Business Diary: Treasury still copping RBS flak

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The Independent Online

There is nothing the Treasury would like more than to offload the taxpayer's majority stake in Royal Bank of Scotland, which reports results today. It's not just that a sale would raise some cash – it would also stop the Treasury being targeted by protesters angry about its activities. Yesterday, civil servants in Whitehall found themselves under siege from World Development Movement and Friends of the Earth activists, who object to the way it has invested in the coal sector and tar sands projects in Canada.



City's women trounce the men

This is one in the eye for the testosterone-fuelled alpha males of the City. Guess which gender makes the better hedge fund managers? Women, according to Hedge Fund Research (managers with an ethnic-minority background score highly, too). Its Diversity Index, which measures the performance of funds run by women and ethnic minorities, has made an average annual return of 9.1 per cent over the past five years – the equivalent figure for the industry as a whole is just 0.46 per cent.



Libyan investment slides down table

More now on the remarkably diverse portfolio of the Libyan Investment Authority. In addition to the 3 per cent holding in Pearson, on which the Diary reported yesterday, it also owns 10 per cent of 11 Upper Brook Street, a posh building in London's Mayfair. And then there is Juventus, the Italian football club, in which the LIA has a 7.5 per cent stake. No longer the powerhouse of European football they once were, Juventus are clearly taking their shareholder's troubles to heart. They lost 2-0 to lowly Lecce on Sunday.



Britain's most costly university?

Some people still have the cheek to describe it as a poly, but De Montfort University is rising above such patronising talk. The higher-education establishment is today publishing a wonderfully aggrandising study conducted by Biggar Economics, which reckons its value to the UK economy is £401m a year. Actually, hold that thought – an amended press release has just arrived. Turns out its value is actually £389m a year. It lost £12m in the space of a few hours yesterday, in other words.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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