Business Diary: Getting to grips with a rogue asset

Click to follow
The Independent Online

This sounds like an invite we shouldn't refuse. The stockbroker Peel Hunt has invited us to a champagne reception at the London Stock Exchange to celebrate the launch of a new book it is publishing: Exchange Traded Funds – an Introduction for Investors. For investors in the Swiss bank UBS, which has just lost $2.3bn courtesy of a scandal that seems to centre on ETFs, it may feel rather too much like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but for the rest of us, it seems like a gig not to miss.

Unite cuts off its nose to spite face

Much indignation at Unite, the trade union, over a posh awards bash the construction industry is holding in Glasgow tomorrow night. Unite, which is in themiddle of a row with construction bosses over changes to an industry agreement on pay and conditions, is outraged that seven of the companies concerned will have staff "tucking into top Scottish fare and fine wines" at the do. So much so, the union has announced it will boycott the event. No doubt the construction companies will be devastated not to have to break bread with Unite.

Swiss raiders return to London

It is back. Diary has reported before on an outfit known asRelocate to Switzerland, which seeks to persuade British companies and wealthy individuals to do exactly that. We've seen less of them over the past six months, but the row over the 50p top rate of income tax appears to have caught their eye: Relocate to Switzerland is hosting a conference in London next week – in Mayfair, naturally – at which it will once again set out the country's stall. A pity about the inexorable rise of the Swiss franc, though.

Lord Sugar lets rip at the BBC

More woe for TV licence payers: the BBC is due an invoice from Lord Sugar's tailor. The star of The Apprentice (and part-time businessman) made the mistake of getting a little too close to the furniture on a visit to the Beeb yesterday, snagging his suit trousers on the sharp corner of a desk. Cue a visit to the mending shop and a warning to White City to expect the bill. Still, one has to respect Lord Sugar's make-do-and-mend approach to life in this throwaway world.