BARCLAYS FORCED TO ADAPT COCOS BONUS PLAN
Barclays has been forced to adapt its plans to pay bonuses for staff with a new financial instrument that has been hailed by regulators as a key tool for rebuilding the capital strength of banks. Bob Diamond, the UK bank’s new chief executive, had hoped to use the new contingent convertible capital notes – known as coco bonds – to pay as much as half of the deferred pay element of the bonuses.
LARGEST BOND FUND CUTS ITS US GOVERNMENT HOLDINGS
The world’s largest bond fund sharply cut its exposure to US government-related debt in January, before US bond yields rose this month to their highest level in almost a year. Pimco’s Total Return Fund, run by Bill Gross, a founder of Pimco, reported that its holdings of US government-related securities fell from 22 per cent in December to 12 per cent in January.
LLOYDS SHUTS DOWN ITS EQUITIES ARM
Lloyds Banking Group has pulled the plug on its equities business as the government-backed institution refocuses its investment banking division away from riskier activities. The equities arm formed part of Lloyds’ capital markets business and helped mid-sized corporate customers to issue shares through rights issues, initial public offerings and placements.
NORTH BEARS BRUNT OF AUSTERITY AS SHOPPERS STAY AWAY
The climate of austerity is being felt disproportionately in the shops of northern towns with high rates of public sector employment, research has shown. Sharp drops in numbers of shoppers have been recorded in the north east and Northern Ireland by research house Experian, which tracks footfall in shops nationally.
PEPSI COMES OFF THE SHELVES AS PRICE WAR INTENSIFIES
Sainsbury’s customers were unable to buy Pepsi-Cola for two weeks after a price dispute with Britvic. The drinks group, which has sold Pepsi in Britain since 1987, had asked the supermarket for a rise of as much as 10 per cent, according to The Grocer. The supermarket refuse.
VODAFONE’S INSTANT SOLUTION FOR NATURAL DISASTERS
Vodafone has developed an “instant network” that can be set up in less than 40 minutes to help aid agencies in disaster areas to begin relief work straight away. The new network technology, developed in conjunction with Chinese equipment maker Huawei, will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and a prototype will be tested by Télécoms Sans Frontières.
The Daily Telegraph
GOLD COMPANIES CRITICISED FOR TREATMENT OF CUSTOMERS
Gold companies criticised for treatment of customers. CashMyGold, Cash4Gold and Postal Gold agreed to make changes following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading. Two other companies - CashYourGoldNow and Money4Gold - have ceased trading.
SHELL TO BOOST INVESTMENT IN BRAZIL
Royal Dutch Shell is to boost its investment in Brazil by billions of dollars after surpassing its forecasts for oil production in the country last year. The Anglo-Dutch company will drill ten new wells in the next 18 months, seven of them in the Campos Basin, around 60 miles off the coast of Espirito Santo state. Estimates suggested Shell will invest around $2.5bn (£1.57bn) in the next wave of drilling.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
BNP PARIBAS AND OTHERS SUSPEND IVORY COAST OPERATIONS
French bank BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Nigeria’s Access Bank temporarily suspended operations in Ivory Coast yesterday, after the Central Bank of West African States warned on Friday that dealing with the disputed Ivory Coast regime of Laurent Gbagbo puts banks at risk of being sanctioned.
ECUADOR COURT ORDERS CHEVRON TO PAY $8.6 BN
An Ecuadorean court ordered Chevron to pay more than $8.6bn in damages for oil pollution that allegedly took place in the country’s Amazon region, a milestone in an 18-year lawsuit. Chevron, which inherited the lawsuit when it bought Texaco in 2001, denies the allegations and vowed yesterday to appeal the court’s judgment.