IVORY COAST MOVE SPARKS COCOA FEARS
Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivory Coast leader who the international community says lost presidential elections in November, announced he would nationalise the cocoa sector in a surprise move that threatened to drive the cocoa price sharply higher. The African country is the world’s largest cocoa exporter, accounting for 40 per cent of global supplies of the bean.
BETFAIR SET TO MOVE OFFSHORE
Betfair is expected to announce today that it will in future operate under a Gibraltar rather than a UK gaming licence, following the lead of other betting operators that have moved offshore to escape the UK’s 15 per cent tax on gross betting profits. The betting exchange, which floated in October, has repeatedly warned that it was at a competitive disadvantage because of its UK licence.
3 FIGHTS TO STAY IN BANDWIDTH RACE
3, the UK’s smallest mobile network operator, is warning it will get swallowed up in a fresh round of industry consolidation if it fails to secure airwaves being sold off next year. Kevin Russell, chief executive, demanded that regulators introduce rules that give his company a stronger chance of buying radio spectrum in the much-delayed auction.
MANPOWER REVEALS WIDENING JOB CREATION GAP
Strong hiring plans in the developing world contrasted with a subdued outlook in industrialised nations, suggesting the job-creation gap will widen, according to a report by Manpower, the global recruiting firm. Companies in developed economies remain wary of boosting employment in the second quarter of the year, according to the survey.
WOULD-BE ACCOUNTANTS BEAT A PATH TO KPMG TO ESCAPE UNI FEES
Thousands of aspiring young bean-counters are likely to be disappointed after KPMG was swamped with more than 5,000 inquiries for a groundbreaking graduate recruitment scheme. The Big Four accountant expects to take on about 115 trainees after signing up Birmingham and Exeter universities to the scheme yesterday, alongside Durham.
KUONI ENJOYS A BIGGER BITE OF THE APPLE
Kuoni closed the gap on TUI Travel and Thomas Cook at the top of the European travel industry league table yesterday after agreeing a $720m (£444m)?acquisition of Gullivers Travel Associates. The Swiss tour operator is buying GTA, an online travel specialist, from Travelport, a private equity-backed US travel firm.
The Daily Telegraph
FSA MISJUDGED HOW MUCH HELP BANKS NEEDED
The FSA was in denial about the scale of the banking crisis right up to the week of the historic multi-billion-pound bailout in October, 2008, an investigation by The Telegraph has found. Just days before the rescue, FSA officials believed the most the banking system would require in emergency equity was £20bn.
ARM HELD BACK FROM INVESTING IN TECH START UPS
The chief executive of microchip ARM Holdings has said he would invest £12m of the Cambridge-based company’s £300m cash pile in technology start ups if the Government tackled the accounting standards holding him back. Warren East said the FTSE 100 company invested in “one or two” technology companies each year but would back more if rules were altered.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EU PREPARING NEW STRESS TESTS
EU regulators preparing a new round of bank stress tests are unlikely to examine what would happen to the region’s banks if a Eurozone government defaults on its debt, a European official yesterday. Most of the EU’s national regulators meeting last week opposed a plan to stress-test government debt held on “banking books”, where accounting rules allow banks to place debt that is supposed to be held until it matures, they said.
NOKIA TO SELL QT BUSINESS
Nokia will sell its Qt commercial licensing and services business to technology services firm Digia, both companies yesterday. Nokia acquired Trolltech, a small Norwegien firm, and its Qt technologys, which allow application programmes to work on multiple platforms, in 2008 for $153m (£94.4m).