FEARS RAISED AS “LACK OF CAUTION” FUELS COMMERCIAL PROPERTY VALUES
Commercial real estate values have been spurred by a “lack of caution” on the back of an “astonishing” rebound in lending to the sector, according to one of the largest global fund managers. LaSalle Investment e, which manages $45bn (£27bn) of real estate assets across the world, will this week warn that the recovery in commercial real estate is well ahead of what fundamental economic activity in some markets should support.
DOUBTS CAST ON FSA’S NEW PAY CODE FOR BANKS
Only one in three bank executives based in London believes that the Financial Service Authority’s tough new pay code will curb risk-taking while four in five think it will harm the City’s competitiveness, a survey by PA Consulting Group has found. The survey of top human resources executives at 50 UK banks and UK offices of global banks comes two years after the FSA began reviewing banker pay with an eye to promoting financial stability.
PURE GYM RAISES CASH TO BEEF UP
A low-cost UK fitness chain catering to commitment-phobes has secured funding to double in size. Pure Gym, which offers access to its facilities without a monthly contract, raised £9m from Barclays and private investors to expand from 15 gyms to 28 by the end of next year.
FRENCH SOLE STEPS OUT IN ASIA
French Sole, which sells ballet-style shoes beloved of the Duchess of Cambridge, is opening its first franchised stores in Asia in a prelude to further international expansion for the privately owned UK business. It has opened a store in Kuala Lumpur.
DRIVERS SETTLE FOR NEW PARTS INSTEAD OF NEW CARS
Sales of new cars in Britain may be under pressure but the market for parts is in ruder health. Euro Car Parts, the largest distributor of replacement components for cars and vans, reported profit up by a third in the first six months of the year. Sales increased by 30 per cent to £164 million with sales to large customers rising 150 per cent.
HERE’S THE DEAL ... NOW WE WANT 25 PER CENT OF THE PROFITS
The developer who brought New York style “loft living” to Britain is being sued by a property agent over the restoration of the Victorian Gothic St Pancras Hotel. Charles Lissack has filed a lawsuit against Manhattan Loft Corporation at the High Court in London, claiming a quarter of the corporation’s profit on the project.
The Daily Telegraph
DUCATI REVS UP FOR A £900M HONG KONG IPO
Luxury motorcycle maker Ducati is poised for a £900m Hong Kong flotation as China becomes its main market for selling bikes. The 85-year-old Italian company, which made £79m of profits last year, has launched an informal beauty parade for banks as it draws up plans for a possible 2012 IPO.
The listing will follow IPOs from other luxury goods companies such as Samsonite and Prada that have also debuted on the Hong Kong bourse.
COMMODITY BULLS IN $21BN SELL-OFF
The extent of the panic that gripped financial markets last week has been laid bare by figures that showed speculators slashed their bets in US commodity markets by record margins. Positions were cut by $21bn (£13bn) during the week to August 9.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
HONG KONG POSTS SURPRISE ECONOMIC CONTRACTION
Softening demand for exports and weakness in the financial sector threaten a deeper slowdown for Hong Kong after a surprise contraction in the territory’s economy in the second quarter. Waning global demand and supply-chain disruptions following the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan led to a 11.1 per cent drop in exports from the first quarter, a dramatic reversal from a 14.4 per cent rise in the previous quarter.
PANEL SEEKS AN UPGRADE FOR AIRLINE PILOT TRAINING
Commercial pilots need enhanced manual flying skills, improved leadership abilities and greater access to advanced simulators, according to a group of experts asked by Congress to recommend safety improvements for US airlines.