Companies, Markets and Finance

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

OSBORNE ABANDONS BONUS CAP BID

George Osborne has abandoned his bid to overturn the EU banker bonus cap, reports the Financial Times. His decision came after an adviser to Europe’s highest court rejected Whitehall’s case, saying the restrictions on bonuses as a ratio of salary were legally sound. The chancellor said he will focus on reforming global rules on pay rather than wasting more money on a hapless lawsuit.

WARMTH AND EXODUS HIT BRITISH GAS

Milder weather will see British Gas bills drop by £100, says the energy provider. Average gas consumption for the first ten months the year was 21% lower than for the same period in 2013, while electricity consumption was 7% lower. Meanwhile, British Gas has lost as many as 250,000 customers to rivals over the past year, as more households switch to smaller suppliers.

JOHN LEWIS AD PROMPTS PENGUIN RUSH

The John Lewis Christmas advertisement has sparked an online rush for penguins, reports the Daily Telegraph. According to online auctioneer eBay, sales of penguin toys across the site increased by 300% after the November 12 launch of John Lewis’ Christmas advert, which features a little boy called Sam and his friend Monty the Penguin.

WONGA BOSS QUITS AFTER SIX MONTHS

Wonga boss Tim Weller has quit the payday lender just six months after taking over from his predecessor – who also lasted the same time in the job. Weller, who had been working at the payday lender for three years overall, left last month, according to filings at Companies House. He was the last remaining senior executive appointed by Errol Damelin, the company’s founder who quit in June.

QUOTE OF THE DAY … SUPERMARKETS EAT THEMSELVES

“Britain’s leading supermarket retailers fuelled the changes taking place and then failed to take advantage. The Big Four have been eating themselves.” Graham Ruddick writes that supermarkets should blame themselves, not changing shopping habits, for their woes.

 

JJB SPORTS BOSS GUILTY OF FRAUD

The former boss of JJB Sports has been convicted of accepting more than £1m in backhanders, reports the BBC. Christopher Ronnie denied fraud but was found guilty of trousering six-figure payments from three suppliers while in charge of the sportswear firm in 2007 and 2008. Wigan-based JJB Sports was dissolved with almost £150m of debts in November.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0715 BST


FTSE-100: down -0.26 to 6678.90
Dow Jones: up +0.19 to 17719.00
Dax: up +0.12 to 9483.97
Cac-40: down -0.75 to 4234.21
Nikkei: up +0.33 to 17357.51
Hang Seng: up +0.55 to 23478.47
US dollar: buys €0.79720 and £0.63770
Sterling: buys $1.56810 and €1.25010
Oil: $79.49 up +1.8