LLOYDS TO SPIN OFF BUY-OUT ARM
The private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group has for the first time outlined plans for the UK’s most prolific buy-out investor to spin off from its banking parent. Darryl Eales, chief executive of Lloyds TSB Development Capital, said it was expected to start raising money from third-party investors by 2013. LDC invests about £250m each year from Lloyds’s balance sheet into 15-20 companies.
MAN CHIEF HITS OUT AT MOVE TO SHUT THE FSA
The UK government’s decision to abolish the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the financial regulator, has damaged London’s ability to withstand punitive regulation from Europe, according to one of the City’s leading figures. Peter Clarke, chief executive of Man Group, the FTSE 100-listed hedge fund, said the UK’s bargaining position in Europe had been “impaired” by the decision to shut the FSA down.
PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS FACE CONTRIBUTION RISE
The Treasury will shortly launch a consultation into the methods used to calculate public sector workers’ contributions to their pensions, the results of which are likely to require that employees contribute at least £3bn more per year than they pay now.
GAZPROM SET TO EMBARK ON HIRING SPREE
Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas company, is mounting an aggressiving hiring spree that could see it recruit up to 600 staff in London as it seeks to expand its energy and commodities trading operations. The Kremlin-owned oil and gas producer already employs 300 staff at its Hampton Wick premises but will move to headquarters for up to 900.
BRITISH GAS DOUBLES ITS PROFITS, THEN RAISES PRICES 7 PER CENT
British Gas was lambasted by consumer groups last night after increasing prices just weeks after announcing a 98 per cent rise in profits. Eight million households will see their fuel bills rise before Christmas.
Tariffs for both gas and electricity will rise by an average of 7 per cent from 10 December, raising the annual bill for a typical dual-fuel customer
by £81 from £1,157 to £1,238.
TROLLS DIAGNOSES PROBLEM THAT SPARKED OIL FIRE
Rolls-Royce said that it had identified the faulty part that caused an oil fire inside one of its Trent 900 engines, provoking the first significant safety incident involving the world’s biggest passenger jet. The engine manufacturer stands to lose tens of millions of pounds as it rectifies the problem.
JOHN LEWIS SEES EARLY START TO CHRISTMAS SALES
John Lewis said the starting gun had been fired for Christmas as sales jumped more than 10 per cent last week to put takings ahead of the level seen a year ago. Its managing director Andy Street said: “With very strong figures from last year against us, our results are a clear sign that the steep sales climb towards Christmas has begun in earnest.”
TESCO LAUNCHES FOUR-HOUR SHIFT SYSTEM
Tesco famously claims “every little helps” – now Britain’s biggest private-sector employer is among the first to offer the option of working “slivers of time” to its employees. A four-hour shift might not appeal to many of us, but the spin is that it is good news for workers with complicated home lives such as carers or those with illnesses.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EURO-ZONE GROWTH EASES
The Eurozone economy slowed in the third quarter but still grew at a moderate pace, suggesting that continued financial strains on the currency bloc's weakest members haven’t yet derailed the region’s overall economic recovery. Eurozone gross domestic product grew by 1.5 per cent in the third quarter at an annualised rate, according to calculations based on data from the European Union’s statistics arm.
GREECE EXPECTS BUDGET PRESSURE FROM EU, IMF
Debt-ridden Greece expects “substantial pressure” from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund this week to adopt further austerity measures, a senior government official said yesterday, amid expectations that the country will miss its deficit targets.