buffett for a business lunch. The Sage of Omaha auctioned his time in aid of a San Francisco charity. This year’s auction brought in 25 per cent more than any bid in the previous ten annual auctions.
BP CHAIRMAN SVANBERG LOST £1.7M ON SHARE PURCHASES
Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP, has lost £1.7m on shares bought before and after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The former boss of Ericsson made the disastrous investments shortly after taking on his new job at the beginning of the year. He bought £4.3m of shares in February, two months before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
MILLION POUND PAYOUT FOR OIL CHIEF EXECUTIVE WITH NO SALES
The chief executive of a London-listed oil explorer pocketed a $1.9m (£1.3m) bonus last year despite recording a $96m annual loss that led its accountants to raise concerns about the firm’s solvency. Todd Kozel, head of Gulf Keystone, said the “going concern” notice by Deloitte in its annual accounts was “an accounting thing”.
LISTING PLAN FOR LLOYDS OFFSHOOT
Lloyds Banking Group is working on plans for a stock market flotation of the chain of 600 branches it is being forced to sell by the European Commission. The float would create a new British bank with five per cent of the retail banking sector and an estimated market value of between £3bn and £4bn. Lloyds, 42 per cent owned by taxpayers, has been given four years to sell the business.
EU CHIEF: STRONG EURO HID CRISIS
Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Union, has blamed the strength of the euro in recent years for blinding the Eurozone to its underlying fiscal problems. He also criticised financial markets for overreacting to those economic difficulties and being too heavily influenced by “rumours and prejudices”.
BARCAP TO COMPETE IN DARK POOLS
Barclays Capital, the investment banking unit of UK-based Barclays, plans to launch a pan-European “dark pool” trading platform as it completes an 18-month drive to build an equities trading business from scratch. The move is designed to match its presence in the US, where it bought the equities business of Lehman Brothers, and build a global presence in equities trading.
The Daily Telegraph
REDUNDANCY FEARS AS RESOLUTION BUYS AXA’S UK LIFE BUSINESS
Fears are mounting that Resolution's proposed £2.8bn deal to buy Axa’s UK life assurance business will trigger significant job losses – dealing yet another blow to the beleaguered financial sector. Roughly 2,000 employees of Axa’s 15,000 UK workforce will be “transferred” to Resolution, said people familiar with the matter.
ALUMINIUM OVERSUPPLY KEEPS THE LID ON PROSPECTS FOR NOW
Many analysts have been bearish on prospects for aluminium for some time because of an oversupply, but an increasing amount of positive comment has been building after last month’s price plunge. Three-month aluminium futures traded on the London Metals Exchange (LME) peaked on 15 April – and have fallen 23 per cent since then.
CLARIDGE’S OWNER MAYBOURNE GOES IN SEARCH OF £610 TO REFINANCE DEBT
The company that owns the five-star Claridge’s, Connaught and Berkeley hotels in London needs to refinance more than £600m of loans before the end of the year to avoid falling into the hands of its banking creditors. The three hotels, which each trace their history back more than 100 years and whose guests have included royalty, Hollywood stars and celebrities – from Queen Victoria to Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn to Madonna – could be up for sale.
SPANISH BANK SANTANDER ON TRACK TO BUY 318 RBS BRANCHES
Santander, the bank that bought Abbey National, is set to acquire 318 high street branches from the Royal Bank of Scotland as the only bidder left in a sale process that ends today.