MoD supply reform hits problems
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond's plans to reform the £14bn agency supplying the armed forces is under threat as advisers struggle to prove that, in effect, privatising the division – it would be run by a contractor under the plans – is value for money. Whitehall sources cite the failure of G4S to provide enough security at the Olympics and problems over rail privatisation as reason for caution.
Oil-trading giant plots £3bn float
Secretive Swiss oil trader Trafigura is set to float part of its vast empire on the London Stock Exchange with the £3 billion listing of its Puma Energy subsidiary. Puma is 65 per cent owned by Trafigura, which sold a 20 per cent stake last year to Sonangol, Angola's state oil company. The fast-growing business is focused on refining, transporting and selling petrol mainly in the developing world.
Auction of 4G could fall short by billions
Chancellor George Osborne could face a big hole in the public finances after regulator Ofcom set a reserve price of £1.2bn on the sale of 4G mobile spectrum. According to estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the auction of the spectrum should fetch £3.5bn, but the fiscal watchdog has not talked to the Treasury or the regulator about how much the auction is likely to raise.
Banks face fresh split threat as parliament eyes fresh laws
Banks face being broken up if they do not improve. The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards will consider the "nuclear option" of splitting retail and investment banks if ring-fencing proves inadequate. It publishes its report on the Bank Reform Bill this week. Commission member and former chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby is in favour of full separation.