BANKS BACK SWITCH TO RENMINBI FOR TRADE
A number of the world’s biggest banks have launched international roadshows promoting the use of the renminbi to corporate customers instead of the dollar for trade deals with China. HSBC and Standard Chartered are offering discounted transaction fees and other financial incentives to companies that choose to trade in the Chinese currency.
$3M PAPER LOSS ON SVANBERG'S BP SHARES
BP’s chairman is nursing a paper loss of almost £2m after the spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April. Carl-Henric Svanberg, who joined the UK oil group in January, owns 925,000 shares which he bought in two separate lots. BP’s London shares closed yesterday at 385.60p, valuing Mr Svanberg’s holding at £3.56m compared with the £5.4m he paid for them.
CPP BENEFITS FROM DEMAND FOR FRAUD PROTECTION
Continued strong growth in the UK helped CPP, the credit card and identity theft insurer, report a 20 per cent rise in underlying interim profits to £24m. The company raised a total of £150m at 235p a share when it joined the full list in March. However, £120m went to Hamish Ogston, the Yorkshire entrepreneur who started the company 30 years ago.
CHINA UNICOM PAYS PRICE OF 3G COMPETITION
China Unicom on Thursday unveiled the damage caused by its attempts to grab market share amid the fierce competition sparked by the start of third-generation services in China last year. The firm said its net profit fell 62 per cent in the first half year-on-year after it spent more than half its mobile revenue on marketing.
ROLLS TAKES RIVAL TO COURT OVER JET ENGINE FANS
Two of the world’s biggest aircraft engine makers are set to face off after Rolls-Royce took its rival Pratt & Whitney to court over alleged patent infringements. Rolls told shareholders yesterday that it had issued legal action against United Technologies, which owns Pratt, Sikorsky helicopters and Otis elevators.
GOOGLE TAKES ON SKYPE WITH GMAIL CALLS
Google is to go head-to-head with Skype by allowing users of its Gmail service to make telephone calls from their e-mail inbox. The internet giant already offered free voice and video calls via Gmail but will now allow email users to call landlines and mobile phones directly. The move puts it into direct competition with the internet telephony company.
The Daily Telegraph
ASTRAZENECA TACKLES EAST-WEST HEALTH DIVIDE
Britain's second-largest pharmaceutical company has invested $100m (£64m) in its Innovation Centre China (ICC), specifically designed to research diseases that are prevalent in China's 1.3bn population and Asia as a whole. Among the ICC's targets for future drug development is chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
WORKERS FACE PAY CUTS AMID DOUBLE DIP RECESSION FEARS
Staff are effectively facing dramatic pay cuts as companies battle to keep down costs amid fears of a double dip recession. Almost 15 per cent of employers are pushing through pay freezes, the equivalent of a pay cut once inflation is taken into account, the latest salary statistics reveal. The cuts would hit around one in 20 employees.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
GEELY PLANS FOR VOLVO REVEALED
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. is considering partly repurposing a nearly completed Geely plant in southwestern China to make Volvo cars—part of a turnaround strategy for the Swedish brand that its new owner hopes will kick-start sales in the world's biggest auto market. The plan also includes building another car-assembly plant, possibly in Shanghai.
SWEDISH GOVERNMENT PROPOSES ECONOMIC REFORMS
Sweden's centre-right government yesterday proposed reforms worth 32.7bn Swedish kronor for the coming four-year mandate period, including labour-market investments and tax cuts. In its manifesto ahead of the general election on 19 September, the government said it plans to spend SEK12.8bn in 2011 alone.