News Column


July 29, 2014

Bank of Cyprus in 1bn share sale Bank of Cyprus has raised 1bn by selling shares to investors including Wilbur Ross, the US private equity specialist, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development only a year after it was saved from collapse by an international rescue deal. The deal is designed to shore up the Bank of Cyprus's capital ratios ahead of this year's European asset quality review and stress tests, which have already prompted Eurozone lenders to raise more than 45bn, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.

CBI warns on London housing costs London's employers say that soaring housing costs are making it harder to find staff and pushing up wages, damaging the capital's economy. More than half of the companies surveyed by the CBI business lobby said that access to and the cost of housing were having a negative impact on staff recruitment, particularly for entry-level roles.

China's Baidu plans self-driving car Baidu, the Chinese search engine that has mimicked US technology group Google's biggest innovations, is experimenting with its own version of a self-driving, or "highly autonomous", car. Baidu has already branched out into web browsers, produced street-view maps and plans a version of Google Glass - provisionally dubbed Baidu Eye.

Smith & Wesson 'bribery' penalty Smith & Wesson has been fined $2m for making improper payments to Pakistani officials and giving them $11,000 of guns as "gifts" while trying to win contracts to supply firearms products to a police force in the country.

NAB moves nearer to British exit National Australia Bank moved closer to a possible exit from the UK market yesterday with the sale of a 625m parcel of non-performing commercial property loans to Cerberus Global Investors. The Australian lender owns the Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks in Britain.

Pepe Jeans mulls private equity sale Pepe Jeans Group, the clothing retailer which also owns British brand Hackett, is exploring a sale of the business. A sale of both Pepe Jeans and Hackett could fetch around 700m (553.6m). Private equity firms, including KKR, Permira, CVC and PAI are interested in acquiring the company.

Chinese antitrust staff visit Microsoft appears to be the latest US firm targeted by China for antitrust investigation as officials paid sudden visits to the software firm's Chinese offices. China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce visited several sites.

McDonald's faces shortages in China McDonald's is facing a shortage of products in some outlets in China as a result of a shift away from a Shanghai supplier that allegedly sold expired meat to some fast-food chains in the country. McDonald's outlets in Beijing and Shanghai don't have hamburgers or chicken and the restaurants are encouraging customers to purchase fish sandwiches.

BMW to expand electric car charging BMW plans to announce today a deal with NRG Energy to allow owners of BMW i3 electric cars to recharge their batteries for free through 2015 at NRG eVgo charging stations in California.

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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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