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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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Results for the 1st Quarter of 2013

Category : Stocks, World News

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL–(Marketwired – May 14, 2013) – CCR S.A. (CCR) (BMFBOVESPA: CCRO3), Brazil’s largest road concession operator in revenue terms hereby announces its results for the first quarter of 2013.

Read the original here: Results for the 1st Quarter of 2013

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Results for the 1st Quarter of 2013

Category : Stocks

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL–(Marketwired – May 14, 2013) – CCR S.A. (CCR) (BMFBOVESPA: CCRO3), Brazil’s largest road concession operator in revenue terms hereby announces its results for the first quarter of 2013.

Original post: Results for the 1st Quarter of 2013

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London no longer looks for northern lights like Harry Whewell

Category : Business

Once upon a time, news editors in Manchester and Glasgow were the equal of those in Fleet Street. Now a regional political breakthrough like Ukip’s takes the capital by surprise

There was a sudden remembrance of times past the other day when Harry Whewell died. Harry, in his pomp, was the great northern news editor of the (ex-Manchester) Guardian while the Guardian’s greatness still dwelt in the north. He cherished and developed many young Oxbridge hopefuls: Michael Frayn, Jonathan Steele, Benedict Nightingale, Simon Hoggart. He loved his Manchester, knew every nook and cranny of it, strove tirelessly to bring it to life. And the question he left behind remains hauntingly difficult for journalism to answer in a week where local elections stole the headlines. Whatever, in day-to-day newspaper terms, became of the Britain beyond Watford Gap?

Helen Pidd, Harry’s many-stages-on young successor as northern editor of the paper, was brooding in precisely these terms recently. Forty years ago, she wrote, there were 95 journalists working in the Manchester office. Now “I will be the only staff reporter in the north … Whenever the Guardian runs a trend piece about how ‘we’ are all watching The Wire/eating baba ghanoush/wearing harem pants, I always think to myself: in north London maybe. No wonder the media, particularly the so-called ‘quality’ press, misses important shifts among the majority of people in the UK who do not live inside the M25.”

It’s a theme that can’t be brushed aside too easily. Once upon a time – Harry Whewell’s time – Fleet Street and its northern outposts of Glasgow and Manchester marched in step, well-resourced regional editions of the nationals digging and noting. Birmingham and Liverpool had their own substantial morning papers. The Yorkshire Post often seemed a quasi-national itself. Darlington’s Northern Echo basked in the glory of Harry Evans’s editorship.

Not all of that has evaporated. The Post and the Echo soldier on. But there is no critical mass, nor any balancing act. Northern newsrooms – like Midlands correspondents and the rest – have all but vanished. Local news agencies feeding the nationals are similarly diminished. London, reaching for its newspaper or clicking online each morning, gets no consistent sense of what non-metropolitan life is like.

Pidd remembers the plaudits she won for correctly predicting that George Galloway might win the Bradford West byelection. “‘How did you know?’ I was asked at the Guardian’s morning conference after the Respect MP won a 10,000 majority. It wasn’t rocket science, I said. ‘I was there’. Or, perhaps more accurately, I had bothered to go.”

Perhaps you can replay that selfsame record today in the wake of Ukip advance from South Shields to deepest Surrey. Some shifts can’t be spotted sitting at terminals in Canary Wharf or WC1. Some mood swings begin on the ground far from Westminster. But devolution actually seems to mean less news from Scotland, and vice versa. And the web-based march of British journalism across the world can leave home bases scantily covered, as though

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VIDEO: Parliament protest amid Portuguese cuts

Category : World News

Portugal is planning to cut 30,000 civil service jobs and to raise the retirement age by one year to 66 as it tries to meet the terms of a bailout.

Continued here: VIDEO: Parliament protest amid Portuguese cuts

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European CEOs Explore Migration, the EEA, and Executive Education

Category : World News

LONDON, ENGLAND–(Marketwired – April 29, 2013) - The changing face of the European political and economic landscape that is emerging from the turmoil of the last few years is set to have severe consequences for many of the region’s businesses and leaders. As disputes over the shape of the EU and its structures rumbles on – tighter integration or looser ties, heavier regulation or a more liberal approach – many different camps are desperately trying to negotiate terms that will best suit their citizens and industries.

