JAGUAR TO INVEST £5BN
Jaguar Land Rover is investing £5bn over the next five years to catch up on quality with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi – the three German companies that dominate the luxury end of the automotive business globally. The money will be spent mainly on product development and new equipment at JLR’s three UK plants with some of it likely to cover new investments at a planned factory in China.
CARREFOUR CHIEF STRUGGLES
When Lars Olofsson, Carrefour chief executive, unveiled plans to overhaul the group’s financial structure in early March, he spoke of “providing Carrefour with more momentum” and creating value for shareholders. In the nine weeks since the announcement it has fallen 13 per cent amid increasingly public investor dissent.
CARLYLE FACES CHINA QUESTIONS
Carlyle, the US private equity group, is facing questions over its investments in two Chinese companies that have been accused of fraud and suspended from trading on stock exchanges in Hong Kong and New York. The scrutiny comes at an unwelcome time for Carlyle, as the manager of some $106bn in funds seeks to burnish its reputation ahead of a planned initial public offering.
INTEL WANTS MOBILE GRIP
The revolution in chip design announced by Intel this week is being seen as an attempt to see off a threat from Arm Holdings, the UK chip designer, which challenges its dominance in microprocessors. The world’s biggest chipmaker by sales on Wednesday unveiled a breakthrough 3D structure for its next-generation processors that the US company estimated could give it a three-year lead over competitors.
PROSECUTOR RAILS AT DISASTROUS PLANS TO DISMANTLE THE SFO
Ministers’ plans to break up the Serious Fraud Office have been attacked by a top prosecutor as a “dangerous” move that will undermine Britain’s ability to fight fraud. Vivian Robinson, QC, the SFO’s general counsel who resigned last week, warns today that the “disastrous” plans would disrupt more than 100 fraud cases currently on the books.
NUCLEAR WORKERS VENTURE INTO REACTOR NO 1 AT FUKUSHIMA
Two nuclear workers, cocooned in protective suits and breathing from air packs, have become the first humans to venture into the still dangerously radioactive No 1 reactor at Fukushima Dai-ichi since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The team was restricted to just 40 minutes exposure time.
The Daily Telegraph
VIRGIN TEAMS UP WITH SPOTIFY
Virgin Media has teamed up with Spotify and will finally launch its much-delayed digital subscription-based music service “imminently”. According to a senior music industry executive, Spotify and Virgin Media have finalised a deal to launch a subscription music service and it will go live soon.
HAGUE EXPELS LIBYAN DIPLOMATS
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, ordered the explusion of two Libyan diplomats from its London embassy as he travelled to Rome to demand heavier military bombardment of Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Hague called for the beginning of a final push to topple the beleagured regime in Tripoli, more than seven weeks after a UN Security Council resolution authorised military action to protect civilians.
THE WALL STREET
ADIDAS BOOSTS SALES OUTLOOK FOR THE FULL YEAR
German sportswear and equipment maker Adidas said it will continue to raise prices to offset higher raw material costs and sees a potentially significant knock to its profit from the catastrophe in Japan, as it reported a 25 per cent jump in first quarter net profit and raised its sales guidance. “Japan is eating into our profit,” chief executive Herbert Hainer said.
YEN SURGE RAISES INTERVENTION SPECULATION
The Japanese yen surged yesterday to its strongest level against the dollar since the world’s biggest economies intervened to stop its rise two months ago.The move in early trading in Europe and the US, which sent the dollar below ¥80, stoked speculation that Japan could act again to tame its currency.