CHINA EYES BARTER PLAN TO BYPASS US SANCTIONS ON IRAN PAYMENTS
Tehran and Beijing are in talks about using a barter system to exchange Iranian oil for Chinese goods and services, as US financial sanctions have blocked China from paying at least $20bn for oil exports. The US sanctions against Iran, which make it difficult to conduct dollar-denominated business, mean China might owe the oil-rich nation as much as $30bn, according to people familiar with the problem.
OVER THE MOON
Moonpig.com, the online retailer of personalised greetings cards, has been bought by PhotoBox, the digital photo service, in a £120m deal that the companies hope will build scale in a rapidly expanding market. The deal will seal a multimillion-pound payday for founder Nick Jenkins.
FIAT AND CHRYSLER CLOSER TO FULL TIE-UP
Fiat and Chrysler will step closer towards a full merger this week when the carmakers report combined financial results for the first time and outline a joint management structure. Fiat’s second-quarter results, due out tomorrow, will include one month’s figures from Chrysler. Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of the two companies, is also expected to outline plans for a unified 25-member executive team.
TESCO TO OFFER FREE IN-STORE WI-FI
Tesco is poised to offer customers a free WiFi internet service in its stores in what is thought to be a first for a British supermarket. The move comes as Britain’s biggest retailer seeks to reinvigorate its domestic business, under Philip Clarke, the new chief executive. Customers will be able to compare prices and read reviews as they shop.
GREEN ENERGY ATTRACTS FORMER JARVIS BOSS BACK INTO SPOTLIGHT
The fallen boss of the Jarvis rail maintenance company is planning what could be a remarkable stock market return with a company that turns rubbish into power. Advanced Plasma Power is in the vanguard of energy-from-waste technologies and its shareholders have signalled that once it wins what it expects to be a series of contracts nationwide, they will want to crystalise their investment.
BIG SHOPS GET IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, WITH ONLY 150 DAYS TO GO
The sun is shining at last, the country is packing for summer holidays and the big retailers’ thoughts are turning to . . . Christmas. Harrods and Selfridges open their Christmas shops this Thursday, a week earlier than usual, allowing millions of tourists in London to buy baubles for the tree.
The Daily Telegraph
THOMAS COOK TO SEE 1,100 “GHOST FLIGHTS” TO BOOST PROFIT
Embattled airline company Thomas Cook will see more than 1,100 flights take off from British airports this summer with no passengers to help increase profits. Thomas Cook, which has 42 planes and flies to 201 locations, plans to run 1,133 empty aircraft from British airports in the six months from April to October – usually a peak time for holiday companies.
SAVOY LOSSES HIT £31M AFTER REVAMP
The Savoy hotel racked up £31m of operating losses in 2010 but is expecting to move back into the black this year. Losses increased nearly six-fold in the year to December 2010, from £5.5m in 2009 as renovation work at the landmark London hotel ran 18 months over schedule. In all the Savoy owes its backers £241m in loans.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
COPYCAT APPLE STORE PROMPTS CHINA INVESTIGATION
Chinese authorities in the southwestern city of Kunming have launched a sweeping investigation of electronics stores after media reports said one retail outlet seemed to be copying Apple’s store format. The inspection will cover business licences, authorized permits of brand use, and the purchasing channels of each store, said China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
FRANCE TÉLÉCOM TO SHUTTER ITS MINITEL
Next year, Minitel – France's precursor to the Internet – will finally meet its maker. For 30 years the toaster-sized screen weathered the Internet revolution. Despite a text-only service, basic graphics and snail-like speed, the terminal generated €30m in revenue in 2010,