Co-op Bank names new CEO
The Co-operative Bank has appointed Andrew Bester, previously group director and chief executive of the Commercial Banking division at Lloyds Banking Group, as its new boss. He takes over from Liam Coleman, who revealed he would be standing down in June. Bob Dench, the Co-op Bank's chairman, said: “Five years ago, the bank faced very significant problems and over that time we have made progress towards successfully tackling those issues. In Andrew we have found the right person to take us on to the next stage as we focus on achieving a sustainable, profitable bank.”
Index Ventures builds war chest for new ventures
Index Ventures has raised $1.65bn (£1.24bn) in new funding for tech startups. The venture capital firm has secured $650m for its venture fund, which backs businesses in their early stages, and $1bn for its growth fund, which invests in the expansion of “scale-up” companies. The new funds will be focused equally on Europe and the US. Index partner Jan Hammer commented: “With our transatlantic presence in San Francisco and London and with $1.65bn in new capital, we believe we are well positioned to support the next generation of entrepreneurs building transformative global businesses.”
Citi boosts Paris office
Citigroup, which expected to move around 250 jobs out of London, has boosted its Paris investment bank office with the hire of two UBS bankers. The US bank’s chair of continental Europe, Luigi de Vecchi, will relocate to Paris from Milan, according to an internal memo. Meanwhile, Makram Azar has retired from Barclays as its head of banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to pursue new business opportunities and spend more time with his family.
Iran asks for funds ahead of sanctions
German authorities are considering a request by Iran to withdraw €300m (£260m) from bank accounts held in Germany, with the cash transferred to Iran. The request is said to have come from a high-ranking official at the central bank in Tehran.
Uber invests in Lime
Uber has announced a deal with scooter hire company Lime. The deal means Uber users will be able to rent Lime’s scooters via the car-sharing company's app. News about the deal emerged as Lime announced funding of $335m that Uber, along with Google's Alphabet and others, had contributed to.
Nissan admits falsifying emissions tests in Japan
Nissan has admitted that its testing environment was not up to standard and that it falsified exhaust emission and fuel economy data on some vehicles sold in Japan.
Half of new cars sold in UK will be ultra-low emissions by 2030
As part of a push to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, a new government pledge seeks to have at least half of all new car sales as ultra-low emission vehicles by 2030.
London City Airport mulling expansion
London City Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair is considering an application to raise limits on flights and passenger numbers. The airport is currently restricted to 6.5m passengers and 111,000 flights a year. Meanwhile, Sean Menke, the CEO of technology company Sabre, has said the expansion of Heathrow airport may come too late to protect London’s position as a leading transport hub.
Ryanair agrees to meet union ahead of strike
Ryanair has agreed to meet the trade union Fórsa either today or tomorrow in an attempt to prevent a planned strike by pilots based in the Republic of Ireland.
Moneybox secures £14m funding
Micro-investing app Moneybox has secured £14m in funding, with the aim of developing new products and expanding its team. Eight Roads led the round of Series B funding, with existing investors Oxford Capital Partners and Samos Investments also contributing. Since launching in August 2015, Moneybox has gained over 100,000 customers, with the average user investing £20 a week through a combination of weekly deposits, payday boosts, and one-offs.
Cryptocurrencies to become more mainstream
Cryptocurrencies are close to becoming a mainstream form of payment, according to a new report from researchers at Imperial College London and trading platform eToro. Dr Zeynep Gurguc from Imperial said: “The wider use of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets is the next natural step if they successfully overcome the six challenges [scalability, usability, regulation, volatility, incentives and privacy] we set out in our report.”
LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
Pub giant mulls property portfolio sale
Britain's biggest pub company Ei Group, formerly Enterprise Inns, has appointed advisers to explore a potential sale of its commercial property division in a deal that could value the business at up to £300m. According to the Times, the investment bank Rothschild is helping it to consider options for the business, including a sale of some or all of the portfolio of 351 properties.
Chinese bid for Northern Aerospace blocked
The Competition and Markets Authority has blocked Chinese aerospace and mining firm Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources from taking over British defence company Northern Aerospace, which is owned by UK private equity firm Better Capital. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “To ensure that UK national security interests are protected, the defence secretary has requested further analysis on the proposed deal.” Jon Moulton, the boss of Better Capital, stated that a sale to Shaanxi would have been positive for the future of the company after the loss of a key contract with Airbus.
MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT
House panel queries Apple and Alphabet on privacy
Four House Republicans have written to Apple and Alphabet about their data collection and privacy practices. The FT suggests the move shows concerns about the Facebook furore are spreading.
Workspace offloads three more London properties
Office provider Workspace has sold three London properties - Belgravia Workshops, The Ivories in Islington, and Spectrum House near Gospel Oak, for £52m, a premium of 23.2% (£9.75m) to the last valuation on March 31 - as the firm repositions its portfolio. The deal comes just days after the firm sold its Marshgate Business Centre in Stratford for £15m.
Axel Springer raises stake in Purplebricks
German publishing company Axel Springer has increased its stake in Purplebricks, the online estate agent, to 12.5%. The extra investment will give Purplebricks a boost as it looks to rapidly expand into the US market.
Asian buyers dominate confident City market
Asian investment constitutes over half (57%) of all commercial property purchases in the City of London, according to property research firm Datscha UK.
Mothercare to close 60 outlets
Mothercare is to close 60 stores by June 2019, ten more than previously earmarked, putting 900 jobs at risk. The extra closures mainly come from its Children’s World division, which will go into administration, with its remaining stores transferred to other Mothercare companies. The restructuring will help generate £10m in savings per year, the company said.
Mountain Warehouse to create 3,000 jobs
Mountain Warehouse is set to create at least 3,000 jobs after securing £45m from Inflexion Partnership Capital. The outdoor retailer will use the investment to double in size over five years.
European sport tech group Sportradar valued at $2.4bn
Sportradar, a European sport technology group, has been valued at $2.4bn after EQT Partners sold its 35% stake in the company to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and TCV.
Bank should be able to freeze house price to avert crisis
The Institute for Public Policy Research has said that the Bank of England should use its powers to freeze house prices for the next five years to reduce the chances of another financial crisis. The think-tank suggested that the Bank should be given the right to set a target for house price inflation, as it does with consumer prices inflation.
Infrastructure spending could boost economy by £33bn
A report commissioned by the mayor of London predicts the government could bring in £9.8bn in additional tax take per year if it increased spending on national infrastructure projects. The research concludes that increased investment would add £33.8bn to the economy each year.
Young YouTubers expect to earn twice as much as investment bankers
Students who plan to make social media their career expect to make twice as much as aspiring bankers in their first year of work. A survey of students by discount site UNiDAYS found that YouTubers are confident of earning £55,000 in their first year on the job, while those wanting to enter the investment banking sector expect to earn just £26,400 in their first year.
Payments system suffers IT glitch
A backlog of payments is being cleared after a problem with the UK’s Faster Payments system which occurred between 13:00 and 17:30 on Sunday. A spokesman for the New Payment System Operator, which oversees the service, said that the fault, in the central infrastructure of the system, was being investigated but had been corrected.