CHÁVEZ ATTACKS ECONOMIC CRITICS
Hugo Chávez has strongly defended his economic record as president of Venezuela after a turbulent year in which the country has been rocked by recession and 30 per cent inflation. Chávez used an interview to assail his critics in the US and Europe, saying the performance of the Venezuelan economy contrasted favourably with its performance under previous regimes.
INDIA HOPES MONSOON WILL TAME INFLATION
India’s Congress-led government is counting on bountiful monsoon rains to boost agricultural production and tame inflation that hit 10.2 per cent in May, driven partly by a 16.5 per cent rise in food prices. Rains hit India’s southern coast on 31 May and progressed into the cane, oilseed and rice growing areas of the south-west.
GOOGLE CASTS SHADOW OVER NEW MEDIA GROUPS
Google is developing technology that could position it to compete with a new breed of digital media companies that are generating story ideas for the internet by mining online search data for under-covered topics. Google obtained a patent this year for a system that would help it identify “inadequate content” on the internet, based on comparisons of what people search for and what they find.
UK TAX TO COST US BANKS $2BN
US banks will foot a total bill of about $2bn (£1.4bn) in their second quarter results to pay for the UK tax on bankers’ bonuses -- a charge that could significantly reduce earnings at financial groups such as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. The amounts to be paid by US banks, with Goldman Sachs alone in line for a $600m-plus charge, will contribute to a windfall of £2.5bn from the levy, larger than expected.
JAPAN’S TOP BOSSES PREPARE TO GO PUBLIC ABOUT PAY
Japan’s most senior business executives are bracing themselves for unprecedented public scrutiny -- and possibly public anger -- over the size of their pay packets. Over the next fortnight companies will declare, for the first time, who among their management earns more than 100m yen (£736,000) per year.
HISTORIC THREADMAKER COATS TO RETURN TO STOCKMARKET
One of the most historic names in the British clothing industry is planning a return to the stockmarket after nearly a decade as an unquoted company. Coats, the world’s biggest maker of thread and sewing supplies, owes its creation to three 17th century entrepreneurs -- and its early success to Napoleon. It is being spun out of Guinness Peat Group.
The Daily Telegraph
NORTHUMBRIAN “RECEIVES £1.7BN TAKEOVER APPROACH”
Northumbrian Water traded at a 52-week high yesterday amid talk Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan had finally made a £1.7bn takeover approach for the water company. Traders said Ontario Teachers is working with another infrastructure fund on the transaction. Boutique advisory firm Lexicon is thought to be advising the consortium on the takeover while Deutsche Bank is said to be working with Northumbrian Water.
PRUDENTIAL BOSSES “SHUN” REBEL SHAREHOLDER ROBIN GEFFEN
Robin Geffen, the fund manager who led a shareholder revolt against Prudential’s $35.5bn (£25bn) bid for AIG’s Asian business, has claimed he is being frozen out of talks with the company’s management following the collapse of the deal.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
RUSSIA REVIVES ITS PROPOSAL FOR FINANCIAL HUB
The Kremlin is reviving the idea, shelved during the country’s deep recession, of turning Moscow into an international financial centre, not only to handle the deals of former Soviet countries but also to take on better-known hubs such as Dubai and Frankfurt. “Probably we can do better than Dubai,” said Arkady Dvorkovich, president Dmitry Medvedev’s aide.
US BLACKLISTS IRANIAN COMPANIES
The Obama administration placed on a US financial blacklist more than a dozen Iranian companies and senior Iranian officials in a bid to augment United Nations economic sanctions, approved last week, aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear and missile programmes. The US specifically targeted the companies and officers of Iran’s military elite.