PARTIES FAIL TO BREAK US BUDGET DEADLOCK
The US began preparations to stand down nearly 1m workers and suspend services ranging from processing tax returns to national parks as a government shutdown loomed over stalled budget talks. Republicans and Democrats in Congress remained deadlocked over a budget agreement for the final six months of the current fiscal year, ahead of a deadline on Friday when funding for the government runs out.
CITI INDONESIA ARM HIT BY THEFT ALLEGATION
Citigroup has been barred from selling wealth management services to new clients in Indonesia after allegations that a long-time employee stole millions of dollars from customers of its premium retail bank. The ban was revealed on Wednesday by Darmin Nasution, Indonesia’s central bank governor, who told legislators Citi had been instructed to “temporarily suspend” recruitment of new clients to Citigold, the US bank’s flagship service for wealthy customers.
GBAGBO REJECTS ALL TALK OF SURRENDER
Laurent Gbagbo, Ivory Coast’s besieged president, clung to the vestiges of power on Wednesday as rival forces tired to prise him from his presidential palace in the leafy Abidjan suburb of Cocody.
CAMERON HINTS AT HOSPITAL ROLE IN ORDERING HEALTHCARE
Strong hints that hospital doctors and nurses, rather than simply GPs, will be involved in the commissioning of NHS care emerged from the first of a series of “listening exercises”, as David Cameron rode to the rescue of reform plans. Nick Clegg, his deputy, conceded that ministers had not got “every detail right.
DOUBTS GROW OVER BUFFETT’S HANDS-OFF MANAGEMENT
Warren Buffett expressly warned his senior executives last year against trading in companies in which he might invest. The disclosure comes a week after one of Buffett’s key lieutenants stunned the business world by resigning amid reports that he had bought shares in the Lubrizol chemical company just days before recommending its purchase by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment firm.
FORGET THE PAST, A RATE RISE IN EUROPE WILL SEND SHARES LOWER
European shares defied conventional wisdom and soared both times in the past when eurozone interest rates were raised for the first time after a series of falls. But this time will probably be different, according to analysts at HSBC.
The Daily Telegraph
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BRAND CHAMPION ICON SOLD FOR £11M
A company involved in the branding of the UEFA Champions League, the Ryder Cup and Wimbledon is being sold for £11m to Chime Communications, the PR and marketing group chaired by Lord Bell. Icon, which began operations in 1949, is a so-called “experiential” marketing business that aims to bring to life sponsors’ brands.
TRADES EXIT BBC RADIO TIMES AND TOP GEAR MAGAZINE AUCTION
Key trade bidders for BBC Magazines have exited the race to acquire the business behind the Radio Times and Top Gear magazines after slashing their offers. Bids from media companies such as Bauer, owner of Heat magazine, were cut as it emerged that Top Gear magazine and other leading BBC titles were not for sale.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
CONFIDENCE AN ISSUE FOR IRISH BANKS
Ireland’s banking regulator said it will take years for investors to regain confidence in the country’s banks, which in the meantime are likely to remain reliant on funding from central banks. “It’s going to take a while before there’s an Irish bond issue” from a bank, said Matthew Elderfield, the head of financial regulation at the Central Bank of Ireland.
SPAIN PUSHES BIG BANKS TO BUY CAJA
Spanish regulators are pressing Banco Santander SA and other large Spanish banks to take part in the cleanup of the country’s financial sector. As the lender, Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo, approached Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA and midsize Spanish banks in recent days in an effort to sell itself.