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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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Bank of Canada names new governor

Category : Business

The Bank of Canada names long-term bureaucrat Stephen Poloz as its new head, replacing Mark Carney who is going to run the Bank of England.

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Stocks begin May with a sell-off

Category : Business, Stocks

Stocks dropped about 0.9% a day after they knocked-out six consecutive monthly gains, and Wall Street is wondering whether the bulls still have more room to run.

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Privatisation: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Category : Business

Privatisation has been an area of contention since Thatcher, and its impact on many UK communities is still being felt today

The good

Although many of the now-privatised companies are part or fully owned by foreign companies, they have proved to be lucrative investments and were once the means by which Margaret Thatcher aimed to create a nation of shareholders.

In 1986, when British Gas was floated on the stock exchange, shares cost 135p each, or 334p in today’s terms. Since then, British Gas has undergone several organisational changes and the resulting organisation, BG Group plc, is worth £11.09 a share. A £100 investment in 1986 would have gone up by £821.

Some privatisations have brought improvements for consumers. According to the water and sewerage regulator Ofwat, since the privatisation of the 10 state-owned regional water authorities in 1989, the number of customers at risk of low water pressure has fallen by 99%.

Those critical of state-run services often cite the six-month wait for the installation of a new BT line that customers allegedly suffered before telecommunications were privatised. New BT lines are today installed within 15 days, according to BT’s website.

The bad

Many would say the standout failure of privatisation was that of British Rail. While the actual process did not take place until after Thatcher had left office, she was known to be discussing it with the then Department of Transport months before her resignation. At the 1990 Tory party conference, a month before she left office, her then transport secretary, Cecil Parkinson, said: “The question now is not about whether we should privatise it [British Rail], but how and when.”

Since the privatisation the amount of government subsidies to the rail industry has risen higher than it was in its state-run days. A yearly average of just over £1bn in the late 1980s rose to a high of more than £6bn in 2006-2007, according to a public spending report from the House of Commons.

In 2011, the then Conservative transport secretary, Philip Hammond, alluded to the sharp rise in ticket prices since privatisation when he described train travel in the UK as “a rich man’s toy”. Five years earlier, economists at UBS bank said train travel in the UK was the most expensive in the world.

… and the ugly

For opponents of privatisation, the most damaging legacy has been job losses. In the decade after the miners’ strike of 1985, more than 200,000 jobs were lost as a result of coal privatisation, as well as creating the largest British industrial conflict of modern times.

Since privatisation, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost at BT, while the restructuring of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) – the result of an industry being left increasingly to its own devices by the government – led to the loss of 15,000 jobs in Teesside.

The government’s laissez-faire approach to the changes, and the resultant sudden, mass unemployment led to the transformation of what was once a region booming from steel industry to one of the most impoverished in the country. By the time it was privatised in 1988, British Steel had shed 20,000 jobs.

Supporters of privatisation would reflect upon it as a move that was necessary in order to adapt to increasing international competition, yet its impact on many communities within the UK is still felt today.

Barclays report blames bank culture

Category : Business

Barclays became too focused on short-term profit and bonuses in the run-up to the Libor-rigging scandal, a review commissioned by the bank says.

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VIDEO: Cyprus banks prepare to reopen

Category : World News

Banks in Cyprus are to reopen amid tight security on Thursday, 10 days after they closed to prevent a bank run as a controversial bailout was negotiated.

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Dragons’ Den star hopes to revive Jessops

Category : Business

Peter Jones re-employs 300 staff who lost jobs after camera chain went bust in January

It is a pitch that might draw snorts from the hard-headed judges on Dragons’ Den: invest in the resurrection of a high-street retailer extinguished by rampant e-commerce competitors.

But the proposal comes from arch-dragon Peter Jones, who believes he can revive the failed camera chain Jessops by reopening 30 high street stores, creating 500 jobs in the process. The entrepreneur is so confident in the chain’s success that he will run the business as chairman and chief executive, investing £5m of his personal fortune to revamp the brand. He has also re-employed more than 300 former Jessops staff who lost their jobs when the company went bust in January.

But he warned that the venture could mean walking away from the BBC show he is famous for if Jessops becomes a big success again.

“I’ll struggle to do both this and Dragons’ Den. I’m going to have to see. However, I’m very committed to Dragons and the BBC and have been there since the beginning, so they might not be able to get rid of me.”

Explaining how he fell for the Jessops pitch, he said: “I was abroad in January when I heard Jessops had gone down and was shocked because I had only bought a Canon camera for Tara [his partner] in November. When I got back to the UK I immediately put the calls in, culminating in several all-night negotiation sessions, but I was absolutely determined to get the business because it was such an iconic brand of which I was a customer.”

Six stores will reopen on Thursday in London, Manchester, High Wycombe, St Albans, Birmingham and Aberdeen, with the majority of staff made up from 1,370 workers left unemployed when all 187 sites shut their doors three days after administrators were called in. All 30 stores will open by the end of April.

On rescuing the business two months ago, Jones initially hinted that the future of Jessops would be online only, but after sending a tweet confirming he had bought the company he was inundated with CVs from former employees.

He said: “Store managers were saying: ‘If you ever need somebody let me know,’ and we just started making contact. I’ve never been overly emotional in business, but these guys are genuinely passionate about their jobs and are all photographers in their spare time.”

Robert Innes, 50, had been store manager in High Wycombe for seven years, having run a photography business in his native South Africa, when he found himself out of a job. However, after spending a few days trying to decide what to do next, he got a call from Jones asking him to come back to his old position.

“Jessops had been my pride and obsession,” he said. “I’ve been in photography most of my life, so when we got the email that said we were going into administration and to close the doors days later, that was very difficult. We were all in shock and completely devastated.

“Being asked to pack up the store for the administrators was the worst week of my life after turning the store into a money-maker. It was like going to a funeral each day. Then I got the call from Peter and it was all very emotional.”

The stores have been rebranded, with wooden floors and a sleek new design inspired by Apple’s stores. He said: “The high street has suffered from online shopping for many years, but I think customers still want the experience of going into a store and getting expert advice.”

Plans are under way to relaunch the website with a focus on click-and-collect, where customers pick up their online orders at the store, which has been highly successful for rivals including Argos and John Lewis.

Jessops traces itself back to a chemist’s store in Leicester 130 years ago. In 1935 Frank Jessop transformed it into a photography shop, and in the early days was mainly involved in hiring and selling 16mm cine films. The company quickly grew under the leadership of Jessop’s son, Alan Jessop, who transformed it into a cut-price retailer of photographic equipment. By the 1970s, it had outgrown its premises and moved to a new 20,000 sq ft site on Hinckley Road in Leicester, which was named as the largest photography store in the world by Guinness World Records. That shop closed in 2008.

A second store followed in the early 1980s in London and as personal cameras became more popular and affordable, the firm expanded to more than 50 shops. It ceased to be a family-run business in 1996 and was sold in a management buyout. In 2002 the Dutch bank ABN Amro’s venture capital arm bought Jessops for £116m.

Cyprus crisis: capital controls loom as banks race to re-open – as it happened

Category : Business

Government of Cyprus takes action in attempt to stop a bank run when branches reopen at 10am GMT Thursday

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Bidders sought for East Coast rail

Category : Business

Private companies have been invited to bid for the East Coast rail franchise, which has been run in the public sector since 2009.

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Socially Conscious Non-Profit, Weartiable, Secures Three New Board Members

Category : World News

FORT COLLINS, CO–(Marketwire – Mar 26, 2013) – Wearitable, a not-for-profit organization, has secured three new members for its Board of Directors. Wearitable sells clothing and other branded items for the benefit of non-profit organizations. Instead of taking a percentage of total goods sold to run its operations, Wearitable is separately funded through charitable donations and its own branded clothing and merchandise. This model makes it possible to run a non-profit where 100% of customers’ money goes to the charity or charities of their choice.

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Solar3D Begins Fabrication of Newest Prototype

Category : World News

The Company’s 3D Light Trapping Prototype Is Preparing the Way for a Pilot Manufacturing Run and Commercialization

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