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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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G4S shares tumble as European business disappoints

Category : Business

World’s largest security company loses 11% as it warns on profit margins

Shares in G4S, the company that bungled the security of last year’s Olympics, slumped 11% on Tuesday morning, after it said profit margins would be lower than expected in 2013 because of a difficult first quarter in Europe.

The news will pile further pressure on the firm’s chief executive, Nick Buckles, who was forced to appear before MPs last summer to admit the operation for the 2012 Games was a “humiliating shambles”.

The world’s largest security company, which provides services ranging from manned security guards, to cash transportation and running prisons, pulled forward its trading update to say that group margins would be down 0.6% in the three months to the end of March, and would probably stay lower all year.

G4S is still struggling to recover from 2012 when profits collapsed by a third after the security contractor was forced to pay out £88m over its failure to supply enough guards for the London 2012 Olympics.

The company blamed the drop in margins on challenging conditions in continental Europe. It said prices in its cash solutions arm, which transports and stores money for businesses in the UK and Ireland, were under pressure. G4S was also hit by a £6m charge in Africa after some clients did not pay their bills. It said the proposed closure of 30 prisons in the Netherlands would also have an impact on the business.

“For all of these reasons, and despite ongoing business improvement plans, the first quarter margin trends are expected to continue for the full year,” the company said in a statement.

Overall, revenues grew by 7.5% at constant exchange rates in the first quarter. Organic growth, which strips out the impact of acquisitions, rose by 6% in the group as a whole and by 12% in developing markets.

Caroline de La Soujeole of Cantor Research retained a buy recommendation on the stock, despite the “disappointing” news, citing G4S’s attractive operational and geographical profile. The shares tumbled 32.5p to 273p.

VIDEO: Eco-tourism in Tunisia’s new era

Category : Business, World News

A slump in the number of visitors to Tunisia since the country’s revolution has forced those in the tourism industry to rethink their businesses.

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Drive to get more women on the board seems to be Petering out

Category : Business

The Peter principle has it that men are promoted beyond their competence. Now the Paula principle says the opposite happens for women. So who is to blame for slow progress towards more women directorships?

Back in 1969, a book called The Peter Principle was published, and became something of a classic in management texts. It may have influenced the odd change in the way businesses operated but, more memorably, it made readers laugh: its central premise being that employees are eventually promoted to jobs at which they prove incompetent.

So the excellent salesman, whose naturally charming patter compensated for his administrative weaknesses and won over thousands of customers, proves a disastrous sales manager who can’t understand why his team of less enchanting but harder-working colleagues don’t pull off his trick. Worse, he remains in that job, blocking anyone better qualified from doing it properly.

Now a chap called Tom Schuller is writing a book with a modern twist. It is called the Paula Principle and it argues that most women get promoted to a level below their competence. Far from rising to a position their talents don’t deserve, they languish below what they could easily manage.

The Paula Principle is a clever joke – only with a rather serious point. It is 45

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StanChart chief rues statement

Category : Business

The chairman of Standard Chartered is forced to issue an apology for “inaccurate” comments relating to the bank’s breach of US trade sanctions.

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Osborne must resist hawks’ call for defence cash

Category : Business

Pressure is mounting on chancellor to keep his military-minded MPs on a short leash and top up the aid budget

Pressure is mounting on George Osborne to keep his military-minded MPs on a short leash and top up the aid budget. It needs to rise from £8.6bn in 2011 to £11.3bn next year to fulfil Britain’s pledge to the UN to donate 0.7% of Gross National Income.

More than 100 economists followed up a letter last week from leaders of the UK’s biggest companies urging the chancellor to stay the course. There are also 170 charities pushing the benefits of aid, especially its potential to build self-sufficiency through agriculture and infrastructure investment.

It must be welcomed that the chancellor appears ready to stick to his guns and not siphon money away to spend on various armaments – as many Tory supporters wish – but he should heed the warnings of those who argue that civil servants in the department for international development, forced to rush to meet spending targets, could invest unwisely.

VIDEO: Coal ‘still critical’ to UK energy

Category : World News

Coal is still “critical” to UK energy production, despite the country’s largest mine being forced to close after a fire, according to UK Coal.

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Payday lenders face advertising clampdown

Category : Business

• Payday lenders forced to share data to stop multiple loans
• Number of TV ads could be limited
• Unlimited fines for those who break the rules

Payday loan companies will face new restrictions on how they advertise, and be forced to share information about applicants, after a government-commissioned report found that consumers are being harmed by serious problems in the sector.

The market for high-cost short-term loans has boomed in recent years, driven by the recession and an increasing number of firms offering fast borrowing at interest rates of 4,000% and higher. As the industry has grown, so have concerns about debt, with one advice charity reporting it had seen problems with payday loans double in 2012.

The government, which has been under pressure to take action against payday lenders, will work with the Advertising Standards Authority and the industry to make sure adverts for the loans do not lure consumers into taking on borrowing that is not right for them.

Lenders could face limitations on the number of TV adverts they are allowed to screen in an hour and the times of day they can advertise. They could also be forced to make sure their annual interest rate (APR) is displayed properly on all advertising. Currently some payday lenders advertise in prime time slots during family shows.

The government will also force lenders to talk to each other and confidentially share data on applications so that people can’t take out several loans at once from different lenders. Recently, the charity National Debtline said it had heard from clients with more than 10 payday loans against their names.

The news comes ahead of the publication on Wednesday morning of the results of a year-long review of the market by the Office for Fair Trading and a report by the University of Bristol on whether a cap in the cost of credit could protect consumers.

Some campaigners have suggested that such a cap would prevent some of the worse practices in the industry, while others have called for better affordability checks, and a ban on the use of continuous payment authorities, which allow lenders to keep trying to collect missed repayments from a borrower’s debit card.

The University of Bristol report suggests that a cap on credit is not the right approach now, but the government has committed to allowing the new financial regulator to introduce a cost cap at a later date.

A consultation on the other powers the new Financial Conduct Authority will have when it takes over regulation of the sector from the OFT in April 2014 will also be published on Wednesday morning. It will be able to impose unlimited fines on companies which break the rules, and to get consumers’ money back where they have been mistreated.

VIDEO: ‘Electricity error’ may close pub

Category : Business

A Kent landlady has said she may be forced to close her pub after a mistake by her electricity supplier left her facing a £17,000 bill.

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Defense stocks in cross hairs

Category : Stocks

As forced budget cuts seem likely to take effect this week, investors have punished shares of big defense contractors.

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Stocks: Budget cuts loom

Category : Stocks

A number of key economic reports are on tap this week, but much of the focus will be on the forced budget cuts that could kick in on Friday.

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