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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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Coca-Cola warns of possible job cuts

Category : Business

Coca-Cola Enterprises warns that 288 jobs are at risk across the UK, due to a planned change in the way its distributes its products.

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Coke profits lose fizz in Europe

Category : World News

Falling sales in Coca-Cola’s key recession-hit European markets lead to a 15% decline in profits.

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Stocks rebound from year’s worst sell-off

Category : Business

Housing starts and rebounding gold prices drive gains, along with strong earnings from Coca-Cola, J&J and Goldman Sachs.

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Coca-Cola warns of volatile outlook

Category : Business

Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest soft-drinks maker, sees sales in Europe and China fall in the last quarter of 2012 and warns the year ahead will be unpredictable.

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Coca-Cola FEMSA Signs a Definitive Agreement to Acquire 51% of The Coca-Cola Company’s Philippines’ Bottling Operation

Category : World News

MEXICO CITY–(Marketwire – Dec 14, 2012) – Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: KOFL) (NYSE: KOF), the largest franchise bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world, and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), the world’s largest beverage company, have signed a definitive agreement for Coca-Cola FEMSA to acquire 51% of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) for an amount of US$688.5 million in an all-cash transaction.

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Domino’s delivers, Coke is flat

Category : Business

Reporting third-quarter earnings, Coca-Cola said sales rose only 1%, while Domino’s reported strong sales both in the U.S. and overseas.

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Coca-Cola bottler quits Greece

Category : Business

The world’s second biggest bottler of Coca Cola is moving from Greece to Switzerland and will shift its primary stock listing to London.

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Virgin empire: from selling records to running trains and airline

Category : Business

The rise and rise of Richard Branson’s brand Virgin

1966 While still at Stowe public school, 16-year-old Branson comes up with his first successful business idea, a magazine called Student.

1970 The Virgin brand makes its debut as a retailer selling records by post, undercutting high-street retailers. The name originated from a colleague’s remark that everyone involved was a novice: “We’re complete virgins at business.”

1971 Branson opens his first record shop on London’s Oxford Street, but falls foul of the law for selling records on which he had not paid purchase tax. He escapes with a fine.

1973 Birth of the Virgin record label. It is sold nearly two decades later to EMI, having launched with Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells and signed acts including the Sex Pistols, the Smashing Pumpkins and Janet Jackson.

1984 Branson establishes one of his most successful and high-profile ventures with the Virgin Atlantic airline, taking on British Airways in what has become one of the biggest corporate rivalries. That antipathy reaches its nadir nine years later when BA apologises “unreservedly” for an alleged “dirty tricks” campaign.

1986 Branson, an insatiable self-publicist, breaks the world record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic in a speedboat. A year later he repeats the feat in a hot air balloon. Virgin Group is floated on the stock exchange but taken private by Branson in 1988.

1987 Branson launches a range of condoms targeted at young adults. The brand name? For once Virgin was ruled out – it was Mates Condoms. The business is sold a year later.

1993 Virgin Radio hits the airwaves in the UK and is sold four years later to a consortium led by Chris Evans in an £85m deal. In 2000 Evans sells the station and his TV interests for £225m.

1994 Branson launches Virgin Cola but it never breaks the stranglehold of Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Virgin Brides and Virgin Cosmetics fail, as does a bid to run the National Lottery.

1997 Virgin Trains launches and within a year is the most criticised operator on the railways.

1998 Virgin Mobile is launched and is a massive investment success after it is taken over by cable group NTL to form Virgin Media in 2006. Branson receives a minimum annual payment of £8.5m for use of the Virgin brand.

2004 Virgin Galactic, an airline that will operate in space, is launched. It has yet to make its first flight.

2005 The Virgin Active UK gym chain, one of Branson’s quieter successes, expands by acquiring Holmes Place.

2007 Branson confirms his impeccable timing, selling 125 Megastores – the heirs of his original modest Oxford Street venture – to Zavvi for £1. Zavvi is liquidated two years later.

2010 Virgin signs deals with NHS in Devon and Surrey to run social care and community health services.

2011 Virgin Money agrees to buy Northern Rock, the bank rescued by the taxpayer at the start of the credit crunch, for £747m. Labour and some Tory backbenchers claim that pushing for a quick deal had locked the taxpayer into a loss of at least £400m.

2012 Virgin loses out to FirstGroup for the west coast franchise.

Simon Hoggart’s Week: Politicians’ nonverbal signals are a hard to report

Category : Business

Our politicians may have found a subtle way of making impossible to report comments, distorted facial expressions

✒A new trend, perhaps: a cunning form of off-the-record political shorthand. Chatting to Boris Johnson briefly, I mentioned an extremely well-known member of the cabinet. He gave me a very Borisovian gurn, to indicate disapproval, even contempt. But there’s nothing to write down, so it can’t be used, or proved if it were challenged.

