BANK OFFERS TRADES FOR EUROZONE SHORTING
Credit Suisse is offering its hedge fund clients off-the-shelf products that allow traders to replicate hypothetical gains made by betting against European stock indices that include equities covered by Eurozone short selling bans. The bank has made five shortable baskets “optimised” to track leading European indices as closely as possible.
NATIONWIDE CONSIDERS SME LOANS TO FILL BANKING VOID
Nationwide, the UK’s largest building society, is considering offering loans to small and medium-sized businesses to broaden its traditional customer base and fill a void left by the country’s biggest banks. The plans are at an early stage and it is unlikely that Nationwide will be in a position to offer SME loans until at least next year.
BSKYB AXES FUNDING FOR CURRENT UK
Current, the television channel co-founded by Al Gore, former US vice-president, has reacted furiously to the news that its UK arm might have to close after satellite broadcaster BSkyB’s decision to remove it from its pay TV line-up. BSkyB, which is part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, said the decision to let go of the liberal-leaning news and documentary channel was a commercial one given its persistently low ratings.
GREEKS AND SPANIARDS LINE UP TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF GOETHE
At least one group of workers has enjoyed a boom in the midst of the Eurozone debt crisis – German language teachers. Günther Schwinn-Zur, 61, a veteran of more than two decades at the Goethe Institute, which promotes German culture, has never seen business so good. Demand for language courses at the Frankfurt centre that he heads rose by a third last year.
CLASSIC AMERICAN SNACK ON THE RACK
They have been a mainstay of America’s sugar-rich national diet for 80 years. But Twinkies face an uncertain future after the baker of the cream-filled snacks filed for bankruptcy protection. Hostess Brands, a Texas-based company that churns out the treats, blames battles with unions for its second descent into insolvency in eight years.
DELHI MAY OPEN UP TO AIRLINE INVESTORS
The Indian government could open up the country’s airline sector to foreign investors to provide much needed cash to a struggling industry. A government panel has recommended allowing overseas airlines to own stakes of up to 49 per cent in the country’s carriers. Ajit Singh, India’s Aviation Minister, said the government would make a decision within days.
The Daily Telegraph
FACEBOOK'S SHARE OF UK SOCIAL NETWORKING DECLINES
Facebook usage in the UK has fallen by more than seven percentage points in the last year, fuelling concerns that it may have hit saturation point. The social network still attracted significantly more online attention than its nearest competitor, accounting for 52.6 per cent of all visits to social networks in December.
BETFAIR AGREES TO PAY OUT OVER VOIDED BETS AT LEOPARDSTOWN
Betfair has agreed to make almost £100,000 of ex-gratia payments to irate punters who saw their bets voided after a technical glitch on a race at Leopardstown. In an attempt to quell a row and avert potential legal action, the betting exchange operator is honouring the wagers of some gamblers who bet on the Christmas Hurdle, won by Voler La Vedette on December 28.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
DOUGLAS HOLDING FAMILY IN TALKS WITH BUYOUT GROUPS
Leveraged-buyout firms including Apax Partners are in talks with the founding family of Douglas Holding AG to potentially take the German retailer private, according to people familiar with the matter, in what could be one of the largest recent leveraged-buyout deals. The Kreke family, which owns a 12 per cent stake in Hagen, Germany-based Douglas, has approached three buyout firms about doing a deal, the people said.
COORS LIGHT TOPS BUD AS NO. 2 BEER
Coors Light knocked Budweiser off its perch to become the second best-selling beer by volume in the US last year, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. The new No. 2 brew ended the year 2011 with sales of 18.23m barrels, a 0.8 per cent gain. Budweiser slipped 4.6 per cent to 17.7m barrels.