Church defends hedge fund plan
The man responsible for the Church of England’s £6bn endowment has defended plans to increase its investment in hedge funds, arguing that not all of the industry has “devil’s horns”. Andreas Whittam Smith, first church estates commissioner, told the Financial Times that the Church’s own ethical watchdog sanctioned short selling, providing it was done responsibly. “It is ridiculous to think that all hedge funds are wicked,” said Mr Whittam Smith. “Not all have devil’s horns, and we are not indiscriminate. Everything we invest in is run through our ethical investment advisory group and hedge funds, unlike armaments, are not a banned category.”
China declares war on pollution
China’s premier has declared a “war on pollution”, giving unprecedented attention to a problem that has consumed the nation as the legislature weighs a controversial environmental tax. Li Keqiang’s nod to one of the public’s top concerns comes after weeks of murky air kept children inside and sent sales of masks soaring.
Japan considers tax on Bitcoin sales
The Japanese government is looking at taxing bitcoin transactions as part of a tighter regulatory framework, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the scandal engulfing Mt Gox, a Tokyobased exchange. Mt Gox, which had been among the most popular platforms to trade and store the virtual currency, exposed gaps in supervision that have stung authorities into action.
Young jobseekers fall through cracks
Youth unemployment outside the south of England is worse than in continental Europe, with more than a quarter of young people out of work in some areas. The Office for National Statistics shows that unemployment in the North East was more than 24 per cent at the end of last year, compared with the EU average of 23.5 per cent.
German interest in Eddie Stobart
It is understood that Stobart Group, the company behind Eddie Stobart’s green trucks, is close to selling 51 per cent of its transportation interests. It is believed the buyer could be DB Schenker, the German logistics group that is part of the stateowned transport giant Deutsche Bahn.
The Daily Telegraph
Less than $1m in Zimbabwe reserves
Zimbabwe is holding gold coins valued at $501,390 (£300,035) as its only reserves, the finance minister has said, highlighting the country’s parlous finances.The economy of the southern African country is the biggest challenge to veteran President Robert Mugabe, who was reelected last July in disputed elections.
Winklevoss twins head to space
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who famously accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea, said they used bitcoins to buy tickets for a high-altitude voyage on billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercial spaceflight venture.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Secret recordings of Sarkozy
France’s conservative opposition was thrown into disarray yesterday after it emerged that an aide to former President Nicolas Sarkozy had secretly recorded hours of sensitive meetings at the Elysee Palace. Excerpts of the recordings, which were seized by investigators as part of a judicial probe, have leaked in the press.
Obama gives plans two more years
The Obama administration announced yesterday that consumers can keep insurance plans that don’t comply with the federal health law for another two years, until the end of 2016, pushing a potential firestorm over cancellations until after midterm elections.