WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING
BA CABIN CREW VOTE FOR PEACE DEAL
British Airways cabin crew have voted overwhelmingly to accept a peace deal, ending 18 months of conflict in one of the most bitter recent industrial disputes. Unite said members voted 92 per cent in favour of what it described as an “honourable settlement’’, with eight per cent against, in a turnout of 72 per cent. Almost 10,000 were balloted by the union, which declared the dispute formally over. Unite recommended the agreement, which will see travel concessions returned to crew from whom they were removed when they went on strike last year.
ELECTRIC CARMAKER THINK FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Think Global, the Norwegian electric car producer that styled itself as a pioneer of battery-powered driving, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after failing to find long-term financing for its business. Ener1, the US lithium-ion battery producer which led a capital increase of Think last year, said that it planned to take a charge on its earnings worth about $35m relating to loans receivable from the company.
POLISH TYCOON IN EXCLUSIVE TALKS TO BUY POLKOMTEL
Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, a Polish media tycoon, has entered exclusive talks to negotiate the purchase of Polkomtel, Poland’s second largest mobile phone operator. The tycoon will try to finalise the acquisition with Polkomtel’s shareholders after lodging an 18bn zloty ($6.5bn) bid for the mobile operator, said people familiar with the situation yesterday. Mr Solorz-Zak’s bid was the highest of three offers, added these people. Apax, the private equity firm, made a bid of $6bn for Polkomtel, and Telenor also submitted an offer. Mr Solorz-Zak, Apax and Telenor declined to comment.
WETHERSPOONS RIVAL CREATED BY PUBS MERGER
Two of Britain’s biggest high street pub companies are merging to create a rival to JD Wetherspoon with 560 pubs and a turnover of almost £500m. Stonegate Pub Company, created last year following the purchase of 333 pubs from Mitchells & Butlers for £373m, is swallowing Town & City Pub Company, which runs 227 pubs under brands including Yates’s and Slug and Lettuce.
SMALL FIRMS FEAR FOR THEIR OVERDRAFTS
Large numbers of small businesses are afraid of asking for credit because they fear their banks will react by slashing their overdrafts and putting up interest rates on existing facilities, a report from the Bank of England said. Many are so wary that they are turning to alternative finance.
The Daily Telegraph
SIX IN 10 CHOOSE FIXED RATE ENERGY TARIFFS
Almost six in 10 people who switch to a new energy deal are choosing a fixed-rate deal as fears mount of further price rises, research shows. The average variable-rate dual fuel energy bill is now £1,131, uSwitch said, with the average fixed-rate deal costing £1,089. But this small saving could rise if prices increased substantially. If suppliers raised prices by 10 per cent the average standard plan customer would see their bills rise to £1,244.
CITY DWELLERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER STRESS
City dwellers are more likely to suffer stress and anxiety than people who live in the countryside because their brains are wired differently, scientists claim. The findings are the first to show how specific brain structures are affected by urban life.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
DRAGHI’S APPOINTMENT TO ECB MAY BE DELAYED
An impasse between France and Italy over a seat on the European Central Bank’s governing board threatens to delay this week’s expected appointment of Italian Mario Draghi as the ECB’s next bank president, according to French government officials. France is wholeheartedly backing Draghi as the new ECB chief, they said, but wants the board seat currently occupied by Italian Lorenzo Bini Smaghi to be ceded to a French official once Draghi takes over.
OVERSEAS FIRMS RAMP UP HIRING IN SILICON VALLEY
Foreign companies are on a hiring spree in Silicon Valley, enlisting engineering teams to help design cutting-edge technology. Companies from Europe and Asia increasingly are using high-tech teams in the Bay Area.