IT has been hard to avoid the stories about the making of Rivendell, the fictional Hobbit colony out in New Zealand. But here is a current construction that leaves the film village looking elf-like in comparison.
Russian oligarch and chairman of Evraz, Alexander Abramov, is the owner of New Zealand’s biggest, most expensive new residential development in rural Helena Bay.
Granted The Capitalist could not think of a more secluded sunshine retreat to escape to. However, what the local farmers of Whangarei will make of their new glamorous Russian neighbours is a question yet to be answered.
■ Wine merchant Oddbins is promoting an unusual offer on bottles this January. The firm is offering discounts to bankers, gingers, Germans and mothers on certain weekends. The reason for this niche philanthropy? “For the last two months we’ve been spreading love almost willy-nilly. Now we have decided to give our love focus.” Right... And who better to receive it than the much maligned finance industry? Two ginger bankers who would qualify for a double whammy discount are Bank of America Merrill Lynch chairman of global corporate and investment banking Rupert Hume-Kendall and Terra Firma chairman Guy Hands. Although presumably both could get by without that pound off a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. If readers can suggest any ginger German mothers who work in banking, The Capitalist would like to hear from you.