MADEJSKI IN TALKS TO RESTRUCTURE GROUP DEBT
Sir John Madejski, the owner of Reading Football Club, is in talks to restructure a loan that backed the expansion of his property empire after the crash in regional property values led to a breach in the covenants of the debt. The wealthy former media magnate’s investments have suffered as commercial property in regional towns and cities have been the worst hit parts of the market collapse over the past four years.
UK SEEKS GLOBAL ACCORD ON CYBER BEHAVIOUR
Britain is to call for countries to agree rules for “acceptable behaviour” in cyberspace amid concern about what is seen as a growing security threat. Foreign secretary William Hague will offer to host a conference in London this year “to lay the basis for a set of standards on how countries should act in cyberspace”.
VISA RESTRICTIONS WILL DAMAGE GROWTH OF UK BUSINESS SCHOOLS
UK government plans to restrict the number of students entering the UK, and restricting employment visas for graduates, could be damaging to the growing popularity of UK graduate business degrees, according to GMAC, the the US-based Graduate Management Admissions Council, which administers the GMAT test.
HEDGE FUND URGES ACTELION HEADS TO QUIT
Elliott Associates, the $17bn US hedge fund, has called for the resignations of the chief executive and chairman of Actelion, the Swiss biotechnology company, in a push for a sale of the firm. In a letter sent to directors yesterday, a copy of which has been obtained by the FT, Elliott, Actelion’s largest shareholder, heavily criticised the company’s management.
WAGE BILLS CATCH FIRE AS CITY PAYOUTS CONTINUE TO RISE
Banker pay in the City is climbing after Deutsche Bank revealed that staff were paid an average of €373,000 (£318,000) for last year, the highest compensation of any big bank. Deutsche’s investment bank, which employs 8,000 people in London, said that its total bill for wages, bonuses and other rewards, grew 17 per cent last year to €5.9bn.
INVESTORS DEMAND HIT KIT AS SONY SALES SLIDE
Consumers are turning off their televisions and turning on their games consoles, if the latest results from Sony are anything to go by. It reported an 8.6 per cent fall in net profit to 72bn yen (£546m) for the three months to the end of December as lower television prices hurt its bottom line.
The Daily Telegraph
GOOGLE RECEIVES 75,000 CVS IN ONE WEEK
Google has received more than 75,000 job applications in just one week, a record for the search engine giant. The web company received the flood of CVs after last week announcing that it would hire 6,000 employees this year. Google is looking to increase its prescence in mobile services, display advertising and Internet applications.
TNK-BP INVESTORS NOT INTERESTED IN COMPENSATION TO END BP BATTLE
BP has received another blow to its £10bn alliance with a Russian state oil giant after it emerged that the four billionaires challenging the deal are not interested in being paid off. The businessmen, known as Alfa Access Renova, own half of BP’s Russian operations through a joint venture called TNK-BP.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
ITALIAN CABINET PASSES SPENDING PLAN
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government yesterday passed measures to decentralise Italy’s public spending, in a bid to shore up support within the premier's conservative coalition and stave off early elections. The government granted cities permission to raise taxes as part of a plan to shift control of public finances to local governments from Rome.
PERNOD TASTES VICTORY IN RUM ROW
Spain’s top court ruled in favour of Pernod Ricard SA for the third time yesterday in a long-running dispute with rival Bacardi over the rights to the Cuban rum trademark Havana Club, likely setting a precedent for other cases involving property taken over by Cuba’s communist government.