QATAR KEEN TO BID FOR CHRISTIE’S AUCTION HOUSE
Qatar is eyeing Christie’s, the auction house, as part of its plans to establish itself as a leading cultural destination in the Gulf. Although Christie’s has yet to receive a formal approach, Qatar’s emir, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, told the Financial Times in an interview that he would be interested in bidding for the auction house.
WESTFIELD TO SELL STAKE IN OLYMPIC MALL
The £1.5bn Westfield shopping centre that forms the gateway to the 2012 Olympic Games will be part sold to a new fund backed by some of the world’s largest property investors being set up by Henderson Global Investors. Westfield, the listed Australian retail developer, is in advanced talks to sell a stake of as much as £750m to Henderson, which is expected to create a fund structure open to a group of major clients.
BUBBLE FEAR AS RARE EARTHS SOAR
Fears about Chinese supplies of vital rare earth elements have sent the shares of small mining companies soaring, a surge that executives and analysts warn is turning into a bubble. China, responsible for about 97 per cent of global rare earth production, has cut exports of the minerals used in high-tech goods from PCs to electric cars, driving up prices of the commodities.
CO-OP EYES LIFE ASSURANCE ARM SALE
The Co-operative Group is considering the sale of its life assurance business which controls assets of £18bn as part of a strategic review within its financial services group following the merger with Britannia Building Society in 2009. The group appointed Deutsche Bank earlier this year to conduct a review of the business.
NEARLY 1M ACRES OF FORESTRY COMMISSION WOODS TO BE SOLD
About half the 1.85m acres of publicly owned forest overseen by the Forestry Commission will be sold, Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, is expected to announce. The move could lead to more commercial exploitation, with the development of holiday villages and golf courses.
UNION FIREBRAND APOLOGISES TO MILIBAND FOR OUTBURST
The hardline, would-be leader of Britain’s most powerful trade union has apologised to Ed Miliband for heckling him at last month’s party conference. But while Len McCluskey has expressed regret at shouting “rubbish” at the new Labour leader, he has also warned Mr Miliband that he should not inflame trades unionists by talking of “irresponsible strikes.”
The Daily Telegraph
CENTRICA TO SHELVE GAS STORAGE PLANS UNLESS GOVERNMENT HELPS
Centrica has effectively shelved its £1.5bn plan to build two gas storage facilities in the North Sea and Irish Sea unless the Government finds a way to subsidise the proposal. The energy company would have increased Britain's storage capacity by a third.
SCHOOLS IN BETTER-OFF AREAS WILL LOSE CASH TO AID POOR
Schools in middle-class areas will have their funding cut to pay for the Liberal Democrat policy of helping children from low-income families, the Government has admitted. Four months after David Cameron promised that no families would suffer to meet the cost of the £2.5bn pupil premium, Michael Gove, the education secretary, conceded that the plan meant some schools “will have less”.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
OMV TO ACQUIRE STAKE IN TURKEY'S PETROL OFISI
Austrian gas and oil company OMV said it would acquire a majority stake in Turkish fuel and oil products retailer Petrol Ofisi AS, in a €1bn transaction aimed at making Turkey a third hub for OMV’s operations. OMV, which previously owned 41.58 per cent of Petrol Ofisi, increased its share to 95.75per cent by buying the stake from Dogan Holding.
ITALIAN COURT RULES AGAINST UNICREDIT
In the latest judicial ruling related to up to €100bn of Italian public debt liabilities, an Italian court annulled a set of derivative contracts between Unicredit and the town of Rimini. The court ruling requires Unicredit to return €652,000 plus interest to the city as a result of the annulment of three interest-rate swaps