CALLS FOR RYANAIR TO AXE BOSS
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has for years endured complaints from passengers about his famously no-frills Irish airline. Now a senior Ryanair pilot has taken the rare step of publicly challenging his boss after the outspoken chief executive said he was trying to convince authorities to let his aircraft fly with only one pilot.
LEHMAN FEES TO PASS $2BN
Fees paid to lawyers and accountants for unwinding Lehman Brothers in the US and Europe are on track to surpass $2bn (£1.3bn) even after some of the legal services have been provided at discounted rates. The fees charged to Lehman’s US estate stood at $917m in July and should top $1bn this month. In London, expenses for unwinding the European arm, with legal costs, are estimated at almost $900m.
SAUDI REVEALS LARGE GAS RESERVES
Saudi Arabia has large reserves of unconventional gas that could help the kingdom to meet soaring domestic energy needs and leave more crude oil available for export, the head of its national oil company has said. Khalid al-Falih, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, told the Financial Times that the kingdom could hold hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of unconventional resources such as shale gas, more than doubling its proved reserves of 280,000bn cubic feet.
BOOST TO ALLOW PRISA TO FOCUS ON DIGITAL PUSH
The stabilisation of Prisa through a $900m equity injection should be sealed next month, transforming the world’s largest Spanish-language media group from a family owned company to one with Spanish and US listings.
PENSION CHIEF’S PAY CUT TO AVOID FIGHT WITH TREASURY
The salary and working hours of the incoming chairman of the Pensions Regulator have been cut, in a move experts say is designed to head off a row over pay for public servants. The Pensions Regulator, created to police private sector occupational pensions, is advertising for a new chairman to replace David Norgrove, who was paid £110,000 a year for a three-day working week.
ACCOUNTANTS COULD BE RISKING QUALITY TO CUT COSTS
The Big Four accountants could be risking the quality of listed company audits in a drive to cut costs, Paul George, director of auditing at the Financial Reporting Council, has told The Times. He is concerned firms may try to cut corners.
The Daily Telegraph
CHINA SAYS STOP WHINGEING
China has told foreign companies to stop complaining about the difficulties of doing business on the mainland, and to cease being so “emotional”. “It is okay to complain from time to time,” said Liu Yajun, the head of the Foreign Investment department at the Chinese ministry of Commerce. “But you have to be practical and realistic. Some of the comments about China being closed to foreign business are exaggerated and hyperbolic.”
BBC WORKERS TO STRIKE IN PENSIONS ROW
Thousands of BBC workers are to stage two 48-hour strikes in a row over pensions which threatens the corporation’s coverage of the Conservative Party conference and the Government’s comprehensive spending review, it was announced today.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
LABCORP TO ACQUIRE GENZYME
Genzyme has agreed to sell its genetic-testing business to Laboratory Corp of America Holdings for $925m, enabling the troubled biotech to focus more on its core operations. Genzyme’s genetics business performs reproductive and cancer-related tests in the US. Genzyme is also looking to divest its diagnostics business, which sells tests and testing supplies, as well as a third division which sells pharmaceutical materials and technologies to other drug companies.
FDA MULLS REMOVING WEIGHT-LOSS DRUG FROM US MARKET
A federal advisory panel is being asked to help decide whether Abbott Laboratories’ weight-loss drug Meridia should stay on the market. Meridia has been the subject of an ongoing safety review.