In Brief

A Treasury-backed Bill giving building societies extra powers and limited protection against hostile takeovers was yesterday brought before Parliament, ending months of doubt as to whether it would be introduced. The Building Societies Bill seeks to remove restrictions on societies' commercial activities, allowing them to offer a wider range of financial services. Societies will now be able to make up to 25 per cent of loans that are not fully secured on residential property. Until now, only a tiny proportion could be for anything other than mortgages. The Bill will also strip the five-year protection against takeover from any de- mutualising society which is itself involved in a bid to take over another company.

FKI is spending pounds 21m on reorganising its electrical engineering division, which includes the Hawker Siddeley Electric Power group and Marelli Motori. The company said the reorganisation was being made to "take advantage of their combined strengths". It said the impact of the recent strength of sterling on overseas earnings had been largely balanced by a relatively strong US market.

Richards, the specialist engineering group, warned that its profit margins in the UK were being eroded by the continuing strength of sterling and as a result it had to put its Northern Ireland spinning plants on short-time working. The warning, which came at the annual general meeting, was blamed on the near 20 per cent appreciation of sterling against the Belgian franc.

Cambridge Antibody Technology yesterday announced plans to raise pounds 35m in the latest of a growing stream of stock market flotations in the biotechnology sector. The company, which was started in the bedroom of joint founder and chief executive David Chiswell, has developed what it claims is technology for isolating human monoclonal antibodies, used both in making drugs and in screening other compounds to test their suitability as drugs. The group is expected to be capitalised at around pounds 90m by the mainly institutional placing, with dealings due to start on 25 March.

China had a 1996 trade surplus with the US of $10.54bn (pounds 6.5bn), the China Daily reported, quoting a customs report. The report said total trade between the two countries in 1996 rose 4.9 per cent year-on-year to $42.84bn. Exports to the US last year totalled $26.7bn, up 7.9 per cent, while US imports totalled $16.2bn, up 0.2 per cent. However, according to US data, America's US trade deficit with China was $39.5bn last year.

SmithKline Beecham has convinced a key panel of the US Food and Drug Administration to recommend approval of its Coreg heart treatment for sale in the US. Last May, the panel refused to approve the drug, saying it needed more information from the British drugs group.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
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

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year