AIA CHIEF FAVOURS ORGANIC GROWTH
AIA will address questions about its growth by increasing profitability and expanding organically rather than by pursuing acquisitions, according to the chief executive of the $30bn Asian life assurer about to list in Hong Kong. Mark Tucker told the Financial Times that AIA, which is being sold by cash-strapped US parent AIG, would always look at “tactical” deals, but that its core focus was on organic growth via new business and expanding its agency networks.
GERMAN WARNING ON ‘AGGRESSIVE’ CHINESE RIVALS
German companies have complained about state-owned Chinese rivals landing an increasing number of contracts in eastern Europe and central Asia by means of “price-dumping, aggressive financing and generous risk-guarantees” from Beijing, according to German industry’s Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations.
GE SEES BIG CHANGE FROM ENERGY EFFICIENCY
General Electric, the company that was a pioneer of the electric light bulb, has warned that the industry is facing “dramatic change” that threatens the position of long-established market leaders as energy efficiency standards drive the adoption of new technologies. The traditional incandescent light bulb is set to be phased out in the US, starting in 2011.
ESSAR PLANS $2BN INVESTMENT IN NIGERIA
Essar, the Indian conglomerate, is planning an investment of $2bn or more in Nigerian power plants if Africa’s most populous nation sticks to reform plans designed to overcome crippling energy shortages, people familiar with the matter said.
OFT RULES PUBGOERS ARE NOT OVERCHARGED
The Office of Fair Trading has ruled that consumers have not been overcharged for beer despite pubs being forced into restrictive supply contracts. About one fifth of British pubs are owned by companies that require their licensees to buy beer directly from them, even though they may charge more than elsewhere.
RIOT POLICE STORM ACROPOLIS TO BREAK STRIKE
Baton-carrying police in riot gear stormed the Acropolis and fired teargas to break a strike by guards that closed Greece’s most famous historical site yesterday. Dozens of tourists watched as squads of police forced open the locked main gate to the site, sparking scuffles with protesters who, defying repeated orders to clear the entrance, clung on to the barrier.
The Daily Telegraph
PIMCO SELLS US TREASURIES AHEAD OF QE2
Pimco, manager of the world’s largest bond fund, is selling US Treasuries in the expectation that a fresh helping of economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve will have little impact. The Federal Reserve bought $300bn of Treasuries last year under the QE policy and is expected to buy another round.
GEORGE OSBORNE SAYS 'INDEPENDENT' OBR SHOULDN'T BE OPEN TO OPPOSITION PARTIES?
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), should not be available for cross-party use to test the oppostion's economic policies, the chancellor has decreed.Robert Chote, chairman of the newly-created independent budget forecasting body, had indicated that he was in favour of extending the OBR's services to rival parties.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
BRAZIL, CHINA GROWTH LIFT CARREFOUR'S SALES
French retailer Carrefour yesterday reported a 6.7 per cent rise in third-quarter sales, as growth in China and Brazil helped to offset continuing weakness in Europe. The company doubled projections for one-time charges in Brazil this year to €180m, related to tax litigation and inventory write-offs, in what was an “accumulation of problems over several years,” said finance director Pierre Bouchut.
WARSAW STOCK EXCHANGE IPO COULD RAISE £259M
The initial public offering for the Warsaw Stock Exchange could raise as much as 1.15bn zlotys (£259m) in what is expected to be Poland’s last major privatisation via the stock market this year. The government plans to float up to 64 per cent of the bourse’s equity.