See the article here: European CEOs Explore Migration, the EEA, and Executive Education

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Google searches predict market moves

Category : World News

A study of Google searches and US stock market data finds that rises in searches for financially relevant terms precede market slumps.

Read more: Google searches predict market moves

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Business bosses back Cameron push for new deal for Britain in Europe

Category : Business

Sir Steven Rose among 500 business chiefs calling for ‘national drive to renegotiate the terms of UK membership of EU’

Five hundred British business leaders, including Ocado chairman Sir Stuart Rose and Next boss Lord Wolfson, have backed a campaign urging David Cameron to negotiate a new deal for the UK with Brussels.

The Business for Britain campaign, whose supporters range from blue chip firms to small companies, has backed the prime minister’s approach to renegotiation and called for a cross-party “national drive to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership of the EU”.

Cameron has pledged to claw back powers and then offer voters a choice of staying in the EU in a referendum by the end of 2017, if the Conservatives are returned to power at the next election.

Business for Britain’s co-chairman Alan Halsall, who is also the head of Yorkshire pram-making firm Silver Cross, said: “Business for Britain has been formed because many would have you believe that business doesn’t want politicians to try and renegotiate a better deal from Europe.”

Retailer JML’s founder John Mills, a Labour supporter, said: “This campaign is not about taking political sides or backing the right horse – it’s about doing what’s best for British business.

Other signatories include Lord Bilimoria from Cobra beer, Richard Burrows from British American Tobacco, hairstylist John Freida, Lord Harris from Carpetright, Moni Varma, the rice tycoon and John Clement from Littlewoods.

Financial workers sail through ‘fit and proper’ tests

Category : Business

Financial regulator turned down an average of one appointment for every 7,566 proposed in past six years, figures show

Britain’s financial regulator has blocked just 30 of a possible 227,000 applications to the sector’s most risk-sensitive jobs in the six years since the banking crisis erupted.

The renamed Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rejected an average of one appointment for every 7,566 proposed by banking, insurance and other finance firms under the terms of its “approved persons” regime between April 2007 and the end of 2012, according to figures seen by Reuters.

Regulators overseeing London’s financial industry have been at the forefront of a Europe-wide drive to increase professional standards by scrutinising candidates slated for key roles, to try to ensure they have the requisite skills to do their jobs.

Members of the financial community said the rules, tightened in late 2008, would impede company hiring plans, and 1,850 of the 40,997 candidates put forward in the year to April 2009 voluntarily withdrew applications for approved status.

But the latest figures show the number of people withdrawing from assessment has fallen sharply, while rejections from the FCA have remained negligible.

Will Pomroy, corporate governance policy adviser at the National Association of Pension Funds, said he hoped the small number of failed applications reflected more robust assessments of staff competence, capability, honesty and integrity at company level.

“Investors expect the board to take responsibility – and be accountable – for setting the culture from the top and ensuring it filters down throughout the workforce,” Pomroy said. “They would not want to be relying solely on the assessments of the regulator for each individual employed in a controlled function – of which there are a large number.”

But others said they drew less comfort from the figures, suggesting that rejections might have fallen because staff were being coached to pass the tests or giving up promotion prospects because they did not want to risk humiliation, or other consequences, if they failed.

“Think of it in terms of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle or the observer effect: directors are like subatomic particles, they behave differently under observation,” one industry sceptic said, on condition of anonymity.

The FCA does not break down rejections by year, but annual figures show the number of applications and withdrawals. The latest full-year figures show withdrawals came in at just 597 in the year to April 2012, against a peak of 1,850 in the year to April 2009.

“In addition to 30 applications for approval being formally refused since 2007, during the same period, over 7,000 applications were withdrawn after submission – many of which were after close scrutiny by the FSA,” a spokeswoman for the regulator said.

The UK’s “fitness and probity” process is one of the broadest in Europe, encompassing senior management and directors, and staff working in compliance, risk and internal audit across all firms authorised by the regulator.

