The Business: Thursday May 15 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Mark Carney is in no hurry to raise interest rates, reports the Daily Telegraph. The Bank of England governor says they will remain on hold this year, but warns householders to be prepared for a gradual increase in borrowing costs amid a climate of “robust” growth and sinking unemployment. "The economy has started to head back towards normal," he said yesterday. He believes that growth will become broader-based and more sustainable.
The boss of Burberry has been handed a ‘golden hello’ in shares worth up to £7.6m, says The Guardian. Christopher Bailey’s annual pay package is worth up to £8.1m a year, including a £440,000 cash allowance to cover clothing and other items. He took over from Angela Ahrendts earlier this month. There had been considerable controversy over her pay deal but Bailey’s contract entitles him to receive an allowance worth £53,000 more than his predecessor.
Shareholders have sparked revolts over executive pay at two well-known British companies, The Times reveals. In a vote to approve a remuneration report, barely 50% of shareholders independent of the board voted to approve it. The anger was sparked by the bonuses and retention deal offered to chief executive Dean Finch. Meanwhile, at ITV a protest against boss Adam Crozier’s pay came on the same day as a share price slump and news of a drastic drop in ratings.
Ticket scammers cost their victims £3.7m last year, says the Association of Chief Police Officers. Would-be holidaymakers and concert goers were the biggest victims of ticket fraud. Among the 4,555 reports were 22 victims who lost £10,000 or more. "Taking a punt on an unofficial seller, be it over the internet or face-to-face, is just not worth the risk,” said the national coordinator for economic crime, commander Stephen Head.
“Pre-tournament confidence is quickly dashed as structural weakness become apparent, leading to the team returning early, bitter postmortems on what went wrong, and calls for the manager's head.” The Guardian’s Larry Elliott extends Mark Carney’s World Cup metaphor to unflattering lengths.
Mike Ashley is eyeing a deal to buy LA Fitness gyms. The Sports Direct owner wants to expand the business into the gym industry. Ashley has already bought stakes in Debenhams and House of Fraser this year. He kicked off talks after the troubled gym chain was forced to dispose of sites through a company voluntary agreement. A rival of Sports Direct, JD Sports, opened a gym in Hull earlier this year.
FTSE-100: up +0.08 to 6878.49
Dow Jones: down -0.61 to 16613.97
Dax: down -0.00 to 9754.39
Cac-40: down -0.09 to 4501.04
Nikkei: down -0.96 to 14267.83
Hang Seng: up +0.33 to 22657.50
US dollar: buys €0.72910 and £0.59640
Sterling: buys $1.67660 and €1.22250
Oil: $109.28 up +0.7