Business Diary: Free cinema tickets for suffering bankers

At last, someone who is prepared to show bankers some kindness. The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is showing Michael Moore's documentary Capitalism: A Love Story next week and is so concerned about the plight of our poor City folk that the first 50 bankers at each screening can get it in for free.



New name, same old problems

The branding vandals have struck again, at the ailing Belgian financial services firm Fortis, which is to change its name to Ageas. Apparently, the "Ag" honours Fortis's roots (it was founded as AG Leven in 1824), while the "ea" reflects its focus on Europe and Asia. The "as" at the end is for assurance, a key Fortis business. "Like our group, the name Ageas is more than the sum of its parts," says Fortis. "It derives from the Latin word 'agere', meaning action, drive, and a conviction to forge ahead." Yuck.



Nightmare time at the theatre of dreams

Bad news for football clubs and Manchester United in particular. Virgin Money research shows that one in four season ticket holders aren't sure whether they'll renew for next season. The figure rises to more than half at Old Trafford. Looks like the Glazers, above, are going to continue coming under pressure.



Murdoch's warm welcome in Abu Dhabi

Strange goings on in Abu Dhabi, reports the media blog Beehive City. On Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch spoke to a media conference in the Gulf state, urging the Middle East to open up to the media. Is that why The Sun's website, inaccessible for Abu Dhabi-based internet users until Wednesday evening, magically became available yesterday?



The energy battle warms up

And finally, a Diary item from Wednesday has upset British Gas. It explained how the price watch site uSwitch had been forced to correct a release claiming E.on offered Britain's lowest energy bills after a protest from Scottish & Southern Energy that it was better value. Now British Gas has joined the fray – it's cheaper than both, it insists.

Number of the day: 10 Years to the day since the dot.com boom officially ended, with the Nasdaq index of hi-tech businesses peaking.

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