CIVIL SERVANTS IN PLEA OVER JOBS CULL
John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, is being urged to stop ministers from rushing through legislation that will slash redundancy terms for civil servants and clear the way for a cull of up to 100,000 jobs. Francis Maude, cabinet office minister, has asked Mr Bercow to approve a fast-track procedure for the bill to come into force by November, allowing ministers to embark on the redundancy plan this autumn.
AWB ACCEPTS AGRIUM’S A$1.2BN
AWB, the Australian wheat exporter, has abandoned a deal to merge with domestic rival GrainCorp, formally backing a more lucrative A$1.2bn (US$1.1bn) takeover offer from Agrium, the Canadian fertiliser group. AWB’s board said that Agrium had offered “better value”.
CHINA FUND BOND SALE FACES
The domestic arm of China’s main sovereign wealth fund completed its first bond sale yesterday, raising Rmb40bn ($5.9bn) from the interbank market as it prepares to help recapitalise some of the world’s largest banks. The bond sale is the first in a planned series by Central Huijin Investments, the domestic arm of China Investment Corp, which aims to raise Rmb187.5bn from the interbank bond market.
AIG CALLS ON INVESTORS FOR STAKES IN AIA
AIG has approached some of the world’s biggest investors with a view to them taking stakes in AIA, the US insurer’s Asian operation, with strong interest from China, according to people familiar with the matter. AIG is considering placing as much as 30 per cent with institutional investors and wealthy tycoons rather than an IPO.
Now BP turns to “Iceberg Alley”
BP is bidding for the right to develop deepwater oil projects off the coast of Greenland in a move that has triggered a backlash from environmental groups. The British oil giant, whose reputation for safety was severely dented by the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, is understood to be among 12 companies bidding to develop offshore exploration blocks off Greenland. The area is considered to be one of the world’s most fragile environments.
FRANCE PUTS WINDS IN THE SAILS OF OFFSHORE ENERGY
France launched one of Europe’s most ambitious wind power projects yesterday, unveiling a €10 billion (£8 billion) contract to build 600 offshore turbines in a move that delighted environmentalists. The announcement signals an attempt by Paris to catch up with?Britain.
The Daily Telegraph
COMPANIES POSTPONE IT SPENDING IN PREPARATION FOR A SECOND
IT investment by business remains weak with the number of new PCs bought in the UK increasing only 5pc in the last quarter, research by Gartner shows. The slight recovery in business demand for desktops and PCs follows a 20pc decline in the whole market last year.
BRITONS USE SAVINGS TO FUND EVERYDAY LIVING
More than half of Britons are dipping into their savings pot to offset the rising cost of living, according to latest research. As many as 56 per cent of savers have taken money from their savings accounts, while an additional 26 per cent said they would do if they needed the money, claimed the survey – carried out over the past fortnight by Moneysupermarket.com.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
GENZYME, SANOFI AT ODDS OVER THRESHOLD PRICE
Genzyme and France’s Sanofi-Aventis are continuing their discussions about a takeover of the US biotechnology company, said people familiar with the matter, but the two sides remain at odds about a “threshold” price at which Sanofi could begin due diligence on Genzyme.
SCANIA TO BOOST PRODUCTION AS DEMAND RISES
Swedish truck maker Scania said yesterday it plans to increase production and will create 500 jobs at its European production sites as demand from outside the region rises. The truck maker, which returned to profit in the second quarter after a loss the year earlier, said it plans to increase its production rate in the fourth quarter. About half of the jobs created will be in Sweden.