In Brief

Energis, the telecommunications business owned by National Grid, yesterday slashed its international call prices to business customers by up to a third, in a move that could ignite a price war with British Telecom. Energis introduced a new tariff for business customers who spend about pounds 70 or more a month on calls. Calls to France, Germany and the USA will fall to 10p a minute. Mike Grabiner, Energis chief executive, claimed this made Energis the cheapest mainstream telephones business in the world. He said he intended to raise the group's share of the UK's pounds 1.5bn- a-year international call market from under 1 per cent to 5 per cent. Energis also insisted it could make a profit on the new tariff.

AT&T unveiled a fixed wireless technology to carry high-speed digital communications directly to residential customers across the US at many times the capacity and speed of existing telephone lines. The new technology will initially provide each household with two telephone lines and the capability for high-speed Internet access. Customers will be able to use their existing touch-tone wired telephones and keep current phone numbers. The company said it would begin testing the new system in Chicago later this year. John Walter, president of AT&T, said: "We are announcing the creation of what we believe will be the communications medium of the 21st century."

Rebel shareholders in Christian Salvesen promised a radical shake- up of the group if they were successful in voting down management plans to split up the transport and hire divisions and pay a pounds 100m special dividend. Launching their rival plans, Sir Gerald Elliot, the former chairman who leads the dissidents, attacked the "poor performance and lack of vision" of the current board. In a document being sent to shareholders, he said the management team would be strengthened and incentivised if they won, with the appointment of former Lucas finance director John Grant as new chief executive. There would also be strategic reviews of both the logistics and Aggreko operations.

Birmingham Midshires Building Society reported an increase in taxable profits from pounds 63.9m to pounds 70.7m for 1996. Mike Jackson, chief executive, said the society "does not feel itself under any pressure to link with another organisation simply because other societies have decided to do so". He said the society "continues to research all the options so as to ensure that it is fulfilling its duty to act in the best long-term interests of the society". He said there were plans to extend the product range by launching a credit card, motor and travel insurance products. Separately, Coventry Building Society announced a drop in pre-tax profits from pounds 41.7m to pounds 24.15m due to the "planned narrowing" of the interest margin.

Matthew Clark, the troubled cider producer, has appointed Robert MacNevin as group marketing director with effect from 1 May. Mr MacNevin joins from Guinness Brewing Worldwide, where he is currently marketing and business development director for Europe after four years working as marketing director of Guinness Brewing GB.

Penny Hughes has joined the board of Mirror Group, joint owner of The Independent, as a non-executive director. She was president of Coca- Cola Great Britain & Ireland until January 1995. She also holds other non-executive directorships at Next, Berisford and Body shop.

Company cars continue to be a popular benefit, with many companies increasing the value of vehicles allocated and some decreasing the replacement intervals after a period of tightening up on cost in the wake of the recession, according to the latest company car policy survey by remuneration advisers Monks Partnership. Report editor David Atkins added that tax changes had done little to reduce the attraction of cars, with few drivers tempted to accept a cash allowance instead.

Due to an inadvertent error in yesterday's edition the pre-tax profit 1996 for Leeds & Holbeck Building Society was incorrectly stated, and should have read pounds 18.27m.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable