Business Diary: S&P's summit is ticket to riches

Their performance during the credit crunch may have been less than stellar and they've been getting all sorts of flak during the current sovereign debt crisis, but life is still pretty good for the credit ratings agencies.

Take Standard & Poor's, for example. Generally acknowledged as a market leader (if that's anything to boast about), it's currently touting its own European summit, at which, if you're one of the lucky invitees, you'll be able to listen to the views of S&P's top reinsurance analysts. And where is this hot ticket, you might, ask? That would be Monte Carlo, the millionaires' playground.

Wand producing a wave of magic

Businesses must take whatever inspiration they can, of course, but one can't help raising an eyebrow at an announcement from The Wand Company, which reckons its sales are up 350 per cent off the back of the release of the latest Harry Potter blockbuster over the past week. That sounds plausible enough – until you note that its Kymera 'wands', as seen on Dragons' Den, where the company is proud to hold the record for the most successful pitch ever, are remote controls for your telly that you use by waving your hand rather than pressing a button. It's not really the sort of magic the boy wizard practices.

Printer pitch looks a little desperate

The prize of the day for an optimistic attempt to cash in on celebrity pulling power goes to Intec, the printing company. It's hoping for a spot of good publicity from its sale of a colour printer to a Reed's School. And why should we be interested? Because Tim Henman went to this particular educational establishment, Intec explains. Nice try guys.

No summer break for busy Brady

It's a good job we're in a that small slice of the year that isn't part of the football season, for West Ham United's vice chairman Karren Brady is up to her neck in other commitments. The Apprentice, in which she advises Lord Sugar on the hopeless candidates, has only just come to an end and here she is popping up as a judge of the Small Business Awards, sponsored by Nectar. There's no faulting her work ethic.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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