BUSINESSES FEAR £90BN HIT IN COSTS BOOMERANG
The UK’s main quoted companies fear that £90bn of annual costs will return to their books as they recover, washing away savings made during the recession and squeezing profit margins, according to a survey by a leading accountancy firm. Businesses believe that 95 per cent of costs they cut in the downturn, many done as a quick fix, will return in a “cost boomerang” over the next few years, the research covering more than a third of FTSE 350 companies found.
CABLE CRITICISES RBS OVER REPORT ON COLLAPSE
Vince Cable has attacked Royal Bank of Scotland for putting up “obstacles” to prevent the publication of a long-awaited report into the collapse of the bank, amid concern legal battles could delay its release indefinitely.
KKR AND TPG LOOK TO MOVE INTO BRAZIL
US-based private equity groups Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG are looking to set up offices in Brazil as the industry increasingly seeks to tap emerging markets for growth. KKR and TPG are hunting for a senior figure to lead their offices in Brazil, who will then recruit start-up teams of five to six staff, people in the industry said.
RUSSIAN LENDERS FAIL STRESS TEST
Nearly a third of Russia’s banks are ill-prepared for a repeat of the global financial crisis, according to a stress test of the industry by its central bank. Few domestic lenders went bankrupt during the crisis, thanks to nearly $40bn in state support. However, more than 300 of Russia’s 900-plus banks would see their capital requirement fall below the 10 per cent minimum if they found themselves in a similar downturn.
NINE OUT OF TEN POST OFFICES WILL CLOSE
Unions have clashed over how badly the nation’s post offices may be affected by the forthcoming privatisation of Royal Mail. Mail workers have warned that the Postal Services Bill, which is expected to move to royal assent this summer, could lead to more than 90 per cent of the network closing.
CITIGROUP SET TO AUCTION EMI AS EARLY AS NEXT MONTH
Citigroup has asked the EMI boss Roger Faxon to set up a data room for potential buyers of the music business as quickly as possible. The bank, which seized control of EMI from its private equity owner Guy Hands in February, has decided to sell the company as a whole rather than split its music publishing section from its recording division.
The Daily Telegraph
EBOOK SALES SOAR, BUT PRINT IS STILL POPULAR
Sales of digital books are soaring in the UK, according to figures from The Publishers Association. In 2010, sales of ebooks and audio book downloads in the "general titles" category, which includes novels and consumer titles, rose from £4m to £16m. The Publishers Association, the trade body representing most of the UK publishing industry, said that the digital market is now six per cent of combined physical and digital sales.
RUSSIAN INVESTIGATOR TARGETS SENIOR HERMITAGE EXECUTIVE
A Russian investigator will today ask a Moscow court to issue an arrest warrant for Ivan Cherkasov, a senior executive at UK-based investment fund Hermitage, escalating a stand-off between the company and a group of policemen it has branded corrupt.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
MEXICO COURT DEALS CARLOS SLIM A SETBACK ON PHONE FEES
Mexico’s Supreme Court dealt Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, a major setback yesterday, ruling that his Mexican cellphone company can’t continue to block competitors by using court injunctions to ignore the rulings of the country’s telephone regulator.
PANEL RULES AGAINST AIG IN LIFE-INSURANCE DISPUTE
An arbitration panel in April ordered a unit of American International Group to pay $86.7m to a US-based subsidiary of a Belgian bank. The payout was tied to a dispute over insurance on loans that were made to an investor who purchased older people’s life-insurance policies. The award shows AIG’s big role in the “life settlements” market, where life-insurance policies are traded.