Business Diary: From buses to gin palaces

Brian Souter may be best known as one of the founders of the bus company Stagecoach, but he has no shortage of other interests – the odd bit of political dabbling, for example, not to mention the ownership of a New Zealand ferry operator. Now, however, he is moving into a slightly more upmarket form of travel. Souter Investments, his private investment vehicle, has just pumped £9.5m into Sunseeker, the luxury yacht manufacturer. Some people love buses, of course, but there's no denying this venture has a little more glamour to it.

Another bank target missed

So which investment bank's website very proudly proclaims in large letters: "Our aim is to be the world's most trusted and respected financial services institution"? Step forward JPMorgan – the quotation is attributed to the bank's chairman and chief executive officer Jamie Dimon. A worthy ambition indeed, but after yesterday's record £33m fine imposed on the bank by the Financial Services Authority, it is going to take just a little longer to achieve.

Forest through beer goggles?

Poor old Nottingham Forest missed out on a trip to Wembley and promotion to the Premier League after losing to Blackpool in the Championship play-off semi-final last month. Still, at least Forest have signed up extra support for next season, in the form of valuable sponsorship from Greene King IPA, now the official beer of the football club. Curiously, however, the pictures that Greene King dispatched alongside the announcement of the deal were of advertising boards at a football ground full of claret and blue seats. Every seat at Forest's City Ground is in the team colours of red.

Britain clocks up new milestone

It's another historic moment for Britain to celebrate. At 2.17pm yesterday, reports the Taxpayers' Alliance, the national debt passed £800bn for the first time. Courtesy of the pressure group, you can monitor our progress towards the magic £1trn mark at www.debt-clock.org.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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