Headlines; “The pay of GlaxoSmithKline’s CEO almost doubled to £6.8m last year…FTSE boards resist pressure to smash the glass ceiling… Clock is ticking as desperate Game puts itself up for sale…Balls says Osborne gave rich ‘£1.6bn tax cut’… Athens jumps another hurdle as all eyes turn to Spain”
New York, London & Singapore topped the charts in a detailed study compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that measured cities on eight criteria ranging from financial maturity to culture, environment & government institutions. The Big Apple’s ability to bounce back from economic hardship has helped it to fight off London to claim top slot as the world’s most competitive city. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York, wasted no time in welcoming the findings. “New York’s position at the very top of this list is no accident,” he said. “It’s due to the investments our administration has made and the world-famous ingenuity and creativity of New Yorkers,”
The Times also reports that George Soros is set to take a punt on youth fashion as one of his investment firms plots to bail out the American Apparel chain. Mr Soros is the largest investor in Crystal Financial, a Boston-based hedge fund that negotiating a credit lifeline for American Apparel. The deal, expected to be announced within days, will involve Crystal taking over a $75m (£48m) debt facility from Bank of America. The loan was due to mature in the summer and could have pushed the retailer into bankruptcy. Assuming Crystal takes over and extends the facility, it will buy Dov Charney, American Apparel’s chief executive, more time to turn the business around
Headlines; “Spain pressed to cut more from its budget-Eurozone in stinging rebuke to Rajoy’s government over budget… Rusal chairman Vekselberg resigns – Aluminium producer says he ‘failed to perform his functions’… US to challenge China over rare earths – Washington to bring WTO exports case backed by Japan and the EU… Whistleblowers drawn by tip-off payouts – US programme can make informing regulators lucrative”
A lengthy competition investigation faces International Airlines Groups’ contentious takeover of BMI British Midland after being told by the European Commission that its proposed deal concessions are likely to be rejected. IAG’s offer to relinquish some Heathrow slots extends the deadline for an initial Commission decision from March 16 to March 30. Brussels officials will seek feedback from rival airlines, including Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, which is strongly opposed to the deal.
The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation will scale back its Asian operations as it considers the sale or closure of seven Asian retail businesses from Pakistan to New Zealand, where it has decided to no longer focus investment, The Financial Times says.
The Daily Telegraph
One of the Scotland’s oldest and most lauded companies,Wood Mackenzie, could be put on the block in a £1bn deal netting its private equity owners a record-breaking profit in just three years. Charterhouse, a notoriously secretive and wealthy private equity group, has asked boutique investment firm Quayle Munro to help it with a “low key” strategic review following approaches from US trade buyers. Wood Mackenzie, which has seen City grandees Sir George Mathewson and Gerry Grimstone act as chairmen in recent years, was founded in the 1840s as an Edinburgh- based stockbroker. However, the company’s rise to prominence began after it started writing intricate reports on the North Sea in the 1970s, which became its calling card and eventually the basis of its dominance as a specialist in research and analysis for the oil, gas and mining industry.
Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, called for Greece to exit the euro & for the resources of the International Monetary Fund to be significantly boosted to tackle future financial crises. In a well received speech at the annual British Venture Capital & Private Equity Association’s annual chairman’s dinner, Mr Tyrie said the current lull in the single currency’s crisis, after last week’s Greek bond swap, should be used to engineer a permanent exit for Greece. The economic and political challenges facing the country if it stays in the Eurozone would be too great to be sustainable, he argued. Mr Tyrie also said increasing the size and fire power of the IMF was essential. But he also warned the body should avoid getting too close to the Eurozone in future but should instead “get tough” with the single currency bloc,