The Business: Monday April 28 2014

Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

CBI: OUTLOOK ‘EXCEPTIONALLY STRONG’

The economic outlook over the next three months is "exceptionally strong", says the employers' organisation the CBI. In its latest monthly survey of 675 firms, the business lobby group indicated that growth expectations were the strongest since it began collecting data in 2003. It also announces that while the consumer spending accounted for the “lion’s share” of GDP growth last year, there are now “firm indications” of growth becoming “more broad based”.

UK ‘MUST CUT TAX TO PRODUCE ENTREPRENEURS’

Britain must slash taxes and red tape to produce more entrepreneurs, says a Centre for Policy Study report. The leading think tank discovered that Britain does not even rank among the top 10 countries for producing billionaire entrepreneurs and is lagging behind Hong Kong, the US, Australia, Canada and Ireland. The report’s author, Dr Nima Sanandaji, says that the government should reduce capital gains tax and scrap the 45p rate if it wants to encourage potential entrepreneurs.

KFC PLANS £21M EXPANSION

KFC is set to create up to 6,500 new jobs with the opening of 150 additional outlets in the UK and Ireland over the next five years, says the Daily Telegraph. The fried chicken chain will announce today that it is investing £21m in the expansion following eight consecutive years of sales and profit growth. “So as long as we can keep growing and make sure that our offering is appealing to consumers, I think the ceiling is quite a long way away,” says managing director Martin Shuker.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… THE INEVITABILITY OF CRISIS

“Mental shortcuts and shortfalls in human perception virtually guarantee that speculative manias will take hold from time to time.” John Authers on the inevitability of financial crisis. 

ECCLESTONE ‘AVOIDS £1.2BN TAX BILL’

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has avoided a £1.2bn tax bill through a secret deal with HMRC, claims the BBC. According to Panorama, the deal involved a payment of just £10m. Tax authorities spent nine years investigating the Ecclestone family's accounts before offering to settle in return for the payment from the family trusts in 2008. Ecclestone is currently on trial in Germany facing corruption charges.

PROPERTY: RUSSIAN LONDON SPENDING SOARS

Wealthy Russians and Ukrainians are rushing to snap up London property to conceal their assets from international sanctions, estate agents claim. Russian buyers splashed nearly £180m in the London housing market last year and many agents expect this year’s figure to be considerably higher. Property advisers JLL say: “Wealthy Russians and Ukrainians have been identifying safe locations for wealth preservation since the start of the year.”

THE NUMBERS... AT 0715 GMT


FTSE-100: down -0.26 to 6685.69
Dow Jones: down -0.85 to 16361.46
Dax: down -1.54 to 9401.55
Cac-40: down -0.80 to 4443.63
Nikkei: down -1.20 to 14255.71
Hang Seng: down -0.32 to 22151.72
US dollar: buys €0.72330 and £0.59540
Sterling: buys $1.67940 and €1.21470
Oil: $109.52 down -0.7