Sunday Business (London, England)

Financial UK newspaper now turned into a magazine called The Business. It provides news and analysis of global business and finance.

Articles from August 13, 2000

0–T U–Y
[0] New Look but Old Woes for Montgomerie's Campaign
C olin Montgomerie heads back to America tomorrow to continue his elusive search for a major accompanied by conflicting signals that confuse his chances of challenging the supremacy of Tiger Woods in the US PGA Championship. On the fitness front,...
Accountants Figure out Their Future
A WEEK after the messiest divorce in its history, the accountancy profession is at a cross- roads. Regulatory interference, first from the US Securities & Exchange Commission and in due course also from the European Commission, will ensure that...
Airlines Let off on Pollution'
AIRLINES should take part in a global emissions trading system to reduce the devastating effect aircraft pollution has on the climate, according to a report to be released tomorrow. The Institute of Public Policy Research believes that airlines...
Anger at Hyder Debacle
The Takeover Panel faces a barrage of criticism for its handling of a contested takeover bid for Welsh utility Hyder, which has left investors wondering who will be declared the winner tomorrow. Hyder's shares are expected to be suspended in the...
A Prince without Pretenders
I N HIS training camp in California, Naseem Hamed has grown used to having a mountain to climb. Each morning he takes to the trail, running uphill for an hour before returning down the rocky path to knock seven dials out of some poor sparring partner,...
Banged Up? It's All a Bit of a Game
I nventions, despite the popular conception, very rarely come to their inventor in a revelatory flash. However, Terry Coss, the inventor of a new board game called Incarceration, says this is just what happened to him and woke him up in his bed...
Bank Has Set Its Mind on Tightening
T HE Bank of England's Inflation Report published last week contains a magnificent amount of detail. But as you read through it you cannot help wondering whether the detail helps to create a clearer view of prospects for prices or merely serves...
Banks Put Brake on E-Commerce Trading System
NEW technical standards that could speed the adoption of e-commerce across the financial sector are being held up by banks dragging their feet, a leading software body warns. The introduction of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) will mean companies...
Barclays Hits the Road to Woo Woolwich Sceptics
ARCLAYS, Britain's third-largest retail bank, will this week launch a private roadshow for its largest institutional shareholders to persuade them of the merits of its proposed acquisition of mortgage bank Woolwich in a cash-and-share offer worth [pound]5.3bn....
Barthez Holds United's Title in Safe Hands
L ATER this week, the French national team will play their first game of football since adding the European Championship to their World Cup triumph of two years back. Their opponents have been chosen wisely in an attempt to provide some decent opposition,...
Benign US Data Boosts Mood
INCREASED hopes that the US economy is heading for a soft landing after a raft of benign data, together with a growing belief that the UK interest rate cycle has all but peaked, is helping to underpin improved equity market sentiment. The seasonal...
Bid Shakes Kvaerner Building
The future of Kvaerner's construction business, which employs 9,000 people in Britain, is up in the air this weekend as the Norwegian-based industrial engineer plots its next move in a takeover battle that has electrified the normally sleepy corporate...
Big-Spending Blackburn Start off in Style
WITH the sun beating down, cricket still in the midst of its season and the memories of the European Championship fresh in everybody's mind, English football returned to action with a reminder that money might not guarantee success, but it certainly...
Bodies of Lost Yacht Crew Found
Bodies of lost yacht crew found THE bodies of two crew from the yacht Tuila, which went missing nearly two weeks ago, were found off the Dutch coast yesterday. They were named as Cambridge university student Carol Smith and Adam Clackson, the...
BoJ Governor Calls Rate Rise Fine Tuning'
THE Bank of Japan raised interest rates for the first time in a decade on Friday by terminating the so-called zero interest rate policy, under which the bank has flooded the overnight call market with enough liquidity to make money virtually free....
Bookies Seek Fairer Odds on Betting Tax
UP TO 12,000 jobs could be at risk if the government does not cut the rate of betting tax, according to a report from research agency Europe Economics. The survey was commissioned by Bola, the bookmakers' trade body, in response to a consultation...
