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
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
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

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Manager - SAS - Data Warehouse - Banking

£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer
 SQL, C#, VBA, Linux, SQL Se...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment