GERMAN parties negotiating a coalition deal have overcome one of the most divisive issues in the talks, agreeing to a demand by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies to introduce a motorway toll for foreign-registered cars.
LUXURY brands revised down their profit forecasts yesterday as growth in key Chinese markets continued to slow, dragging shares lower.
BARNES & Noble, the largest US bookstore chain, reported an eight per cent drop in quarterly revenue yesterday as sales fell across all its businesses, including its stores and Nook e-readers and e-books.
TIFFANY & Co swam against the tide for luxury firms yesterday as it reported a higher quarterly profit.
BANK note printer De La Rue increased its profits in the six months to September, the firm reported yesterday, as it successfully slashed costs.
Revenues fell five per cent in the year to £234m as print volumes dropped 10 per cent.
LAST year Chinese tourists heading to France outnumbered those visiting Britain by more than five-to-one.
INVESTMENT manager SEI was fined £900,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority yesterday for failing to protect client money properly.
SHARES in British pharmaceutical firm BTG jumped yesterday after it said US regulators had approved its varicose vein treatment that uses an injectable foam to dissolve the veins as an alternative to surgical removal.
SOARING buy-to-let lending boosted Paragon’s profits in the year to September, the specialist lender said yesterday.
Pre-tax profits jumped 10.4 per cent to £105.4m, up from £95.5m in the previous 12-month period.
GREENCORE posted a robust rise in full-year profits yesterday after recovering in the second half from a slump in the ready meal market caused by the horsemeat scandal.
SHARES in British pubs group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) soared yesterday after it announced better-than-forecast sales and operating margins.
SHALE gas explorer IGas yesterday said it has begun exploration drilling at Barton, Greater Manchester, as it unveiled first-half profits that had more than halved from last year.
SHAREHOLDERS in UK shale developer Dart Energy have backed a boardroom coup, voting out the chairman and his allies despite his warning that the move was an attempt to acquire the company on the cheap.
NICK BATRAM PEEL HUNT
ONE of the biggest proposed US law firm mergers of the year has been called off, the leaders of the two firms confirmed yesterday.
CLIFFORD Chance’s David Bickerton has been handed a second term as London managing partner of the Magic Circle law firm, following an uncontested election.
Dublin-headquartered oil and gas explorer San Leon Energy yesterday said its latest fracking test in the Gdansk region in Poland’s northern Baltic Basin has exceeded expectations.
Gold explorer Aureus Mining yesterday said that it has hired DRA Mineral Projects to provide engineering, procurement, construction and management services for the New Liberty gold project in Liberia.
Aim-listed iron ore explorer Sable Mining, co-founded by ex-England cricketer Phil Edmonds, said yesterday that its subsidiary West Africa Exploration has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Liberian government.
COMMUNICATIONS and IT services provider Kcom Group will split the roles of chairman and chief executive, it revealed alongside hints of a significant upcoming government contract win.
PINEWOOD Shepperton, the home of the James Bond series, has reeled in strong first-half growth but warned its needs more space to cope with demand for filming.
BAYER has offered to pay £1.4bn for Norway’s Algeta, its partner for a new prostate cancer treatment, at a 27 per cent premium to the stock’s last close, Algeta said yesterday.
SOLARWORLD, once Germany’s top solar group, agreed to buy one of Bosch’s solar panel plants, as the car parts supplier rids itself of a business that caused it to post billions of euros worth of losses.
Tarsus, the emerging markets exhibitions firm, has bought a 50 per cent stake in EJ Krause, marking the company’s first step into the Mexican market.
Germany’s competition watchdog has dropped an investigation into Amazon after it agreed to stop forcing third-party merchants to offer their cheapest price when selling on its site.
US advertising company Omnicom and French peer Publicis have asked EU antitrust regulators to approve their proposed $35.1bn merger to create the world number one agency.
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BRITAIN’S benchmark equity index fell yesterday, pulled down by major drinks stocks such as SAB Miller and Diageo on signs of slowing consumer demand in China.
THE Nasdaq composite index closed above 4,000 yesterday for the first time since 2000, while the Dow and S&P ended barely changed.
CHANCELLOR George Osborne announced a surprise cap on payday loan costs yesterday, turning the government’s previous policy towards the short-term lending firms on its head.
AN INFLUENTIAL group of Lords is threatening to derail chancellor George Osborne’s key banking reforms with a series of challenges in parliament today.
LAWYERS from Clifford Chance will investigate claims RBS forced small firms into difficulties so the bank could strip them of assets, the lender’s chief executive Ross McEwan said yesterday.
SOMETIMES I really do wonder who is in power in this country. Is it a Tory-Lib Dem coalition, dedicated to ensuring the UK is open to business, or is it the Labour party?
FORMER Bank of England governor Lord Mervyn King may be asked to give evidence to the Treasury Select Committee investigating the collapse of the Co-op’s purchase of Lloyds Bank branches, after claims he told a rival bidder its bid would get nowhe
BRENT crude prices fell only slightly yesterday as traders began to question how soon a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran could translate into higher supplies to global markets.
FORMER governor of the Bank of England Robin Leigh-Pemberton, Lord Kingsdown, died on Sunday night at the age of 86.
OFFICIAL data releases may be too big for the Office for National Statistics’ computer systems to handle, watchdog the UK Statistics Authority has warned.
HUNDREDS of Barclays’ highest paid staff are in line for extra payments to top up their salaries and replace the income lost by the EU’s incoming bonus cap, the bank has told workers.
THE BIG six energy companies defended themselves yesterday against allegations of hefty profits, after a report from regulator Ofgem showed that the generation parts of their businesses had an average profit margin of 20 per cent last year.
FINANCING problems have hit RWE Innogy’s 240-turbine wind farm plan off the Devon cost, it was reported last night, which could force the group to scrap the project.
BRITAIN’S railways could carry more commuters without spending billions on upgrades if trains offered third-class carriages with almost no seats, a report out yesterday claimed.
ZERO hours contracts are being attacked on unreasonable grounds and their excessive regulation should be avoided, according to a report published today.
INVESTMENT managers often spend their commission on data and services which are not allowed under the rules and in conflict with the interests of the clients that pay those fees, the Financial Conduct Authority warned yesterday.
UK SERVICES are still building strength as the year comes to a close, with the quickest increase in optimism for 15 years recorded in the three months to November.
BIG BUSINESS dominates the UK workforce more than in any other country in the EU, according to figures released yesterday by the European Commission.
AS MANY as 60 multinational companies are predicted to shift their headquarters to the UK over the next 18 months, according to new research from accountancy firm EY.
THE GOVERNMENT kicked off years of parliamentary jostling over the High Speed 2 project yesterday by publishing the law needed to start building work.
AS WORK on the £15bn Crossrail project nears the halfway point, a report out yesterday showed that accidents and noise complaints have jumped in the last year.