BP Amoco Rises above Dump the Pump Demo
Oil giant BP Amoco adopted a low-key public relations response last week to calls from petrol-price campaign Dump The Pump for a consumer boycott of its 1,500 UK filling stations from tomorrow. BP took a wait-and-see approach, but warned that, while...
Bright Figures Belie Gloomy Retail Sector
TO GAUGE by last week's news, the only real bright spot in the US economy is consumer spending. Numbers reported on Friday showed retail sales growing almost twice as fast as expected last month, at an annualised rate of almost 8.5%. So why are...
Britain's Financial PR Takes on the World
BIG is becoming increasingly beautiful in the glamorous but hectic world of financial public relations. Last week, Hudson Sandler, the medium-sized London-based agency, said it was in takeover talks with Havas, the French advertising giant. A month...
Brown Plus Money Equals an Autumn Vote
T HE smart money is still on May, but the possibility of a snap general election in the autumn increases by the day. In the wake of the latest poll findings, which show that Labour has extended its lead over the Tories to 15%, the decision to go...
B-R's Star-Search Is Our Gain
So, John Burton-Race has at last cast off the Shinfield shackles and left the Berkshire berks to stew in their own jus. One of the main reasons he wanted to come to London was to achieve the coveted third Michelin star, having held two for the past...
California Pays Price for Power Bungle
A DOUBLING, even a tripling, of residential electricity bills on the west and east coasts of the US; rolling "brown-outs" across California; Wisconsin mines and Manhattan financial institutions among them Chase Manhattan "voluntarily" surrendering...
Carlson May Take Stake in Thomson
Carlson Companies, the privately-held US leisure group, could take a 24% stake in Thomson Travel as part of negotiations to resolve its position in the UK travel industry. Carlson's plans for a steady expansion of its UK presence through its 22%...
Car Suppliers Face Squeeze from Toyota
TOYOT'aS move to force component suppliers to quote for business in euros is set to squeeze small British-based suppliers out of the industry. The Japanese manufacturer, which produces 178,000 of the five-door Corolla and Avensis models from its...
Chambers Unmoved by Weight of Expectation
How frustrating it must be to be a sportsman. One day your sport appears to be the easiest task on earth. Then, the magic disappears, and after a while you can't even remember how it happened in the first place. For Dwain Chambers, Britain's best...
Clean-Fuel Cars Will Drive Trade
Sir When it comes to reviewing your business fleet, switching to vehicles powered by alternative clean fuels makes good business sense ("UK lags over no-petrol cars, 30 July"). Powershift is a government-backed initiative which aims to kick-start...
Conservative Policy Fuelled Clinton Boom
Eight years ago Arkansas governor Bill Clinton ran for the presidency on the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid". Clinton's book, Putting People First, set out a distinctive economic programme which repudiated the Reagan and Bush economic legacy. ...
Cornwall Plots Path to Renewal
A YEAR ago Cornwall was plunged into darkness as the shadow of a total solar eclipse spread across the county. Twelve months on, it is sitting on a [pound]750m windfall courtesy of Europe and the Treasury which it hopes will herald a bright economic...
Counting the Cost of Expo 2000 Washout
I T makes sense that my home country has no official presence at the Expo 2000 World's Fair in Hanover. Visitors leaving the Expo train station get a faceful of Americana in the form of a 20-ft inflated Ronald McDonald. McDonald's and Coke are...
De Lorean: The Pay-Off
T he final creditors of De Lorean Motor Cars should be paid off by early next year, according to trustees handling lawsuits against the failed carmaker. The pay-offs will bring to an end a 22-year saga that started with high hopes of building...
Dot.coms' Advertising Blitz
B RITAIN'S fledgling dot.com companies may not make money, but that has not stopped them spending millions on advertising. Venture-capital companies have encouraged the sites they back to buy advertising on a scale that belies their lowly status...
Dow Jones Rises above 11,000 Again
T HE City has been urging the leading high street banks to do a big deal or two ever since the Scottish banks ended their tussle for NatWest in February. Last week, it finally got what it was waiting for when Barclays unveiled an agreed bid for...
