ROYAL MAIL LOOKS TO DELIVER IPO NEXT YEAR
The coalition government aims to begin the privatisation of Royal Mail by selling or floating at least part of it in autumn 2013 if the state-owned postal operator’s finances continue to improve. The sell-off would be Britain’s most ambitious privatisation since John Major broke up and sold the railways in the 1990s. Analysts think Royal Mail could be worth up to £3bn-£4bn.
WATCHDOGS NEED MORE BITE, SAYS OUTGOING FSA ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
UK financial watchdogs should step up penalties and tackle a wider range of fraud cases to make sure the City continues to take the law seriously, Margaret Cole, a top Financial Services Authority official, has urged as she prepares to leave for the private sector.
BANKS SET TO CUT $1TN FROM BALANCE SHEETS
Investment banks are to shrink their balance sheets by another $1tn or up to seven per cent globally within the next two years, says a report that foresees a shake-up of market share in the industry. Higher funding costs and increased regulatory pressure to bolster capital will force wholesale banks also to cut 15 per cent, or up to $0.9tn, of assets that are weighted by risk, a joint report by Morgan Stanley and consultants Oliver Wyman predicts.
GOOGLE FLEXES ITS MUSCLES OVER MOBILE WALLETS
An attempt by some of Britain’s largest telecoms networks to turn the mobile phone into a mobile wallet faces a setback after it emerged that Google will try to block its progress.
The mobile phone companies – Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere – have submitted their plan to the European Commission.
UK FOOD EXPORTS STILL SURGING AHEAD
Selling salmon to the US, cheese to the French and meat and poultry to Hong Kong drove an 11.4 per cent rise in UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports last year to £12.15bn.
The Daily Telegraph
NICK CLEGG HAILS KOREAN TRADE DEAL AS £2BN OPPORTUNITY FOR BRITAIN
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg signed a trade agreement with South Korea that he said could create £2bn of export opportunities for British businesses and add £500m to the UK economy.
HOUSING SCHEME ‘FAVOURS BIG BUILDERS’
The flagship housing scheme launched by the Government is helping big builders at the expense of small and medium-sized firms, according to industry complaints. The House Builders Association (HBA) has complained.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
SINOPEC'S FULL-YEAR PROFIT EDGES HIGHER
China Petroleum & Chemical said yesterday that its net profit for 2011 rose two per cent as higher oil prices and fuel sales outweighed lower refining margins. The Beijing-based company, also known as Sinopec, said it expects China’s demand for petrochemical products to continue to grow, though at a slower pace, this year.
ANTICLOT DRUG TESTS MERCK & CO.
An experimental Merck & Co. anticlotting drug, vorapaxar, proved effective in a study at preventing heart attacks for heart disease patients, but increased the risk of significant bleeding.