NETWORK RAIL AIMS TO TAKE TRACTION OUT OF BONUS ISSUE
Network Rail will seek to allay long-standing concerns about its executive bonuses by putting a new system to the vote of its 100 members tomorrow. But the scheme, intended to provide a longer term solution to the issue, has been criticised by the TSSA rail union, which predicted David Higgins, the chief executive of the track operator, could be entitled to a £336,000 bonus next year on top of his £560,000 salary.
GRANT SHAKE-UP WILL HIT POORER PUPILS, WARNS IFS
The bursary scheme set up by the government as a replacement for the education maintenance allowance will see the poorest students at schools and colleges on average lose £370 of their current £1,170-a-year support money, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned.
WALSH PUTS BA AND IBERIA GROUP ON RUNWAY FOR SLICE OF JAPAN AIRLINES
The airline group formed by the merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia is interested in the idea of investing in Japan Airlines after its emergence from bankruptcy. Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, floated the idea yesterday in Tokyo, where he had meetings with executives at Japan’s formerly state-owned carrier, which has cut staff and fleet since filing for bankruptcy in January.
J SAINSBURY HIT HARDEST BY GROCERY SQUEEZE
Supermarket sales have slowed as cash-strapped shoppers rein in spending on groceries, with J Sainsbury hit particularly hard, according to industry data. Consumers are spending more on promotions, which stand at a record 40 per cent of grocery sales.
MERLIN THINKS NOT JUST BIG, BUT BIGGEST
Merlin Entertainments may have been forced to put its flotation plans on ice last year, but the boss of the world’s second-biggest theme park operator remains fiercely ambitious: “One day we’d like to catch the Mouse.” Nick Varney, Merlin’s chief executive, said he was “under no illusions” about the challenge of closing the gap on Disney, which is more than twice the size of the Madame Tussauds and Legoland operator.
TERMINAL DECLINE: THE VERDICT ON HEATHROW
Heathrow airport languishes in 99th place — below Calcutta, Moscow and Johannesburg — in a confidential international table that tells the aviation industry how passengers really feel.
BRITISH GAS CUSTOMERS TARGETED IN IDENTITY THEFT SCAM
Consumers are being warned of a scam that promises refunds of hundreds of pounds on gas bills if they send copies of documents that could be used to steal their identity. The bogus offer of a refund comes in an email purporting to be from British Gas. One email headed “refund notification” said the recipient was due a refund of £722.80, but would need to fax copies of a passport or driving licence in order to receive it.
BERTELSMANN EXPRESSES INTEREST IN EMI AND WARNER MUSIC
Bertelsmann has said it expects EMI to be formally for sale in the next few months and has spoken out on the German media conglomerate's interest in the British music group and Warner Music. The firm said it was back on the acquisition trail.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PROXY ADVISER SAYS BP’S EX-CEO PAYOUT TOO HIGH
BP’s decision to pay “excessive” compensation to top managers who had responsibility during a fatal oil-well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico should be opposed by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting 14 April, U.K. proxy-voting adviser PIRC said yesterday.
AUSTRALIAN EXCHANGE ENTERS COMMODITIES FRAY
A new Australian energy-and-commodities exchange is the latest player hoping to lure trade away from venues in Chicago and London toward fast-growing Asian-Pacific economies.
But Financial & Energy Exchange's bet that Australia's resource bonanza will buoy its newest commodities exchange when it goes live this year is unlikely to change the landscape of energy trading globally.