ITV BLAMES REGIME FOR NEED TO CHASE RATINGS
ITV could invest more in arts, factual programming and drama were it not for regulations, its managers told a Lords committee. Archie Norman, chairman of the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, and Adam Crozier, chief executive, told the communications committee that ITV had been driven into a “ratings rat race” by regulations, particularly the contract rights renewal measure.
LAWYERS CAUTION ON COSTS TO JUSTICE
The fairness of trials could be undermined by court closures and greater use of video links and telephone legal advice under plans to slash funding of the £23bn criminal justice system, legal experts say. The coalition is being urged to ensure that its plans do not threaten fundamental rights for suspects to be properly represented and to answer their accusers in person.
US BANKS SEEK FORECLOSURE EXPERTS
US banks are beefing up their mortgage departments in response to growing pressure and concern over the use of “robo-signers”, employees who rubber-stamped thousands of foreclosure documents without checking the accuracy of the information they contained, as required by law. Recent job postings indicate that banks are recruiting “foreclosure specialists” and “bankruptcy documentation” experts.
CHINA’S BANKS IN DRIVE TO BOOST FUNDS
China’s biggest banks plan to raise more than a combined 190bn yuan ($28.4bn) in the coming weeks through rights issues in Shanghai and Hong Kong as they seek to shore up their balance sheets in the aftermath of a record lending spree.
TALKTALK ORDERED TO CLEAN UP ITS ACT
Ofcom has given TalkTalk 30 days to resolve a problem that triggered a
deluge of complaints from former customers who received bills despite
cancelling contracts. The regulator said it had issued a stinging rebuke to Britain’s second-largest internet provider and Tiscali, which the company acquired in May last year, for breaching consumer protection rules after more than 1,000 customers wrote in with their protests.
LESOTHO MINE OFFERS SECOND GIANT DIAMOND
A giant diamond worth about $10m has been unearthed in southern Africa. The find by the London-listed miner Gem Diamonds is the second exceptionalrough diamond to come from the Letseng mine in Lesotho in the past two months.
The Daily Telegraph
WESTFIELD SET TO REVEAL DEMERGER PLANS
Westfield, the world's largest shopping centre owner, is expected to announce the spin-off of its Antipodean assets in a move that could pave the way for development plans in the UK. The Australian group issued a statement requesting that trading in its shares be halted “pending a further announcement about a possible transaction”
HOME OWNERS INCREASINGLY OVER 40
Britons who own their own homes will increasingly be in their 40s, 50s and 60s, lenders said yesterday. The Council of Mortgage Lenders said the shift follows the first significant decline in home-ownership since 2003. Owner-occupation peaked at 70.9 per cent in 2003 but had declined to 67.9 per cent by 2008/9, it said.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPE'S DEBT WORRIES RETURN
Borrowing costs of weaker European countries are again on the rise amid a steady stream of bad news. Several factors are contributing to the misery of bond markets in countries on the geographic edge of the 16-nation euro bloc. Ireland's bank bailout is getting ever more costly, and it looks like taxpayers may have to take control of another large bank. Officials in heavily indebted Greece are talking more openly about potential debt restructuring. In Portugal, political opponents have had a tough time finding a convincing budget compromise.
RUSSIA BACKS A RENAULT-NISSAN STAKE IN AVTOVAZ
Russia yesterday gave its backing to French car maker Renault and its Japanese alliance partner Nissan building up a 50 per cent stake in car maker OAO AvtoVAZ.