AUSTRALIA’S GROWTH RATE STALLS IN THIRD QUARTER
Australia’s economic growth rate slowed markedly in the third quarter to its weakest level in two years as higher interest rates cut into housing investment and the rise in the Australian dollar hit exports. The 0.2 per cent rise in gross domestic product compared with the quarter ended June was less than half market forecasts. It helped drag the yearly economic growth rate down from 3.3 to 2.7 per cent.
JAPAN’S ORIX JOINS PUSH TO TAP VIETNAM
Orix, the Japanese financial services group, has taken a 25 per cent stake in Indochina Capital, one of Vietnam’s biggest foreign-run investment firms, the latest in a spate of investments in Vietnam by Japanese companies looking for growth.
FRANKLIN TEMPLETON STARTS ROMANIA LEGAL ACTION
Franklin Templeton, the fund manager, is taking legal action against the Romanian government after Romgaz, the state-controlled natural gas producer, made a 400m lei ($122m) donation to help reduce the country’s budget deficit. Templeton says the move could damage investor confidence and harm Romania’s ability to attract foreign investment and privatise state assets.
GENDER PAY AUDIT PLANS SCRAPPED
The government is to ditch plans to force companies to disclose how much they pay women and men in a move likely to be applauded by big business but spark consternation among equality campaigners.Theresa May, home secretary, will announce today that she will ask companies to narrow the pay gap through voluntary efforts rather than by enacting legislation.
FORTNUMS WILL FOLLOW THE MONEY TO THE MIDDLE EAST
Fortnum & Mason plans to open a store overseas for the first time in 80 years after returning to profit following six years of losses. The Piccadilly supermarket for the super-rich, made a £100,000 profit in the year to June, its first since 2004, according to results filed this week. This compares with a £5.7m loss last year, when it shed 10 per cent of its staff as the recession cut into sales.
BANKS TOLD TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACT OVER PPI COMPLAINTS
Financial regulators have stoked a row with banks over payment protection insurance amid concerns over processing complaints. The Financial Services Consumer Panel said banks were failing to process thousands of complaints from customers who claim they were mis-sold the policies.
The Daily Telegraph
OBAMA COMMISSION SAYS US DEBT IS GREATEST THREAT TO SECURITY
America's growing budget deficit is the greatest threat to the country's prosperity and security, President Obama's Debt Commission warned, as it recommended sweeping cuts in government spending and an overhaul of the tax system. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform laid out a plan to cut the US budget deficit to 2.3 per cent of GDP by 2015 from 9 per cent this year.
THOMAS COOK BLASTS GATWICK AIRPORT OWNERS
Thomas Cook's chief executive has told the owners of Gatwick Airport to “get their act together” after they closed the site because of the snow. "It's embarrassing," Manny Fontenla-Novoa said. “It's winter, we've got snow. Airports should be investing in their property and people.”
WALL STREET JOURNAL
GLAXO ENDS STUDY OF RED-WINE DRUG
GlaxoSmithKline formally terminated a clinical trial of an experimental drug designed to harness the potential health benefits of red wine, saying it had minimal efficacy in cancer patients and could potentially exacerbate kidney complications. The drug maker reiterated it isn't planning any further testing of the drug.
MYSTERY BUYER HOLDS BULK OF COPPER
A mystery buyer is apparently holding more than half of the copper stocks at the London Metal Exchange's warehouses, the latest revelation of how a single trader can roil an entire commodities market. That trader, whom the exchange hasn't identified, owns between 50 per cent and 80 per cent of the 355,750 metric tons held in LME-listed warehouses