CAR LOANS SPEED UP AT CLOSE BROTHERS
Close Brothers has reported strong growth at its banking arm in the six months to 31 January, but profits were held back by its securities and asset management divisions. Profits at the banking division have grown since the start of the financial crisis, as it expanded into gaps left by larger retail banks, such as motor finance.
TCHENGUIZ AND RAHIMIAN HALT LEGAL DISPUTE
Vincent Tchenguiz and his former friend Keyvan Rahimian have ended their legal dispute a week into their High Court trial. The billionaire property investor was due to take to the witness stand this week in a dispute with Mr Rahimian, who was suing him for over £6m. Mr Tchenguiz was counter-suing for £2m.
AUDI IN TALKS TO BUY ITALY’S DUCATI
Volkswagen’s Audi brand is in talks to buy the Italian motorcycle maker Ducati from its private equity owner, as the German group seeks to extend its automotive empire and fulfil its chairman’s ambition.
TCI TAKES ON COAL INDIA
The Children’s Investment Fund has threatened legal action against state-backed Coal India in a rare sign of shareholder activism in India that could further hamper New Delhi’s faltering divestment programme, accusing it of being “reckless and lacking integrity” towards minority investors.
BLOCKADE ON LABORATORY TEST ANIMALS HITS RESEARCH
Medical research is being put at risk because Britain’s ferry operators and airlines have capitulated to the demands of animal rights activists not to allow the transportation of mice, rabbits and rats into the country for testing.
FSA CHIEF SAYS CONSUMERS ARE BEING HOODWINKED
The head of the Financial Services Authority has launched a broadside against innovation in the City, accusing parts of the Square Mile of developing complex products that mislead regulators and hoodwink consumers, in an interview with The Times.
The Daily Telegraph
M&S MOVES INTO SAVILE ROW, WHILE LONG-SERVING DIRECTOR QUITS
The country’s biggest clothes retailer has taken a lease on an office in the heart of London’s tailoring district. Marc Bolland, CEO, also hit back at accusations the management team is unhappy, after Andrew Skinner, the non-food merchandising director and member of the management committee, left the business after 28 years.
CABLE TO UP ATTACK ON EXEC PAY
Vince Cable will step up his war on fat-cat pay by launching his controversial plans to make corporate remuneration reports subject to a binding vote by investors, every year, he is expected to say at a formal launch today.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
RISK PROVISIONS CUT INTO GERMAN CENTRAL BANK PROFIT
Deutsche Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said yesterday that higher risk provisions weighed on the central bank’s profit, reducing the money it can transfer to the German federal government.
FRENCH FLOUR INDUSTRY FINED
France’s antitrust watchdog yesterday fined French flour millers for rigging the domestic retail market for more than 40 years. In addition, it fined French and German flour producers for restricting cross-border sales for much of the past decade. The fines totaled €242.4m, the fourth-largest amount it has imposed since 2000.