Business Diary: The ultimate emerging market for Standard?

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The Independent Online

Wags in the City enjoyed yesterday's announcement that Standard Chartered Bank is to sponsor Liverpool. One email doing the rounds (presumably begun by one of those London-based Manchester United fans) suggests that the bank – known for its emerging market specialism – might be extending its penchant for frontier economics just a little too far with this deal.

Some closures more likely than others

"It is not accurate to characterise GNM's review of operations as a plan to shut The Observer," says a Guardian Media Group statement. "The review is an ongoing examination of all GNM's operations, ruling nothing in and nothing out." Though one imagines GMG boss Carolyn McCall shutting The Guardian and keeping The Observer running is slightly less likely than vice versa.

Not all singing from the same songsheet

The London Evening Standard does done its best to be positive about life in the capital. Hence yesterday's lead item on the business pages, headlined "London back in business as activity hits 18-month high". Shame about the page 2 headline, then: "London's shops hit by the worst slump since 7/7 attacks".

Hacks pull off shock cricket triumph

What's going on in the world of cricket? First, England win back the Ashes and now a team of financial journalists has recorded its first ever victory against opposition from the public relations industry. The annual Flaks v Hacks charity match, supporting the Pace Centre and the Paul D'Auria Cancer Support Centre (left), was won by the latter at the fifth time of asking on Sunday. The hacks even won the rounders too.

Some praise at last for non-executives

And people say non-executive directors are not appreciated. Stockbroker Peel Hunt has launched the 2009 Non-Executive Director awards. "Many have gone that extra mile to challenge business practices, adding value to company strategy, performance, human resources and risk management," explains Peel Hunt. Bank non-execs, presumably, need not apply.