DIPLOMATS TO BECOME SALESMEN
The job description for Britain’s ambassadors is to be rewritten to include tough targets for trade promotion and a requirement for the country’s top diplomats to tour the UK’s regions to showcase commercial opportunities abroad. As well as gliding through the corridors of foreign ministries and cultivating contacts with potential investors and sovereign wealth funds, ambassadors will now be expected to lead “road shows” in Britain, meeting entrepreneurs first hand to help them export.
REGULATOR BANS BT BROADBAND ADVERTS
The advertisements that launched BT’s new super-fast broadband service, Infinity, have been banned after the regulator ruled their claims of “instant internet” were misleading. Consumers lodged four complaints.
BUSINESS EXPERTS TO JUDGE RED TAPE PROPOSALS
Ministers will have to answer to a panel of business experts before proposing new red tape measures, under plans to be announced by Vince Cable today. The business secretary has decided to give the regulatory policy committee more power, allowing it to challenge rules before they are put in place. The independent quango is headed by Michael Gibbons, the former Powergen executive, who advised the previous government.
SUCCESSOR SOUGHT FOR RATAN TATA
Tata Group, the Indian industrial conglomerate, has called time on the career of its veteran chairman Ratan Tata by setting up a panel to find his successor. In a statement yesterday evening, Tata Sons, the group’s holding company, said it had begun a global search for a successor, considering external as well as internal candidates, to replace Mr Tata when he retires in December 2012.
GSK TAKES ON THE BACTERIA THEY CAN’T KILL
A breakthrough at GlaxoSmithKline could help to revolutionise the market for antibiotics, which has come under pressure as more bacteria become resistant to existing treatments after decades of over-prescription for minor ailments in the West. Yesterday it emerged that scientists at GSK, backed by a £4 million research grant from the Wellcome Trust, have discovered a compound that could lead to a new class of antibiotics.
NEW DEFAULT PENSIONS RIGHT UP OUR STREET, SAYS L&G
Legal & General intends to pitch to manage money for the Government’s new flagship pension fund. Speaking as the insurer raised profits, Tim Breedon, its chief executive, said: “I’d be very interested in running money for Nest — it’s right up our street.”
The Daily Telegraph
SHUTL TO POWER 90-MINUTE DELIVERY SERVICE FOR ARGOS
A web start-up that’s less than a year old has secured a potentially lucrative trial with Argos that will allow the retail giant’s customers to have products delivered in as little as 90 minutes. Shutl’s technology, which connects retailers with local same-day couriers, will power a six-month, London-based trial which will be available for Argos customers using its ‘Check & Reserve’ online service.
ECUADOR’S “AMAZON BONDS”
Ecuador is seeking $3.6bn (£2.2bn) from rich countries -- in return for doing nothing for a decade. The unusual deal is part of a new United Nations initiative to persuade energy-rich countries not to drill for oil and gas in environmentally sensitive areas. Ecuador has agreed not to touch three Amazon oilfields.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
YAHOO EXECUTIVE SRINIVASAN TO LEAVE
Srinija Srinivasan, an original employee who helped launch Yahoo more than 15 years ago and develop its early internet search capabilities, announced yesterday that she is leaving the company. Vice President and editor-in-chief Ms Srinivasan’s departure comes as chief executive Carol Bartz oversees an ongoing turnaround effort at Yahoo.
MORGAN CLOSE TO HEDGE DEAL
Morgan Stanley is nearing a deal to relinquish control of in-house hedge-fund firm FrontPoint Partners, according to people familiar with the situation, in what would be one of its first high-profile overhauls amid new management and financial regulation. Morgan Stanley’s full ownership of FrontPoint could go down to between 20 and 25 per cent.