OAKTREE RETURNS INVESTOR’S CASH
Oaktree Capital’s distressed investment fund has returned $3bn of the $10bn it raised from investors, reflecting its difficulties in finding opportunities as the economy improves, people familiar with the matter say. The fund, run by Bruce Karsh, was among the most aggressive buyers of distressed debt after the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. But Mr Karsh is now telling his investors he cannot decide what to do with their money, these people say.
A ROUND OF JOB CUTS HITS ATKINS
The shortfall in government funding for large building projects has pushed Atkins into a round of job cuts, as the design and engineering group looks to scale down its UK business.
Atkins, which generates just over half of its revenues in the UK, said it would cut 300 jobs by April – taking total staff to 17,000 – and relocate a small number of people to the Middle East.
OSBORNE EYES LOOSER LIQUIDITY SCHEME
George Osborne is looking at ways in which Britain’s tough bank liquidity rules might be eased, potentially saving banks hundreds of millions of pounds and releasing funds for lending to businesses and homeowners.
The chancellor is looking sympathetically at claims by the banks that Britain’s regulators have gone too far.
PEPSI BACK ON SAINSBURY’S SHELVES
Pepsi is back on Sainsbury’s shelves following a standoff over pricing, setting the tone for what promises to be a tough round of negotiations between suppliers and retailers. Sainsbury is understood to have caved in, at least partially, on the higher prices demanded by Britvic after the Pepsi bottler stopped supplies.
AUSTERITY SINKS PORTUGAL INTO RECESSION
Spending cuts and tax rises have led Portugal into recession as it aims to cut its budget deficit, the country’s central bank governor said today. Carlos Costa’s admission came ahead of a sale of up to €1bn in treasury bills seen as a vital test of market sentiment towards the eurozone’s weakest economies.
NORTH KOREA BACK IN PLAY WITH CHINA TRADE
North Korean exports to China soared by 51 per cent to $1.2bn (£740m) in 2010 as the impoverished regime sold its coal, iron ore and other natural resources into the Chinese market. At the other end of the relationship, and in a year where North Korea sunk a South Korean warship, Chinese exports to North Korea rose 21 per cent higher to $2.3bn.
The Daily Telegraph
EASYJET IN EXECUTIVE PAY WRANGLE
Sir Stelios, easyJet’s founder and largest shareholder, said last week that he would oppose the airline's pay package for directors because of a £1m payment made to former chief executive Andrew Harrison between April 1 to September 30 last year, which includes three months after he left easyJet.
SINGAPORE BEATS LONDON AND NY
Singapore has beaten London and New York as the number one career destination for UK investment bankers, research has revealed.
The study suggests over-regulation in the UK could be damaging London’s reputation and lead to a brain drain of talented staff that threatens to derail the recovery, according to Astbury Marsden, a financial recruitment firm which carried out the survey.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
FIRMS WANT WHISTLEBLOWER CHANGE
Large US companies are asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that workers report wrongdoing to employers in order to be eligible for payments under the agency’s new “whistleblower” programme. Google Inc. and General Electric Co. are among the more than two dozen companies that have written letters to the SEC, asking the agency to revise its proposed rules.
G20 FRET OVER INFLATION TARGETS
Top officials from the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations have agreed to draw up a “limited set” of indicators aimed at curbing global economic imbalances and better coordinate economic policies, but have yet to decide what those indicators will be, according to an early draft of a statement due to be released by the G-20 on Saturday.