STANDARD Chartered yesterday became the first international bank to open a full branch in Iraq.
The UK-listed lender, which specialises in emerging markets, opened the branch in Baghdad.
A GIANT Louis Vuitton suitcase in Moscow’s Red Square is set to be dismantled after locals criticised the installation for trivialising a “sacred space” for the Russian state.
GEORGE Osborne should ease the burden of buying a house by reducing the huge jumps in stamp duty at each price threshold in next week’s Autumn Statement, leading tax adviser Baker Tilly urged yesterday.
YELLOW Pages parent company Hibu has been placed into administration after it agreed a financial restructuring plan with lenders.
THE Italian Senate yesterday voted to expel former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud.
GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right party yesterday secured a deal with the country’s social democrats for the formation of a new government, after months of negotiations.
THE TROUBLED Greek economy will continue to shrink in 2014, despite official forecasts to the contrary, according to international researchers.
ITALIAN bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena would be nationalised without a capital injection and disappear from its base in Siena, bank executives said in an attempt to overcome local opposition to its planned rights issue.
Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis resigned yesterday, taking responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof that killed 54 people last week and plunging the Baltic state into turmoil weeks ahead of its entry into the Eurozone.
European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Jorg Asmussen yesterday insisted that Ireland is not eligible for Brussels’ bond-buying programme, following the country’s decision to exit its bailout without a precautionary credit line.
Spanish retail sales fell 0.5 per cent last month compared to the same time a year earlier, the country’s official statistics office INE revealed yesterday.
THE largest US banks may need to pay out up to an additional $105bn (£64.5bn) to settle legacy mortgage-related issues, but have a capital cushion that would help them absorb these losses, according to a report by ratings agency Standard & Poo
FRENCH judicial authorities probing Swiss bank UBS over allegations it illegally sold products designed to avoid French taxes visited the bank’s headquarters in Paris yesterday, a UBS spokesman said.
FTSE 100-listed water company United Utilities yesterday said it plans to use a tax settlement to keep price increases in line with inflation next year, as it unveiled increased half-year revenues and earnings.
ENERGY giant RWE Npower is set to cut 1,400 UK jobs and close three sites in the North East of England.
INSOLVENCIES among Britain’s largest companies more than halved in October when compared to a year earlier, according to data released by Experian yesterday.
FTSE 100-listed engineering firm Amec’s shares plunged 3.5 per cent yesterday, after speculation of a takeover approach for US rival Foster Wheeler triggered fears of a rights issue that would dilute the stock’s value.
THE UK’S oil and gas sector is suffering from a skills shortage and is looking for talent outside of the industry, according to a report released today.
LONDON corporate lawyer Matthew Layton has been named as the next global managing partner of Clifford Chance, replacing David Childs when he steps down early next year.
MONCLER, an Italian maker of luxury fur lined puffer jackets, yesterday announced plans to float on the Milan stock exchange, hoping to replicate the success of Brunello Cucinelli, the luxury retail group that went public in early 2012.
ELECTRA Private Equity’s 20 investment team staff are each set to receive an average payout of about £3m following a year of gains for its portfolio.
COMPASS launched its third buy-back in two years yesterday as the world’s biggest catering company posted a nine per cent rise in full-year profits to £1.2bn.
KEITH BOWMAN HARGREAVES LANSDOWN
FTSE 250-listed Hochschild Mining’s share price soared over seven per cent yesterday morning, after the gold and silver miner showed it had swung back into the black in the first nine months of the year.
PAWNBROKER Albemarle & Bond saw its share price collapse 33 per cent yesterday after it warned that it expects to make a loss during the first five months of the year.
CHICKEN restaurant chain Nando’s has beefed up its profits in the last year after opening new branches.
FROZEN food specialist Iceland is moving back into white goods by starting an online appliances store in partnership with DRL Limited – the parent company that launched Appliances Online more than 10 years ago.
FINDEL said yesterday that efforts to turn the business around were starting to pay off, as the home shopping group narrowed losses in the first half of the year from £6m to £400,000.
TESCO yesterday shut the door on its loss-making move into the US after completing the sale of its Fresh & Easy business to American billionaire Ron Burkle’s investment firm Yucaipa.
ITALIAN insurer Generali is aiming to pay higher dividends to investors as its turnaround plan to cut debt through a string of asset disposals and hefty cost savings starts to pay off, its new chief executive said yesterday.
OXFORD Instruments said it had made a firm offer to buy scientific camera maker Andor Technology for about £159m, the same price it indicated it would be willing to pay earlier this month.
WEST END landlord Shaftesbury said yesterday it is looking to shake up Chinatown by refurbishing some of the buildings and bringing in new restaurant operators from the Far East, as the group posted strong full-year figures.
THE CHIEF executive of Telford Homes said the group aims to double in size in the next five years after reporting a strong first half.
THE BOARD of Spain’s Repsol unanimously agreed yesterday to start formal talks with Argentina over a compensation offer for assets Buenos Aires seized last year that could end an 18-month standoff between the two countries.
LUTON’S new operators pledged to transform the airport yesterday as their deal for the right to run the Bedfordshire site was completed.
The outgoing chief executive of French carmaker Peugeot Citroen said yesterday he would forego his pension package after an outcry from both labour unions and government ministers.
The European Commission will unveil the results of a study of the EU laws governing refiners by September 2014, officials said yesterday.
Serco announced yesterday that it has sold its London streets maintenance and UK transport technology business to Cubic Corporation for £43.5m.
BRITISH pubs owner Punch Taverns said its earnings rose 1.4 per cent during the first 12 weeks of its new financial year, giving the firm a boost ahead of a debt restructuring vote.
WINDOWS and doors company Safestyle UK yesterday said it is planning a £77m flotation on Aim next month.
ACCOR, Europe’s largest hotel group, said yesterday it would divide its hotel business in two in a bid to improve the group’s performance and boost shareholder returns.
FULLERTON Fund Management, owned by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, has increased its stake in Bollywood film distributor Eros International to 8.7 per cent.
WPP has acquired a majority stake in Cerebra Communications, a South African based advertising agency. Cerebra was founded in 2006 and employs 35 staff, with clients including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Nedbank.
Informa, the exhibitions firm, has bought a stake in Baiwen, the owner and organiser of the annual China Beauty Expo (CBE).
The Innovation Group yesterday unveiled three new major contract wins in the US market for its insurance software. The contracts have a combined worth of £14m over the next five years.
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THE UK’S benchmark equity index edged up yesterday, supported by a deal over a new German government that boosted appetite for more risk-sensitive stocks such as banks.
THE Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs yesterday, led by Hewlett-Packard’s jump a day after the personal computer maker’s earnings, while the Nasdaq finished at a fresh 13-year high.
BANKERS faced a series of fresh attacks yesterday, as Labour pushed for tougher licences for bankers and the chancellor opened the door to harsher lending controls.