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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Bentley mulls Slovakia car assembly

Category : World News

Bentley may assemble its next new model in Bratislava, Slovakia, rather than the UK for the first time, the company says.

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British Gas chief Phil Bentley to quit with £10m send-off

Category : Business

Executive’s departure comes amid pressure on government to tackle soaring fuel bills

The managing director of British Gas is set to leave the business with a pension pot, shares and basic salary worth more than £10m, amid public and political disquiet over soaring household bills.

Phil Bentley, who oversaw a 6% increase in bills this winter, is expected to confirm that he is stepping down this year. He is believed to harbour ambitions to become a company chief executive in his own right.

According to the annual report of Centrica, the parent of British Gas, Bentley has an interest in just under 2m Centrica shares, worth £6.65m at closing share price. The 53-year-old executive is also expected to depart with a year’s basic salary, which came to £635,000 in 2011, along with his £3.6m pension pot.

Bentley’s imminent departure comes amid mounting political pressure on the government to tackle rising household bills. A poll of 2,000 people by Onepoll for Ovo Energy last month revealed that more than one third of homes are rationing power. Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to force energy companies to offer the lowest possible tariff to customers, a vow that triggered confusion among political colleagues at first but will now see energy companies limited to four tariffs each for electricity and gas.

British Gas is a lightning rod for criticism over rising household bills, as the provider of energy to 15.8 million customers. According to estimates, every 1% increase in energy prices pushes about 40,000 households into fuel poverty – defined as when consumers spend more than 10% of their income on heating. According to one estimate, there are 2.7m fuel-poor homes in England alone.

Centrica and its peers in the “big six” group of energy companies argue that bills are being pushed up by the cost of upgrading the UK’s gas and electricity grids, rising wholesale gas costs and levies imposed on energy companies to pay for low-carbon alternatives.

The energy bill, published last month, promises further increases in fuel charges throughout the rest of the decade. It will allow energy companies to charge households an extra £7.6bn to pay for low-carbon electricity infrastructure.

The committee on climate change, which advises the government on reaching emissions targets, estimates that the new charges will add £110 to the average household bill by 2020.

Bentley joined Centrica as finance director in 2000 and was handed his British Gas role in 2007. Centrica declined to comment on Bentley’s imminent departure.

Centrica, which also owns power stations and has a significant presence in North Sea oil and gas production, is due to announce the outcome of a strategic review alongside annual results next month. Those figures are expected to see Centrica declare after-tax profits of about £1.4bn, with British Gas forecast to produce a profit of £575m.

Bentley takes aim at armoured car market

Category : Business

Carmaker exploring ways to tap into growing demand for secure vehicles in Latin America, the Middle East and Russia

Bentley is considering launching an armour-plated car range as customers in Latin America, the Middle East and Russia seek to travel in bulletproof comfort.

The Crewe-based car manufacturer is exploring ways to tap into a growing market for secure vehicles in emerging economies where the threat of kidnap and assassination is constant.

Jan-Henrik Lafrentz, Bentley’s finance chief, said there was demand in Latin America in particular. He said: “We are growing in more and more markets there. For these markets, security is an issue. We are looking at the business case of doing armoured cars.

“There is also demand from Russia and the Middle East. We cannot do this for just one country. There are other countries where there is need for this.”

More than eight out of 10 Bentley sales are to customers outside the UK. As the vehicle of choice for James Bond in the Ian Fleming novels, Bentleys are used to hair-raising encounters, although the film versions have tended to portray 007 behind the wheel of an Aston Martin.

Bentley does not make armoured vehicles at its Crewe factory and refuses to discuss whether it has made armoured models in the past, although Prince Charles reportedly uses a bulletproof version of the Turbo R.

Jaguar Land Rover, another UK-based premium carmaker, already sells armoured versions of both its key brands, produced by specialist manufacturers.

Bentley, which is owned by Volkswagen, sold just under 4,000 vehicles in the first half of the year, up 32% year on year, with US sales increasing by a quarter and Chinese sales climbing 55%. In the UK, 557 Bentleys were delivered to customers, an increase of 4.5% on the first six months of 2011.

Lafrentz said Bentley aimed to more than double car sales to 15,000 a year by 2015, boosted by new concepts such as the Bentley SUV unveiled this year at the Geneva motor show. He said Bentley had yet to make a final decision on whether the SUV prototype would go into full production, but it had been well received in trials with potential customers around the world

Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

New engines to help Bentley sales double

Category : Business

A wider choice of engines help Bentley’s very subtle efforts to enter distinct niche markets, moving it towards its goal of doubling sales in five years.

Read the rest here: New engines to help Bentley sales double

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AUDIO: TNK was ‘crown of thorns’ for BP

Category : Business, World News

BP announced that they intend to sell there 50 percent stake in Russia’s third largest oil producer, TNK. Nick McGregor, oil analyst at stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley, gives his reaction to the news.

See more here: AUDIO: TNK was ‘crown of thorns’ for BP

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The Surge in China’s Auto Sales May Soon Slow

Category : Business, World News

European automakers could be at risk: China is Bentley’s largest market and accounts for 17 percent of BMW’s sales

Link: The Surge in China’s Auto Sales May Soon Slow

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Bentley showcases offroad luxury

Category : World News

Luxury car company Bentley has unveiled an SUV, or sports utility vehicle, at the Geneva motor show.

See original here: Bentley showcases offroad luxury

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