Most assessments are done in writing but the regulator routinely interviews candidates for the most senior roles in “high-impact firms”, and carries out other interviews on a “risk-based approach if there are concerns about a candidate or firm”, the spokeswoman added.

Judicial review expected into handling of small firm loan scheme

Category : Business

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills accused of retrospectively rewriting rules of loan scheme

The government is facing the threat of a judicial review into its handling of an investigation into Barclays’ involvement in a state-backed loan scheme.

An investigation into a loan made by the bank in 2006 under the small firms loan guarantee scheme was extended last month by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills after an intervention by Michael Fallon, a business minister.

However, questions have been raised about the latest examination of evidence by the auditors RSM Tenon on behalf of the department. The loan was made to a company owned by Yorkshire businessman Jeffrey Morris who has alleged Barclays did not comply with eligibility rules imposed by the loan guarantee scheme.

“The new report makes no sense to me,” Morris said. “It is selective in the information it relies upon, it is inconsistent with itself and the evidence, it rewrites the scheme rules and it is inconclusive. The only way I can get justice for myself and the taxpayer is to seek a judicial review. I have spoken to my lawyers who believe there is a case for a much wider and fully independent judicial enquiry.”

The scheme for startup businesses, which guaranteed banks a return if their investment defaulted, has cost the taxpayer at least £200m in compensating banks. The Guardian reported on the loan in September, prompting the department to commission RSM Tenon. Papers seen by the Guardian show, allegedly, that Barclays sought collateral for the deal and gave the loan to a long-established business – actions that contravened the scheme’s terms. Morris defaulted on the loan in 2006, but Barclays reclaimed most of the balance owed – £91,667 – from the taxpayer.

Morris argues that an internal email sent by Barclays in May 2006 shows the bank had arranged a loan under the guarantee scheme for his business, Diamond Shape, even though he still had available collateral. Under the terms of the scheme, a loan could be guaranteed by the government only if the borrower had exhausted all other forms of collateral.

The new investigation examined a key email from Barclays, discussing a meeting with Morris, which indicates that the bank sought collateral for the loan. Referring to the department’s former guise as the Department for Trade and Industry, it says: “Looking for NewCo SFLG of £200k asap – this has been sanctioned by DTI. We advised we would need to see at least either share charge or property charge in place prior to drawdown.”

This suggests Barclays was seeking further collateral before making the money available to Morris, in direct contravention of the scheme’s rules. However, the new RSM Tenon report makes no mention of this part of the email. Instead, it focuses on the shares and property Morris was offering to Barclays as additional collateral. The reports admits that Mr Morris had further collateral available at the time the loan was made.

The new RSM Tenon report also appears to suggest that although the bank was seeking further personal collateral from Morris, this did not breach the key rule that any such loan could be made only when all other personal collateral had been exhausted. Barclays has said that the crucial email does not relate to Diamond Shape and had no relevance to the SFLG application.

Referring to the email, the report says: “The extent to which he was being asked to support the borrowing … personally does not, in itself, invalidate the making of an SFLG loan.” The department could not explain how this apparent retrospective rewriting of the scheme’s rules was justified. A department spokesperson said: “The department is satisfied that all relevant and necessary evidence from the loan application process, from all parties, has been properly considered.”

Barclays said: “Barclays co-operated fully with the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and RSM Tenon during their thorough audit of the loan made to Diamond Shape Limited by Barclays in 2006. Weare pleased to acknowledge the findings of the final report which found that ‘the loan and business appear to meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme at the time’. Barclays remains committed to lending and will utilise government schemes, where appropriate, to help make funds available to our customers and clients.”

RSM Tenon declined to comment.

Hilco to save HMV brand in £50m rescue deal

Category : Business

Restructuring specialist would acquire about 140 stores and safeguard 2,500 jobs

There might just be life in the old dog yet: Nipper, the mascot who has peered into a gramophone in HMV shop windows for more than 90 years, appeared close to being saved in a £50m deal that will safeguard 2,500 jobs and up to 140 branches of the UK’s last major high street DVD and CD

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