Pembroke: Is it a plane, a partition or a regulator?

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The Independent Online
THE PERSONAL Investment Authority, the nascent regulator where Colette Bowe is chief executive, has enough problems in-fighting with the industry it hasn't even started regulating yet. Now it is being criticised for stealing another body's initials. The Partitioning Industry Association has fired off a complaint to Fimbra, asking the investment authority to consider a change.

Jean Birch, chief executive of the partitioning version, explains: 'So many know the PIA in the industry. We were the only one before this except the Pakistan International Airlines, but no one confused us with them.'

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MORE ON the acronym front. I understand that the American Telephone and Telegraph Company may follow BT and truncate its name.

The telecommunications giant wants to be called AT&T, formally as well as commonly, arguing that it hasn't provided a local telephone service for a decade. The shorter name is 'more practical', it says.

Ironically AT&T is going back into the local calls business, albeit in the form of a cellular service.

And as for the telegraph . . .

QUALITY CONTROL was a little suspect at the results meeting of Boddington, the pub and leisure group, yesterday. One colleague picked up a can of 'the cream of Manchester' only to find it was flat. An inspection of the sell-by date held the key - 'best before October 1993'.

THERE WAS an air of incredulity at the Institute of Chartered Accountants yesterday when Peter Wyman, head of tax at Coopers & Lybrand, was cooking up a hard-luck story for bean counters.

'It's not all about self-interest,' he blustered. 'It's wrong to think that it doesn't matter if one of the big firms closes its doors.'

And then he was off, painting a black picture of what it would be like if Coopers went abacus up. A wailing and a gnashing of teeth, the renting of clothes and people made jobless - 'some of whom may never work again'.

AN UPBEAT little missive floats on to Pembroke's desk from Save & Prosper celebrating the first year of its China Dragon Fund. What a potentially lucrative market China is, it chirrups. In a population of 1.2 billion people, only 11 in every 1,000 have a television (compared to 833 in Britain), 111 per 1,000 have telephones (1,111 in Britain) and only two in every 1,000 have cars (against Britain's 357). Shame, then, that the Hong Kong stock market, where many of the fund's investments are listed, sank by 270 points yesterday.

EURO DISNEY may look like a horror movie at the moment but its parent is looking forward to a happier plot via a video bonanza. Bambi, the knock-kneed fawn whose skating ability was not exactly triple salkow standard, is released on video today.

The 52-year-old classic is expected to sell around 2 million and be the Easter best-seller, beating Peter Pan, last year's Disney release, which sold 1.6 million.

Disney is even wheeling out Snow White this autumn. Already the biggest-grossing animated film, the video release is expected to swell the coffers further. Euro Disney can only look on and weep.

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