RBS TO PRESS ON WITH BONUSES
Royal Bank of Scotland is determined to press ahead with plans to pay out promised bonuses to investment bank boss John Hourican and other top staff, despite growing rhetoric from the government about excessive pay. RBS, which is 83 per cent owned by taxpayers, has long been the focal point of government ire over banker pay. A tussle is underway with UKFI, which manages the government’s stake, about the overall bonus pool RBS wants to pay its investment bankers, with the tally set to be halved to less than £500m.
MIGRANTS HAVE NO IMPACT ON JOBS
A long-held assumption that high levels of immigration inthe past decade led to a rise in unemployment has been challenged by research. The report, published by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) found that migration in local areas has “essentially no impact” on the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in those regions.
BIOFUEL PRODUCTION DOWN IN 2011
The growth of the biofuel industry has come to an abrupt halt with annual output last year falling for the first time in a decade due to poor margins in Brazil and the US, the world’s biggest suppliers. Global biofuel production dropped to 1.819m barrels a day, from 1.822m b/d in 2010.
EURO SHIFT HIGHLIGHTS REVIVAL OF CARRY TRADE IN CURRENCY MARKETS
The borrowing of euros by traders to invest in global assets is rising, in a shift that banks say marks the start of a revival of a so-called carry trade in currency markets. Investment banks say hedge funds are now shorting the euro at record levels as bearishness over the single currency increased.
MONTI TO VISIT CITY OF LONDON
Italy’s new technocrat leader will court leading City investors in person on a trip to London next week in an effort to win over the financial markets. Mario Monti, who serves as Prime Minister and Economy Minister, will hold a road show after talks with David Cameron on January 18. The Italian Embassy has sent 80 invitations to key City bankers and fund managers to the session at the London Stock Exchange.
SPOOKED INVESTORS FLEE EQUITIES
Private investors have staged their biggest retreat from the share market in at least 20 years, according to new figures released yesterday. Investors pulled a net £864m from the market in November, as redemptions exceeded new purchases of unit trusts and other funds, said the Investment Management Association.
The Daily Telegraph
ERIC CANTONA ANNOUNCES BID FOR FRENCH PRESIDENCY
Eric Cantona, the former Manchester United striker, has said he wants to run in this year’s presidential election in France and is trying to gather the signatures needed to do so. The footballer, who would need the backing of 500 elected officials by the end of February to run, has sent a letter to French mayors describing himself as an “engaged citizen” and asking for their support.
WAITROSE HELPS PRINCE OF WALES’S DUCHY TURN A PROFIT
Two years ago Duchy Originals was criticised as a vanity project of the Prince of Wales, hit by falling sales and mounting losses, as consumers cut back on organic food. However, under a new deal with Waitrose, the food manufacturer has made a profit for the first time in four years.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
JP MORGAN CEO: HOUSING MARKET IS NEAR BOTTOM
JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon said yesterday that the US housing market has neared its bottom, though it could remain there for a year. Speaking at the bank’s health-care conference, Dimon said the country is likely to need more new homes in the coming years as supply and demand are balanced and housing is more affordable than ever.
WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF DALEY RESIGNS
White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley surprised President Barack Obama by resigning after a year at the start of the 2012 campaign. Obama said Daley will be succeeded by 56-year-old White House budget director, Jack Lew. Daley had been tasked with repairing the president’s soured relations with business.