UK BUILDERS SEE VALUE OF ORDERS COLLAPSE
The value of work awarded to UK construction companies crashed during the past year, raising concerns that the impact of government spending cuts will be far worse than previously feared. The total value of new work awarded to the UK’s 50 leading construction companies fell by 39 per cent during the 12 months to May, compared with the same period a year earlier, as school, hospital and road building projects were shelved.
SFO CHIEF SEEKS 50 PER CENT SALARY RISES FOR STAFF
The head of Britain’s white-collar crime agency wants to raise salaries by 50 per cent in a bid to stem a flow of departures, attract high-calibre recruits from private practice and compete with better-funded regulators. “I am concerned about the comparability of salaries for people who can move easily between the enforcers and the regulators, and there are different salary arrangements that cause me concern,” Richard Alderman, director of the Serious Fraud Office, told the Financial Times.
WALMART CHINA’S RANKS SUFFER DOUBLE BLOW
Walmart’s business in China has hit an unexpected bump with the sudden resignation of two senior executives at a time when it is facing increasing competition in the country. The world’s largest retailer by sales said that Roland Lawrence, its chief financial officer in China, and Rob Cissell, its China chief operating officer, had both resigned “due to personal reasons to explore other opportunities”. Walmart is looking to China and other emerging markets to offset the flat performance of its US business, where it has limited growth potential.
TALKTALK SLAMMED FOR DISHONESTY AND DECEIT
TalkTalk has been “dishonest, misleading or deceptive” in hoodwinking customers into signing up to new telephone packages, Ofcom ruled yesterday. The regulator said that the company, which has been under fire in the past for poor customer services, had contravened strict mis-selling rules designed to protect consumers by “providing misleading information that is likely to affect a customer’s purchasing decision”.
OUTDOOR FIRM ON THE PATH TO EXPANSION
GO Outdoors has cashed in on the seemingly infinite interest for climbing, camping and other outdoor equipment by securing a £30 million credit facility from Lloyds Banking Group. It plans to add ten stores this year to take its total to forty outlets.
The Daily Telegraph
CISCO SUED BY RELIGIOUS DISSIDENTS FOR HELPING CHINA MONITOR INTERNET
Chinese religious dissidents have launched a lawsuit against Cisco, alleging that the US technology giant knowingly built equipment that the Chinese government intended to use to target its opponents. Practitioners of Falun Gong allege Cisco had a key role in building a “Golden Shield”, an internet firewall that the China uses to censor the web and track down dissidents.
HOME BUYERS TO SPEND HALF OF TAKE-HOME PAY ON MORTGAGE
Home buyers will spend more than half of their take-home pay on their mortgage once interest rates begin to rise again, analysts warned yesterday.
Economists said there is ‘no doubt’ that Bank of England interest rates will return to around 5 per cent.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NORWAY RAPS SHELL FOR RISKING OIL LEAK
Royal Dutch Shell has been rapped by Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority for a maintenance error on an oil well that had “major accident potential” and risked an oil leak. The incident occurred in December 2010 on Norway’s Draugen field, which produces around 50,000 barrels of oil a day, the PSA watchdog said on its website yesterday.
AIR FRANCE BLACK BOXES POINT TO PILOT ERROR
The pilots of an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean two years ago apparently became distracted with faulty airspeed indicators and failed to properly deal with other vital systems, including adjusting engine thrust, according to people familiar with preliminary findings from the plane’s recorders.