DTI to Quiz Slickers-Tipped Companies
INSPECTORS from the Department of Trade & Industry are to write to the chairmen of companies tipped by the Mirror as part of their investigation into the newspaper's share-dealing scandal. Sir Alan Sugar, chairman of computer company Viglen...
ECB Must Hold Its Nerve as Euro Slumps to New Lows
T HE interest rate-setting members of the European Central Bank's governing council are probably choking on their pina coladas, rueing the day they decided to take a four-week break between regular monetary policy meetings instead of the customary...
ECmay Put Boot into Soccer Clubs
FOOTBALL'S transfer system, which governs the movement of players between clubs, could soon be relegated to history alongside the maximum wage and the Watney Cup. EC authorities are convinced the system, which has recently seen multi-million-pound...
Edinburgh Gives Dyke His Platform
F ORMANY of the BBC's critics, the best thing about Greg Dyke is that he is not John Birt. It is an observation that the corporation's director-general will do well to remember when he stands up to deliver the McTaggart lecture, which opens the...
EMI Climbs Up the Charts as Market Changes Its Tune
E MI'S shares have made a modest comeback since the company announced that it was merging its music interests with Time Warner's. The stock price fell to as low as 550p in April, reflecting disenchantment with media stocks in general and the terms...
Employers Stand Firm against ETA
leaders in Spain's northern Basque country have called on prime minister Jos Maria Aznar to start talking to the separatist group ETA, or other nationalist groups, as it targets prominent businessmen in an intense summer campaign of violence. The...
Eo
EO The electronic share distribution platform has appointed Mark Stacpoole, right, head of equity-linked origination in equity capital markets at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, as chief executive of its new subsidiary, EO UK. Clifford Chance Elizabeth...
Europe Cruise to Cup Victory
THE Europe team held off the challenge of the Rest of the World to win the second Blue Square Shergar Cup yesterday and retain the trophy. The defenders, managed by Kevin Keegan, took an early lead and held it with Michael Kinane, the man of the match,...
Festival Soars on Sponsor Support
C ANNY marketing and a host of blue- chip sponsors look set to attract record numbers of visitors to the Edinburgh International Festival when it kicks off today. Ticket sales are already almost 20% up on last year's 400,000 figure and with support...
Foodoo Stirs the Pot
I nvestors' deep reluctance to back all but the most innovative business-to-consumer start-ups has become one of the truisms of the internet industry. For Foodoo.com the company being tracked by Sunday Business from its launch at the start of...
Foreign Investors Hold Key to Japanese Revival
Y OU don't have to travel far from the main business areas of Tokyo to see some of the economic and social problems now facing Japan. The demographic time-bomb threatening many European countries is only too obvious in Japan. By 2020, more than...
Founder Blasts TheStreet Site
FINANCIAL publishing site TheStreet.com has been given the thumbs-up by Microsoft founder Paul Allen but the thumbs-down by its own founder, Jim Cramer. Cramer, who also manages a hedge fund, blasts the content and management of the website in a...
Four for Three
Four for three Stay at the five-star Plaza Athenee in the heart of Manhattan for four nights for the price of three with some deals from Kirker Holidays (020-7231 3333) until the end of the month. The price tag of [pound]999 per person includes...
France in a Position to Lead EU by Its Example
A NY even-handed observer of French economic policy has to be impressed by its continuity and the sheer tenacity with which it is pursued. For more than 10 years the French government has had three international economic priorities, which have been...
Fraud Claim at Surveyors in Bribes Row
T he firm of surveyors at the centre of a corruption scandal faces compensation demands from a defrauded client. Investigators from PricewaterhouseCoopers have been appointed by property group South Downs to probe for losses after two managers...
From Futuristic Dream Sports Car to Bankruptcy
1978 Former General Motors executive John De Lorean persuades James Callaghan's Labour government to invest in a car plant in Belfast. Encouraged by the prospect of employment in Catholic west Belfast, Callaghan agrees. July 1980 De Lorean...
Georgian Town with a Royal Angle
Compleat Angler Marlow, BuckinghamshireTel: 0870 4008100 WHEN the Queen last year left London to eat her first ever meal in a private restaurant, she chose the Compleat Angler in Marlow. Whether Isaak Walton whose commonplace book describing...
