BOSTOCK IN TALKS TO QUIT M&S FOR ASOS
Kate Bostock, the head of Marks and Spencer’s clothing and homewares business, is in advanced talks to take up a senior role at Asos. People familiar with the situation said Bostock was talking to the online fashion retailer about becoming its managing director. Losing Bostock, who is in charge of M&S’s general merchandise business, including its crucial clothing range, would be a blow to Marc Bolland, who has been chief executive of the high street bellwether for the past 18 months.
OSBORNE PUTS BIG PROJECTS UP FOR SALE
George Osborne will next week hang a “for sale” sign over British infrastructure projects worth tens of billions of pounds, as he attempts to tempt UK pension funds, oil-rich Gulf states and other sovereign wealth funds to pay for new roads, railways, housing and other projects.
EUROPEANS TURN TO US JUNK BONDS TO RENEW BRIDGE LOANS
Banks in Europe are turning to the US junk bond market, loan investors and so-called “mezzanine” fund providers to offload Euopean bridge loans before the end of the year, but may still be forced to swallow losses on several high-profile deals.
SPOTIFY MANAGES TO WHISTLE UP HALF A MILLION NEW SUBSCRIBERS
Spotify, the digital music service, has added about half a million new subscribers in the two months since plugging into Facebook’s new entertainment platform. The announcement that Spotify has reached 2.5m paying subscribers comes after a rocky period for the Anglo-Swedish start-up, with launches in four new European countries offset against a renewed debate on artist earnings.
CLARKE STEPS DOWN AS CHIEF OF HERMES
Rupert Clarke has stepped down as chief executive of Hermes after four years at the helm of the ethically minded fund manager set up to run the assets of BT’s pension scheme. Hermes said yesterday that Mr Clarke’s departure was amicable as it appointed Saker Nusseibeh, its head of investment, as acting chief executive while it hunts for a replacement boss.
JET AIRWAYS JOINS STRUGGLERS AMID GATHERING STORM IN INDIAN AVIATION
India’s airline industry has suffered a fresh blow after the country’s largest and most successful carrier said that it was planning to sell aircraft and property and offer emergency loans to its no-frills subsidiary in order to secure its future.
The Daily Telegraph
WINE OUTPERFORMS EQUITIES AMID BUBBLE WARNING
Wine has outperformed equities, gold and oil, according to the latest monthly figures. A report from The Bordeaux Index revealed wine is the asset class that lost the least value in October. The FTSE 100 lost 8 per cent last month, and the Dow Jones index fell 9.5 per cent – but wine was the most defensive asset losing only 4.3 per cent, while gold fell 5.6 per cent in October.
BRIT INSURANCE APPOINTS ADVISERS ON SALE OF UK COMMERCIAL BUSINESS
Brit Insurance has appointed bankers to advise on a sale of its UK commercial business, estimated to be worth more than £150m. The Lloyd’s of London insurer is expected to close the first round of bidding for the division on Friday.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
HUNGARIAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HACKING INTO MARRIOTT
A Hungarian citizen pleaded guilty yesterday to hacking into Marriott International Inc. computers and threatening to reveal confidential information if the hotel company didn't offer him a job, the US Department of Justice said yesterday.
Attilla Nemeth, 26 years old, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the transmission of malicious code and a maximum of five years in prison for threatening to expose the confidential information.
CHINA IN SMARTPHONE LEAD
China overtook the US as the world’s largest smartphone market by volume in the third quarter, according to a report by research firm Strategy Analytics. Deliveries of smart phones to China grew 58 per cent in the third quarter from the previous quarter.