Business news in brief

Germany and Austria reiterated their determination to stick to the Maastricht criteria for European economic and monetary union (EMU) yesterday. Speculation that Germany was likely to seek a delay of the project because it might not meet all the entry criteria deeply unsettled world financial markets on Friday. The rumours were denied both by the Bundesbank and the German finance ministry.

Dixons has promoted three of its senior managers to its board with effect from the start of its next financial year in May. Sir Stanley Kalms, chairman, said the appointments reflected the growth of the business and its focus on UK retail activities. The three are: David Gilbert, managing director of Currys; David Hamid, managing director of Dixons Group Commercial Services, who controls the groups after sales, distribution and marketing support services; and Ian Livingston, finance and systems director.

Banks are less likely to lend to companies with a poor environmental record as more sophisticated credit risk-assessment highlights the different ways in which environmental factors can affect a borrower's ability to repay a loan. According to a survey by the Green Alliance, a lobby organisation devoted to ensuring that green issues are a prime consideration in all decision-making, banks still have much to do to improve their environmental credentials.

The majority of owner-managed businesses in Europe believe there is still some way to go before the promised benefits of the European single market are realised. According to a survey published today by accountants Grant Thornton, more than 60 per cent of respondents claimed the single market had not reduced their costs in any way. Almost two-thirds said expanding their business had not become any easier. A similar proportion said there had been no reduction in red tape.

British business is turning against a single currency according to a survey to be published today by 3i, the venture capital group. Despite more than 80 per cent of the companies surveyed being exporters, with Europe the big market, opinion has shifted sharply in the past year away from a single European currency, from an even split last year to 10 per cent more respondents now being in opposition than in favour. The survey also showed a strong majority against the Social Chapter. However, 80 per cent thought the introduction of a statutory minimum wage at pounds 4 an hour would have no effect on their business.

Guinness Mahon and Hambros have agreed in principle to merge Hambros Fund Management with Guinness Flight to create Guinness Flight Hambro Asset Management. The retail funds of the combined business will trade under the Guinness Flight name. The companies said that a merger would provide the new business with greater financial strength, an enhanced product range and investment competence in managed currency funds, Asian equity funds and cash and fixed interest management. Following the merger, management will hold 15 per cent of the enlarged group's shares.

Sir Rocco Forte has re-entered the hotel business with the purchase of the 186-bedroom Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh from the Bank of Scotland. The Balmoral is the first hotel to be operated by a management company set up by Sir Rocco after the takeover of Forte by Granada at the beginning of last year.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
videoJapanese prepare for the afterlife by testing out coffins
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

£35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital