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Danone said yesterday that it plans to raise about €3bn (£2.6bn) by selling shares to existing shareholders to reduce net debt and strengthen its capital structure. The French food group expects to launch the rights issue in the coming days, subject to internal and regulatory approvals. The company also reiterated its forecast for underlying earnings [...]
MARKS & SPENCER’S executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose has said publicly for the first time he hopes to stand down before July 2011, his previously announced departure date. Rose, who has faced months of speculation about his future, said: “It’s quite clear. I said I would extend my tenure at the least until 2011. What [...]
THE CHIEF executive of German regional bank NordLB has warned that banks are yet to see their most challenging period of the credit cycle. Despite NordLB making a €151m (£133m) profit last year, Gunther Dunkel, chief executive of the Hanover-based lender, predicted that the next two years would be “very interesting”, particularly with regard to [...]
ABN AMRO, the Dutch lender now controlled by the state, sank to a first-quarter net loss of €886m (£780m), largely on the back of losses at units now owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, it revealed yesterday. The Dutch bank is in the process of breaking itself up after it was bought last year in [...]
HALF a million shoppers were drawn to London’s West End this bank holiday by a day of free parking and in-store entertainment. The event, which saw shoppers spend around £50m on Saturday alone, took the New West End Company six months to organise with co-operation from West End retailers, Westminster City Council and Transport for [...]
THE EUROPEAN Central Bank (ECB), responsible for monetary policy in the 16 Eurozone states, faces strike action from staff over planned changes to its pension scheme. Staff have called a 90-minute warning strike to take place on 3 June, as the ECB’s governing council meets in Frankfurt, Germany for its monthly rate-setting meeting. ECB president [...]
THE price of crude oil dropped back to around $61 (£38) a barrel yesterday, ahead of an OPEC meeting this week. Oil has rallied over investor sentiment that the worst of the downturn is over. But fears that OPEC members won’t cut their oil output at their meeting on Thursday meant prices dropped. Brent prices [...]
SPORTS Direct owner Mike Ashley’s fortune looks set for another battering after the football club he owns, Newcastle United, was relegated from the Premier League. Ashley’s club stands to lose at least £30m a season from a drop in TV revenue which will wipe millions off the value of the struggling north east outfit, in [...]
NAMES are emerging as potential buyers of Aviva’s Australian life assurance business, which is expected to raise around A$1bn (£492m). National Australia Bank and Westpac have emerged as front-runners for the arm, after the former successfully raised £500m last Friday by issuing five-year unsecured notes. Insurance groups Axa Asia Pacific and Australia’s AMP are also [...]
PETROCHINA, the biggest oil and gas producer in Asia, said yesterday it would buy a 45 per cent stake in Singapore Petroleum (SPC) for S$1.47bn (£1.38). It also said it would make a bid to buy the rest of the company. The acquisition is the latest in a series of purchases which could increase China’s [...]
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