VINCI CHIEF DOWNBEAT ON SECTOR
Europe’s construction market is likely to fall further next year, despite billions injected by governments in stimulus plans and emerging signs of recovery in the region’s two largest economies, Xavier Huillard, chief executive of Vinci, has warned. In an interview with the FT, Mr Huillard warned of further pain to come for Europe’s 16.3m construction workers.
INM EDGES TOWARDS DEAL
Independent News & Media, the Irish publisher of the Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers that is locked in a battle between its largest shareholders, is on the brink of resolving its future. The board met on yesterday to consider a plan to slash group debts after getting closer to agreement with creditors about terms. Talks are continuing this week.
Natural sweeteners made from extract of the stevia plant have taken about 10 per cent of the US consumer market for table-top sugar substitutes, only nine months after being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The rapid growth of products produced by Cargill and Merisant underlines the potential for natural sweeteners in a market that could amount to $700m (£432m) in five years.
LLOYDS REVIVES RMBS
Lloyds Banking Group is set to sell more than £2.8bn in new bonds backed by UK residential mortgages, in the first deal of its kind since the credit crunch began in the summer of 2007. The transaction is being closely watched for its potential to reopen the market for residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) in Europe, a market that provided funding for banks and helped fuel the boom in mortgage lending.
ICAP CHAIRMAN PLEDGES SHARES AS COLLATERAL FOR LOAN
Charles Gregson, the chairman of Icap, pledged almost 94,000 shares of his personal holding in the interdealer broker yesterday as collateral against a £1.125m loan from HSBC. Gregson gave the bank charge over the shares, with a market value of slightly more than £400,000, as a guarantee that repayments on the loans would be made.
INSURANCE BROKERS HIT OUT AT COMPENSATION SCHEME
The UK’s insurance brokers have added their name to the growing list of companies to complain that they get a raw deal out of the system for compensating customers in collapsed financial institutions. Britain’s brokers branded the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as “unfair and disproportionate”.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
PITTSBURGH STEELS ITSELF FOR G20
With just two days to go until the leaders of the 20 largest industrial nations roll into town, Pittsburgh is determined to prove it is a city worthy of the attention it will be receiving. The reasons Pittsburgh was chosen in the first place are simple: at the conclusion of the last summit in London in early April, the gathered leaders asked President Barack Obama if the US would host the next meeting.
PENSIONS KITEMARK LAUNCHED
A new quality mark for defined contribution pensions has been launched to improve the schemes companies offer. The National Association of Pension Funds will award a Pension Quality Mark to companies whose defined contribution schemes meet certain minimum standards on contribution levels, communications and the way the scheme is run.
WALL STREET JOURNALA
FACEBOOK TO PARTNER WITH NIELSEN
Facebook plans to announce a deal with online measurement company Nielsen, in a step to address advertisers’ frustration with measuring how their ads perform on the social network. Under the partnership, terms of which aren’t expected to be disclosed, Facebook advertisers who are also Nielsen customers will be able to measure the impact of the ads they buy on Facebook through polls that Facebook will show its users who have seen the ads.
DOW JONES TO CLOSE FEER
Dow Jones said it plans to close the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), bringing down the curtain on the 63-year-old magazine as the company redirects resources to its other news outlets in Asia. Dow Jones previously cut the staff and publishing schedule of the Hong Kong-based magazine.