Business Diary: HR Owen boss is well-qualified

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At first sight, the appointment of Andy Duncan, the former Channel Four as the new chief executive of HR Owen, the posh motor dealer, looks a little curious. From television studio to car showroom is an unusual career move. Still, at least Mr Duncan's personal choice of motor won't embarrass him in front of his new colleagues. Our spies tell us he drives a rather swish Audi S5 turbo cabriolet – not much change out of £40,000 for that one.

Different views of the same man

Bob Diamond's appointment as chief executive at Barclays Bank has certainly prompted some spirited arguments. "Bob Diamond's appointment should be a matter for rejoicing," says the market commentator David Buik. Paul Kenny, the general secretary of the GMB, begs to differ. "These are the bankers who caused the recession, sticking two fingers up at the taxpayers who rescued them," he complains. Barclays' new boss may be expensive but speech remains free.

Sky's man socks it to BBC rival

It was only a matter of time before Sky News's ambitious business correspondent Mark Kleinman got stuck into Robert Peston, his opposite number at the BBC, who is also known for his drive. And with both men claiming credit yesterday for having broken the news that the HSBC chairman, Stephen Green, is to be the new trade minister, Kleinman couldn't hold himself back. "BBC appears to have 'learned' how to read output of other news organisations," he tweets.

Is Argos brand a tad tarnished?

Although we were aware that gold is classified in a variety of different ways, reflecting its purity, we've not come across the idea of "Argos gold" before, a concept being pioneered by Ounces2Pounds, the company that buys up unwanted gold jewellery. It says the economic slowdown has prompted a sharp increase in people trading in "low-carat Argos gold jewellery", particularly in less affluent areas. Not the brand extension Argos was looking for, presumably.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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