ABN AMRO SEEKS NEW LIFE AS GLOBAL FORCE
ABN Amro, the Dutch bank that has seen two of its three post-crisis owners collapse, is on a mission to re-emerge as a force in the sector and has promised to be a buyer of Eurozone financial assets that capital-stretched banks are preparing to sell. Gerrit Zalm, the former Dutch finance minister who is now chief executive of the nationalised rump of ABN, said he had “spoken to almost all” of its European rivals about the idea.
VW TO OVERTAKE TOYOTA FOR TOP SPOT
Volkswagen will become the world’s biggest carmaker this year – seven years earlier than its management’s aim to replace Toyota in top spot, according to three leading consultancies.
FRC FIRES ACROSS THE BOW OF REGULATOR
The guardian of the UK corporate code has warned that it will speak out against overzealous regulators if it believes their activities are damaging Britain’s boardroom governance culture. The move by the Financial Reporting Council is seen by many as a shot across the bows of the Financial Services Authority.
F1 MEDIA RIGHTS SHOWDOWN LOOMS
The Formula One Teams Association has hired Evolution Media Capital, a boutique investment bank, to assess the value of its media rights before it negotiates a new funding agreement with CVC, the private equity firm that owns the sport. Fota,CVC, Bernie Ecclestone, the head of F1, and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the sport’s governing body, are next year due to negotiate a new “Concorde agreement”, which is set to divide up F1 revenues.
ONLINE BETTING CHIEFS OFFERED WORKERS INCENTIVES TO STRIKE
Britain’s most profitable online gaming and betting company is facing a deepening crisis after staff alleged that rebel managers offered them incentives to stage a walkout last week. William Hill Online continues to face disruption from its 180 staff in Israel and many did not turn up to work yesterday. The online betting group is a partnership between William Hill — which owns 71 per cent — and Playtech.
NERVOUS STEEL BUYERS CUT ORDERS
Steel production from British mills fell by 7.3 per cent over the past quarter, reflecting the weakness in manufacturing markets. UK Steel, the trade body, said that production of 179,300 tonnes per week between July and September was more than a third lower than pre-recession levels.
The Daily Telegraph
HEATING OIL SHORTAGE MAY BE WORSE AFTER LATE ORDERS
The heating-oil crisis exposing more than a million families to price spikes and shortages last winter may be even worse this year, according to the UK’s largest supplier. During the chaos, the Government had to intervene with emergency measures to deal with blockages, as the snow hampered deliveries. Prices also shot up by around 70pc, amid a rush for heating oil needed to keep many rural households warm.
RUPERT MURDOCH STILL UNDER PRESSURE FROM HERMES AND CHURCH OF ENGLAND FUNDS
The Church of England and Hermes have pledged to keep pushing for change at News Corp after Rupert Murdoch saw off a shareholder revolt last week over the phone-hacking scandal.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PACT MOVES TOWARD APPROVAL AT CHRYSLER
The United Auto Workers union appeared to be days away from completing its work with all three Detroit auto makers as more Chrysler Group workers threw their support behind the tentative contract. Rank-and-file members at the big Sterling Heights assembly plant in Michigan approved the accord, with more than 53 per cent of those voting supporting the pact, according to a union official.
STEVE JOBS DOWNPLAYED HIS CANCER, BIOGRAPHER SAYS
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs downplayed the seriousness of his battle with cancer for years even as he received secret treatments, biographer Walter Isaacson told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in a segment scheduled to air yesterday evening. It said Jobs resisted having surgery for cancer.