Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Out Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Out Spy

Article excerpt

FOLLOWING City Spy's piece last week about Sting not filing his accounts at Companies House on time, the treehugging star has been jogged into action.

He probably wishes he did not have to put them in the public domain since they are, quite literally, nothing to sing about.

Because, despite his enduring appeal around the world, his company, Steerpike, has reported losses of [pounds sterling]7.16 million for the year to April 2003, compared with a deficit the previous year of [pounds sterling]1.8 million.

His salary dropped from [pounds sterling]23.4 million to just [pounds sterling]108,000. But, given that there's no sign, in public anyway, of Sting battening down the hatches and selling off his worldly goods to raise cash, the assumption must be that these figures do not reflect the true extent of his wealth and, regardless of his caring, sharing image, his advisers are doing everything they can to minimise his tax bill.

MUCH angst at City Index, the result of a disastrous trade by Robert Bonnier, the former scoot.com boss. Bonnier took a contracts for difference position in Eidos, the Lara Croft computer games group, only to find, three profit warnings later, that he was [pounds sterling]4.8 million to the bad. City Index asked for the money, Bonnier said he didn't have it (he is also thought to be sitting on a large CFD position in Regus through Cantor) but would pay as soon as he could. City Index, part of Michael Spencer's Intercapital Private Group, is still waiting. "We're hopeful he is going to come up with a proposal for us," said a City Index senior executive.

ACCORDING to Fortune magazine, seven UK company chiefs are among the 25 most powerful people in European business. At number one is Lord Browne, the BP boss. No surprise there. Included in the seven, just behind Vodafone's Arun Sarin and Tesco's Sir Terry Leahy, and ahead of HSBC's Sir John Bond, Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP and Sir Fred Goodwin of Royal Bank of Scotland is Lakshmi Mittal. …

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