German Business Throws off Shackles of the Past
T HE German disease has been cured, proclaims chancellor Gerhard Schrder. "What disease?" it might be asked, given Germany's long-standing position as Europe's biggest economy and its army of companies ranging from Deutsche Bank, Daimler and Siemens...
Get into the Right Spirit with a Cognac
C OGNAC is cursed and blessed with being a premium snob drink. This unambiguous status has allowed the tight band of producers to keep the price high and the social messages elite. But the big cognac houses are all part of bigger conglomerates...
Gooch Sees Light at End of Tunnel
AT 47 years old, the waist is thicker and grey makes up much of the moustache, but the gaze from Graham Gooch's blue eyes remains as sharp as when he played arguably the greatest innings of in the past 20 years. Nine years ago Gooch carried his bat...
Gore Fights against Sleaze Legacy
A L Gore arrives at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles this week needing to convince voters of his leadership and ability to continue the nation's current prosperity. A booming economy, surging confidence and record productivity...
Hasselbaink Back to Fill the Void
I F THERE was one move that began Chelse'as transition from run-of-the-mill Premiership club to European power it was the signing of Ruud Gullit. Now, several superstars later but still with no championship to show for their grandiose actions, the...
How a Hague Victory Would Put Britain Back in Business
T HE flood of leaked memos from and to Tony Blair has drawn electoral attention to the inefficient side of this Labour government (note it has now officially dropped the "New") which, with its huge parliamentary majority, seemed a shoo-in for another...
How Green Was My Chrysler
I f one faction of the US government apparatus had its way, by 2007 Americans would all be driving round in highly efficient sedans built from lightweight materials and doing at least 90 miles per gallon. But the most popular vehicles statside are...
How Long Can Blair Please All Sides over Son of Star Wars?
T O govern is to choose. But, despite telling his party conference before he came to office that his would be a government prepared to take the hard choices, Tony Blair is currently doing his best to ignore a crucial decision for New Labour and...
Ironing out Packing Problems
FREQUENT travellers have their own ways of coping with the chore of packing. Don Lunn, chairman of the Guild of Business Travel Agents, was trained to pack his kitbag efficiently by the army. Now, for overnight business trips, he packs a clean shirt...
Italian Telecoms Minnow Thinks Big
WHILE the rest of Italy makes its traffic-clogged way to the beach on the country's biggest holiday weekend one telecoms company, conveniently placed beside the sea in Sardinia, will be hard at work on its expansion strategy. Tiscali, the Italian...
Langer Fears Backlash over Tiger's Dominance
THERE has to be a sense of foreboding and dj-vu this week as the world's top golfers gather at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, for the fourth and final major of the year, the US PGA Championship. Just as was the case in the immediate...
Liffe Back in Black and Set for E-Float
L IFFE, the London futures exchange, will this week report its first profit since 1997. The half-year results the first time Liffe has produced interim figures are expected to be a prelude to a cash call on the exchange's shareholders later this...
Lloyd's Is Reborn as Areformed Character
T HERE are several phrases in the financial lexicon that conjure up chilling images among investors; if the most recent is "internet stocks", then there are several with more historical resonances, such as "junk bonds" and "pensions mis-selling"....
Lottery Decision Day for Branson
ON Wednesday, Sir Richard Branson will either be popping the champagne corks or crying into his Virgin Cola. The tycoon is expecting to hear late on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning whether his People's Lottery or arch-rival Camelot will be granted...
Lottery Needs Some Competition
T T HE NATIONAL Lottery Commission should finally decide this week which company will operate the National Lottery after September next year. It is a close decision that has already been delayed once for the commissioners to glean extra information,...
Megawati Calls the Shots
L OCAL investors may have taken heart from events in Indonesia last week, but for foreigners political uncertainty combined with fresh limits on overseas investment as well as draconian new employment legislation have made the country an even riskier...
Music Giants Rapped over CD Price Fixing
Five leading British and American record companies and three of the countries' largest music retailers face charges of conspiring to fix the price of CDs across the US to boost profits and squeeze out competitors in the $14bn-a-year music industry....
My Drive for Perfection
T he automobile ind-ustry of the early 21st century is experiencing its most profound and revolutionary changes since Henry Ford adapted the moving assembly line at the start of the 20th century. Customers and communities are going to benefit...
Nats Sell-Off at Risk'
Air traffic control chiefs have warned ministers that the planned sell-off of the system could be endangered by proposed strict price caps. Executives at National Air Traffic Services (Nats), the state-owned air traffic control provider, are understood...
New Look but Old Woes for Montgomerie's Campaign
C olin Montgomerie heads back to America tomorrow to continue his search for an elusive major title accompanied by conflicting signals rather than an outright statement that he is the man to challenge the supremacy of Tiger Woods in the US PGA...
News Corp Makes $5Bn US TV Bid
R UPERT Murdoch's News Corporation is expected to ann-ounce tomorrow that it has massively increased its grip on TV stations in Americ'as largest cities through a $5bn takeover of Chris-Craft Industries. The deal, likely to be announced before...
No Rest for the Wicked
w hat are you packing in your holiday suitcase along with the flip-flops, novel and factor 15? A few files, your mobile and your laptop? According to a survey commissioned by online recruitment consultants Totaljobs.com, more than half of British...
Nycomed Lines Up for Next Assault
B RITAIN'S Nycomed Amersham took the first steps last week in a move that could see the healthcare company embark on a full demerger of its two businesses diagnostic imaging and life sciences in the next two years. The announcement that it will...
Oil Wells That Won't End Well for Sheikhs
D ESPITE now concentrating their boycott on BP alone, the Dump The Pump campaigners still have the wrong target in their name-and-shame campaign. Objections to the price of petrol really must be directed at the oil sheikhs who charge so much when...
Ondigital Seeks [Pound]2bn London Flotation
ONdigital, the digital terrestrial broadcaster jointly owned by ITV companies Carlton and Granada, is to float on the stock market within six months with a price tag of about [pound]2bn. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, the US investment bank, has been...
Palace Living by the Lake
T HERE are many business destinations in the world where you may, with some justification, worry about the standards of the hotels you will find when you arrive. The Swiss city of Lausanne, perched daintily on the shore of Lake Geneva, is not...
Patience Is a Hi-Tech Virtue
Y 2K was a non-event. Windows 2000 wasn't a flop. And yet two-thirds of the way into the year, US technology shares are still languishing at levels below where they began the millennium, let alone their March highs. Last week was another of those...
Pollard Struggles to Sell Aura Title
EVE Pollard's Parkhill Publishing is struggling to find a buyer for its flagship title, women's lifestyle magazine Aura, two weeks after announcing that the group was running out of money and considering voluntary liquidation. Parkhill last week...
Publishers Hit at WH Smith
N EWSPAPER and magazine publishers turned their fire on WH Smith this weekend in the latest development in the row over the company's proposed new national distribution system for Tesco. Under an agreement between the two companies, WH Smith...
QXL Plans to Cut Ricardo Offer
Online auctioneer QXL is this weekend pondering a substantial cut in the size of its offer for German online auction house Ricardo.de. The company delayed its proposed all-share acquisition on Thursday after analysing information it received as...
Rare Ferrari Set to Break Auction Record
A 1966 Ferrari 330 P3 racing car to be sold by Christie's in the US next week is expected to fetch up to $7m, the highest price paid for a car at auction in a decade. In 1966 the car won the 1,000km race at Monza, driven by John Surtees, and the...
Remember, It's Earnings That Count
B ACK in the good old days (about a year ago), corporate earnings meant something. When a company came in with forecast-beating earnings, the stock price rose. When they didn't come up to scratch, the price fell. Such simple, if brutal, mathematical...
Ritblats Fights Investor Revolt
BRITISH Land directors have spent much of the past fortnight meeting major investors in an attempt to head off a shareholder revolt. They have been touring the City as part of a rare charm offensive in the wake of the property company's failed attempt...
Rugby's Eliteeye a League of Their Own
T HE announcement this week that rugby union has finally woken up to the brave new world of its own creation raises one big question how much longer until the sport's major clubs break away to form their own Premier League? They have, after...