David Cameron held his annual summer party for the hacks this week, and we asked if he was going to any Olympic events. “I might have to go to [an event] with [one particular world leader].” Again, the look of dislike was perfectly obvious but impossible to record – probably vital in the new Twitter world, where nothing is ever spoken in private.

✒The last word, I think, on Ken Dodd. Last week I mentioned the fact that the story – chap visits another chap and remarks on a picture of Ken Dodd on his desk, which turns out to be the second chap’s wife – had actually happened to Prof Bill Jones of Liverpool.

Guido Casale writes and says that he heard the same tale about 40 years ago, though not about Prof Jones. He thinks it’s an urban legend, like the granny on the roof rack. The widow of Prof Jones’s colleague says she has no recollection of the event – though I’m not surprised: what loving husband would tell their wife she’d been mistaken for Ken Dodd?

My theory is that there are two types of urban myth. There are those that never happened and could never happen, such as the vanishing hitchhiker (man gives a lift to young woman and delivers her home. Next day he finds her pullover. So he takes it back to the house, where her parents tell him that their daughter was killed by a car, a year ago, at the spot where he picked her up).

Then there are those that might well have occurred. The story is good enough to be passed around, but it changes every time, so entirely different versions are being told in Penzance and Thurso. When I worked on a book about paranormal beliefs, I often found it helpful to strip stories down to their essentials. “Man mistakes picture of middle-aged woman for middle-aged man” is not particularly surprising.

Likewise this: the other day I was waiting at the bus stop outside the care home where my parents live. There was a man there who looked similar to my old colleague Rupert Cornwell (he’s the half-brother of John le Carré), whom I’d known in parliament and in the US, where he lives with his American wife. I did a sort of “that bloke looks awfully like Rupert” puzzled frown, and could see him thinking: “He looks just like Simon Hoggart, only with less hair.” Of course it was him, and we were astounded by the coincidence. Arthur Koestler would have been thrilled beyond reason. But say: “Two men from the London area have elderly parents in the same London care home,” and it isn’t startling at all.

✒We went to see “the” Olympic torch – one of hundreds – go through our local streets this week. It was a festival of sponsorship. First there was an eccentric chap on a bike, decorated like a Heath Robinson contraption, followed by five police motorbikes, possibly in case a terrorist in the five-deep crowd decided that the whimsical machine offended their religion. Then the buses: Coca-Cola, Lloyds Bank and Samsung, the last filled with gyrating women as if in a Bangkok bar. Dozens more policemen, ambulances, and random cyclists, then near the end a little girl running with the torch, and looking tired out, poor thing.

Given that the biggest sponsors of all have been the British taxpayers, I waited for our sponsorship bus, filled with nubile dancing lovelies, but in vain. And if Coca-Cola can ban Pepsi and Visa can bar MasterCard, presumably we might stop foreigners from buying tickets. But I gather it doesn’t work like that.

✒Hungry and in a hurry, I went into a McDonalds, a multimillion- pound Olympic sponsor, for the first time in many years this week. I had a cheeseburger with fries. The fries were quite nice, as I remembered. But the cheeseburger was, simply, vile. A slimy patty of rendered meat substance topped with a slimy, lurid orange covering of processed dairy-style product. And the bun tasted like mashed up Kleenex. It made even Burger King and KFC seem like a gourmet experience. Still, I know now – never again.

✒We bought a car this week, a second-hand Skoda. The brand used to be a joke but now tops most of those tables for owner-satisfaction and so on. If they get rid of the horrible badge, apparently showing a cockerel being strangled, we could even flaunt it. We went to two showrooms. At one a shy and diffident chap helped us, and willingly admitted the car’s faults and omissions. At the other we had the used car dealer that tradition demands, all hustle and shove. Naturally we went with the first.

I had hoped we could go for a top-of-the-line Skoda, the wonderfully named Superb. I wanted to say things like “I’ll just run you to the station, in the Superb,” or “It’s a two-hour trip, but only an hour forty in our Superb,” or even, “I’ll have James bring the Superb round to the front portico.” But it’s too big for our garage space.

✒I’ve been reading an excellent book by Piers Brendon, Eminent Elizabethans, which, unlike the BBC’s weird choices, focuses on just four people: Murdoch, Thatcher, Prince Charles and Mick Jagger. By bringing a real historian’s discipline to the task, Brendon has unearthed lots of new material, including the first logged double entendre by Margaret “Will this gun jerk me off?” Thatcher.

In 1961, with a minor government job, she devoured all the raw data she could find, and brought the House down with her line, “And I have the latest red-hot figure!”

Coca-Cola makes $5bn India move

Category : Business

Coca-Cola says the firm and its bottling partners will invest $5bn (£3.2bn) in India in a bid to increase its market share.

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