Business Diary: BP's cash welcome in US once more

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The Independent Online

Some good news for BP for a change.

It would seem American politicians are prepared to give the company the benefit of the doubt these days – a sea change from the days last summer when the British oil giant was public enemy number one in a country furious about the Deepwater Horizon spill.

We know this because politicians have started accepting BP's campaign contributions again – US website Politico reveals BP gave $50,000 (£32,000) to political campaign funds between March and August, in line with what it was spending before the disaster. Life is looking up when they're no longer embarrassed to take your cash.

UBS stars put woes to one side

It is not all doom and gloom for everyone at UBS, despite the rogue-trader scandal and the rumours of big job losses to come. Its most prized bankers are spending this weekend at the Pebble Beach Golf Resort in California, where the bank has been hosting an annual get- together for top dealmakers for some time. Suffice to say that no expense has been spared, despite the difficult times the bank has been experiencing of late. Enjoy it while it lasts folks.

BT to face the asset strippers?

BT hasn't been seen as a takeover target for some time, but a new note from the analysts at Investec might just change all that. You know how trains keep getting delayed because the rising price of commodities such as copper has led to criminals ripping the stuff off tracks? Well, BT may be worth only £13bn at its current share price, as Investec points out, but it owns £50bn worth of copper wire. Getting at the stuff would be hard work, no doubt, but for those who are prepared to get their hands dirty, this might be the ultimate asset-stripping opportunity.

Bank charters a charitable course

Finally, a good news story from a bank. Standard Chartered has just announced a pledge to raise $100m (£65m) by 2020 for eye-care services across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The bank is a long-time supporter of Seeing is Believing, the charity which works on preventable blindness around the world. But the latest pledge from the bank represents a tripling of the funds that it has raised for that excellent cause since 2003.