WATCHDOG HITS FRENCH AUDITORS
French auditors have been lambasted by the UK’s leading accountancy regulator for their performance during the Greek debt crisis. Stephen Haddrill, chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council, criticised the way French banks and insurers had been allowed by their auditors to post smaller losses on Greek government bonds than some European rivals.
LONDON FINE DINING GETS BOOST
Downturn, what downturn? That’s the response of London’s top restaurants as figures show a year-on-year spending increase of eight per cent on fine dining driven by the capital’s young gourmands mimicking the eating habits of their New York counterparts. It is those aged 18-29, driving a counter-cyclical trend in fine dining.
JIANG APPEARANCE ENDS RUMOURS OF HIS DEATH
Jiang Zemin, former president of China, appeared in the front line of the nation’s political leadership at a ceremony yesterday, quashing rumours that he was dead or dying.
Mr Jiang sat between the country’s two top leaders, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, at a commemoration of the 1911 Revolution, which marked the end of more than two thousand years of dynastic rule.
TATA FAILS TO ENGINEER SUCCESS FOR NANO
How could the company that saved the UK’s Jaguar Land Rover from bankruptcy fail to turn the Nano – a car sometimes dubbed a miracle of frugal engineering – into a blockbuster? That is the question being asked by analysts and investors following a turbulent year for the Tata Group, India’s second-largest industrial company, controlled by Ratan Tata.
DEVELOPER GRABS KING’S TROOP BARRACKS
The home of the King’s Troop, the ceremonial horse artillery, is set to be turned into luxury housing. St John’s Wood Barracks in north London is close to being sold to London Square, a developer set up by former executives of Barratt, the housebuilder. Sources said the price was “well in excess” of the £225m sought by the owner, the Eyre family trust.
MEERKAT DRIVES £33M DIVIDEND
It’s a huge payout, simples! Not content with a bestselling autobiography, the meerkat star of the television advertisements for Comparethemarket.com has helped generate a £33m dividend for the site’s parent firm. Aleksandr Orlov helped increase sales 17 per cent to £324.5m at BISL, the company that operates the insurance comparison site.
The Daily Telegraph
SFO DELAYS EADS SUBSIDIARY INQUIRY
A formal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into allegations that bribes were paid by a defence company with British links to Saudi Arabian officials is being delayed while the Government considers the political implications. The SFO is understood to have completed preliminary inquiries into claims that illegal payments were linked to a £2bn communications contract awarded to GPT, a subsidiary of EADS.
ALLIANZ MAY BE DISPENSING OF SELECTA BUSINESS
Insurance giant Allianz could be serving up its vending machines business Selecta in a potential £800m sale. Selecta, which Allianz bought from Compass Group in 2007 for £772m, employs 1,100 of its 6,000 staff in the UK and runs over 35,000 vending machines across the country.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
HONEYWELL FORECASTS WEAK BUSINESS-JET ORDERS
The largest annual show for business jets opened Sunday amid signs that global demand is likely to remain weak through at least 2012, and the eventual recovery is bound to be slower and more spotty than many industry officials previously predicted. New business-jet deliveries will fall at least 11% this year before starting to rise gradually next year, according to Honeywell International Inc.'s latest outlook on the segment.
CAIRO RELIGIOUS CLASHES LEAVE AT LEAST 19 DEAD
Three Egyptian military police officers were among at least 19 people killed in clashes between Muslims and Christians in downtown Cairo in one of the worst incidents of sectarian violence since the revolution in February.