Schumacher Wins the Mind Games
AS they slowed down at the end of yesterday's qualifying session, better to take the applause of the Budapest crowd, Michael Schumacher pulled alongside David Coulthard's McLaren, glanced at him, and then overtook his rival, punching the air and waving...
Secret Lifeboat Sunk Investors
C ITY investors who lost millions in South Africa nearly a decade ago are looking at ways to recover their money after discovering details of a multi-million pound secret support scheme that encouraged banks to put companies into liquidation....
Selectors in a Spin over Headingley Test Squad
STRONG and consistent cricket teams are not built overnight. They take time to evolve through a lengthy process of trial and error, tinkering and fine tuning. For the fourth Cornhill Test against the West Indies, which starts on Thursday, the process...
Share Probe Puts Spotlight on BMW
B MW was thrown back into the spotlight last week with the news that the German authorities are investigating the circumstances of its decision to sell Rover, the British carmaker, earlier this year. The original purchase and and accumulated...
ShopSmart Values Deal with US Giants
TWO senior executives from Wal-Mart and AOL Europe will join the board of ShopSmart this year after the two American companies' agreement to take a 22% stake in the British internet start-up. They will shape the site's strategy after the deal. ...
Shortage of Microchips Hits Home
W HEN cable company Telewest announced last month that its eagerly-awaited digital television service is up to three months behind schedule, its shares tumbled to a 20-month low, wiping [pound]2bn off its value. Telewest blamed Pace Micro Technology,...
Something to Chew over .
I realise it is Sunday but, at the risk of putting you off your breakfast or lunch, I thought you might like to consider some of the other delicacies you could be enjoying next time you go travelling. I well remember putting myself and my digestive...
Takeover Rumours Boost Bear Stearns
SPECULATION that investment bank Bear Stearns is a takeover target has its stock trading at near-record highs despite the threat of legal battles, including securities fraud charges. Americ'as sixth-biggest securities firm last week paid $30m to...
That Takes the Biscuit
That takes the biscuit The description of a house as a chocolate-box property became a staple of the estate agents' lexicon pretty much as soon as chocolate was put in boxes. The thing is, if you cast your mind back to the heyday of classy 1970s...
The Case for High-Flyers
W hen luxury goods brand Mulberry launches a new range of luggage, it highlights the rules about carry-on bags from the world's top four or five airlines. "We started the trolley range four years ago, but the original is now too big for carry-on...
THE Goodwood Festival Was Not Simply a Momentous Event for Those Who Consider Crimplene to Be Racing's Next Big Thing
THE Goodwood Festival was not simply a momentous event for those who consider Crimplene to be racing's next big thing. Over the course of the festival's five days, a new leader emerged in the Sunday Business bookmakers' challenge. So step forward Rob...
The Little Airline That Thinks Big
W HEN Boeing bosses took a leap of faith in the late 1960s with the 747, they had reason to be grateful to Pan Am, the giant US airline that ignored sceptics and signed up for the first of the new jumbo jets. If Airbus Industrie is successful...
Tighter Spreads to Lift Supply
THE spreads between European corporate bond yields and underlying government benchmarks are continuing to narrow, heightening expectations of a sharp upturn in private-sector issuance once the holiday season ends. Reduced global financial market...
Today
Today Grand prix The 11th race of the Formula One season is held in Budapest, Hungary. Football curtain-raiser Premiership champions Manchester United take on FA Cup winners Chelsea in the FA Charity Shield, the curtain-raiser for the...
Trade Your Phone for a New Model
O ONE of the common assumptions in the world of technology is that where the US leads, the rest follow. That is not the case when it comes to wireless area protocol, or Wap, services especially for finance. To some commentators, that is not...
Two Views as Countryside Planning Debate Rages On
T he debate on housing in this country is one characterised by fear, confusion and parochialism. Given this state of affairs, just about every contribution to the argument is valid, in its own limited way. Fear is engendered by soaring prices...
Tyre Recalls Spark Panic
I TISN'T quite the famous Tylenol recall of 1982 when bottles of cyanide-laced painkillers took the lives of seven people in Chicago. Unlike Tylenol's maker, Johnson & Johnson, which reacted immediately to the scare, pulling more than 250,000...