What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
HEADLINES IN BRIEF: ASIAN SHARES FALL. FED PROBES RBS OVER DEALINGS WITH IRAN. BORROWING FIGURES PROMPT PUSH FOR GROWTH. MILLIONS HIT BY PENSION SCANDAL. CAMELOT BRACED FOR COURT DEFEAT AND FINALLY FAT CAT TOO GREEDY FOR KIDNAPPERS
FED PROBES RBS OVER DEALINGS WITH IRAN
By Daniel Schäfer in London and Shahien Nasiripour in Washington
Federal authorities in the US are investigating Royal Bank of Scotland for possible breaches of Iran sanctions in a probe that has already led to the departure of a senior risk manager. The UK bank is being probed by the Federal Reserve and Department of Justice after volunteering information to them and UK regulators about 18 months ago, several people close to the situation said.
ASIAN SHARES FALL ON WEAK DATA
By Song Jung-a in Seoul and Vivianne Rodrigues in New York
Asian shares headed lower as investors were discouraged by Japan’s weak trade data and an overnight fall on Wall Street. The MSCI Asia Pacific index fell 0.6 per cent with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average off 0.7 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi Composite index down 0.8 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index 0.3 per cent lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.8 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite index eased 0.2 per cent.
Polls punish Osborne as debts grow
By Tim Wallace
George Osborne’s popularity fell to an all-time low yesterday as government borrowing ballooned despite promises to cut the deficit. Only 16 per cent now trust Osborne to see the UK through the recession – just half the number that supported him back in October 2010. Faith in the coalition government as a whole has also plummeted, with just 24 per cent thinking it is good for Britain, according to the poll from ComRes and ITV News.
DO MORE AND DO IT NOW TO KICK-START THE ECONOMY
By Robert Winnett, Political Editor
George Osborne has failed to kick-start the economy and must cut taxes, reduce red tape and invest in new infrastructure to boost growth, business leaders have warned. The Institute of Directors (IoD) says that the Chancellor’s growth strategy is largely “ineffective” and “too little, too slowly”, as demands increase for radical action in the autumn. A survey of more than 1,200 business leaders found they have “serious concerns” that the recession will last throughout 2012 with only a modest recovery next year.
BORROWING FIGURES PROMPT CO-ORDINATED GROWTH PUSH ACROSS WHITEHALL
By Nicholas Watt, Juliette Jowit and Phillip Inman
The government is to unveil a series of measures to promote jobs and growth as ministers move to show they have a credible economic strategy after a slump in corporate tax receipts led to higher than expected borrowing last month. There are growing fears among senior figures in both coalition parties that George Osborne is running out of time to meet his pledge to stabilise the public finances. There will be a particular focus on liberalising planning laws, guaranteeing more housebuilding and boosting infrastructure projects.
THE FUTURE ISN’T ORANGE NEW BRAND 4G ‘TO CHANGE PHONE USE’
By Steve Hawkes, Business Editor
THE owners of ORANGE will launch super-fast 4G mobile phone services in October — with a completely new brand. Regulator Ofcom yesterday gave EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE (EE) the go-ahead to roll-out the next generation offer. And the 4G service will be unveiled in a matter of weeks in certain cities alongside a new brand — NOT Orange or T-Mobile UK.
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE’S 4G APPROVAL SPARKS RIVALS’ FURY
By Gareth Mackie
Britain’s telecoms regulator was yesterday accused of showing “careless disregard” for customers after giving the owner of Orange and T-Mobile the go-ahead to roll out faster mobile internet services before its rivals. Ofcom said Everything Everywhere (EE) – a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom – could use some its existing spectrum for 4G services this autumn, while rivals will have to wait until they can bid for new licences. However, Vodafone said it was “frankly shocked” at the move, which it believed would distort competition by allowing one operator to run services “before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market”.
THE DRIVER BEING SUED BECAUSE HE REFUSED TO MAKE A FRAUDULENT WHIPLASH CLAIM
By Sam Dunn
A driver who refused to see a doctor to back up a spurious whiplash claim is now being pursued for £1,100 by ambulance-chasing lawyers. Andrew Hopper has been threatened with court action and debt collectors after pulling out of a personal injury claim, because he felt it would be dishonest. Bogus whiplash cases are estimated to cost insurers as much as £2 billion per year — adding around £90 to the insurance premium of every driver in the UK.
MILLIONS HIT BY PENSION SCANDAL
By Sarah O’Grady
Britain’s “pension roulette” system means millions of people are being robbed by about £10,000 a year, official figures revealed yesterday. The current state scheme is so complicated and difficult to negotiate that critics say it would “baffle Einstein”. The state pension is available to all when they retire but around 130,000 people get as little as £7 a week while a similar number receive £230 – a difference of more than £10,000 a year between the highest paid and the lowest. Ros Altmann, director-general of over-50s group Saga, described the UK’s state pension structure as “by far the most complex in the world” and stated that radical reform is long overdue.
JOHNSTON PRESS EYES DIGITAL RECOVERY
Johnston Press blamed the Olympics for a slide in recent advertising sales today but said a major digital push should start to pay off by the end of the year. The company, which owns nearly 250 titles including The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, said sales fell by 14.7% in the six weeks since the start of July after London 2012 hit advertising not directly related to the event.
GREECE NEEDS MORE TIME FOR CUTS, SAYS PM SAMARAS
Greece’s Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, has called for more time to implement tough spending cuts and reforms, ahead of crucial talks on its EU/IMF bailout. Mr Samaras told German daily Bild that Greece needed “breathing space”
EXCLUSIVE: CAMELOT BRACED FOR COURT DEFEAT
By Mark Kleinman, City Editor
Judgement is due in a court fight brought by the National Lottery against the rival Health Lottery. The operator of the National Lottery is today expected to suffer a defeat in its attempt to quash the ambitions of the Health Lottery owned by Richard Desmond, the tabloid newspaper proprietor. I understand from sources close to the board of Camelot that it expects to fail in an attempt to persuade the High Court that the Gambling Commission was wrong to award Mr Desmond’s venture a licence to operate.
….. AND FINALLY ….
FAT CAT TOO GREEDY FOR KIDNAPPERS
A kidnapped fat cat which tips the scales at more than two stones has been returned to its owners after thieves could no longer cope with its enormous appetite. Cupid, a pedigree Maine Coon worth £3,000, was snatched from a back garden in Landskron, Austria, two weeks ago. But he was mysteriously returned to owner Stephanie Frey after, police believe, he ate the catnappers out of house and home.
PRESSCHOICE DIARY OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC EVENTS FOR TODAY
• NEET Statistics are out today. A NEET is not in Employment, Education or Training. Otherwise known as the daytime TV audience. Except that to be a NEET you have to be between 16-24 and much of the day time audience is a little bit older.
• BHP Billiton reports results. It’s a good measure of the confidence of manufacturers around the world as it provides the raw materials for much of industrial production. Lower commodity prices are likely to dampen BHP’s earnings figures.
• Carillion publishes results today. It is a support services and construction company, so it looks after the outsourced functions for companies around the world and builds things. Shares are down 10% over the past year. The slow- down in PFI contracts is a major issue for this company.
• Hewlett-Packard reports third quarter results. In May it announced plans to cut 27,000 jobs which is about 8% of its workforce. The company was founded in 1939 by Stanford University classmates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company’s first product was an audio oscillator – an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers. Disney bought it for the movie Fantasia.