CLARKE REJECTS CALL FOR EU POWER GRAB
Ken Clarke has told Conservative eurosceptics to forget about repatriation of powers from Brussels at this week’s European Union summit, while urging David Cameron to focus on “how to maintain the financial stability of the western world.” The justice secretary’s comments, in an interview with the Financial Times, will infuriate the Conservative right, who want Cameron to wring concessions from the talks.
US PAYDAY LENDERS TARGET UK POOR
US lenders pushing short-term loans that charge up to 5,000 per cent interest per year are targeting low-income UK borrowers abandoned by high street banks. The so-called payday lenders, which also include homegrown companies, are drawn by Britain’s relatively unchecked market.
GLENCORE FLOTATION BRINGS TAX PERK TO SWISS VILLAGE’S RESIDENTS
Glencore’s $11bn flotation has proved an unexpected bonanza for the small Swiss village that is home to the commodity group’s chief executive. The residents of Rüschlikon, population 5,200, voted on Monday night to lower the local income tax rate after village coffers were swelled by their share of the new-found wealth of Ivan Glasenberg. Glasenberg is one of several Glencore executives who benefited from the initial public offering and reside in Rüschlikon.
ANDROID HITS 10BN TO NARROW APP GAP WITH APPLE
Google is beginning to bridge the “app gap” between its Android smartphones and Apple’s rival iPhone, as figures reveal users are downloading 1bn software applications per month on each of the two platforms. A vibrant ecosystem of apps is seen as vital to customers’ smartphone choices as competition increases.
BLOOD DIAMONDS ON SALE FOR £103M AS CHINA AND MUGABE BENEFIT FROM SPLIT
A company jointly owned by China and Zimbabwe has started selling diamonds from the notorious Marange field, the first such auction since the international ban on President Mugabe’s “blood diamonds” was lifted. Gems worth $160m (£103m) were on sale in a secure room of the state-owned Zimbabwe Minerals Marketing Corporation in Harare.
SPORTS DIRECT FINDS UNUSUAL ROUTE TO HELP AILING BLACKS LEISURE
Sports Direct has proposed a highly unusual joint venture with its ailing rival Blacks Leisure that would lead to the retailers sharing their warehouses and distribution network. Blacks, in which Sports Direct holds a 21 per cent stake, is desperate to raise fresh funds and refinance its £40m debt.
The Daily Telegraph
BOB DUDLEY SAYS HIGH OIL PRICES THREATEN ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Oil prices are so high as to risk stunting global economic growth, according to BP chief executive Bob Dudley. A combination of low supply and high prices could particularly damage the US and have a knock-on effect on the rest of the world, threatening the already fragile economic recovery, he said. Dudley predicted the price of Brent crude would average between $90 to $100 a barrel next year, while some industry analysts have forecast that it could rise even higher.
DENPLAN PUT UP FOR SALE BY AXA FOR £100M
Axa has put its dental-insurance business, Denplan, up for sale for a mouth watering £100m, the Daily Telegraph can reveal. Denplan covers more than 1.8m patients across the UK. It is the UK's biggest dental insurance firm.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
FORD SUCCESSION PLAN WILL TEST TURNAROUND METTLE
Over the last five years, Ford Motor Co. has pulled off a remarkable turnaround under chief executive Alan Mulally. Now, the auto maker faces its most daunting task: delicately managing the CEO’s succession. Mulally, who is 66 years old, is expected to give up the top post at the auto maker within the next two years, according to people familiar with the matter.
FACEBOOK FLAW EXPOSES ITS CEO
A security vulnerability in Facebook’s social-networking site exposed by some users sent the company scrambling for a fix after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s private photos were published online. In a 27 November post on the web forum Bodybuilding.com, an anonymous writer listed step-by-step instructions on how to access private photos.