The Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) yesterday warned that falling demand from Russia for sheepskin coats is hitting the farmers, already under press- ure from the strong pound.
The unofficial uniform of the British wheeler-dealer spread to Russia as the former communist country developed its own generation of would- be Arthur Daleys and Del Boys.
"Russia's demand for sheepskin coats has given a much needed boost to the sheep industry - now Russia's devaluation and its serious economic problems could add to pressure on prices at Welsh sheep markets," said the FUW.
Farmers have been able to charge pounds 6 to pounds 7 per animal skin, which are typically exported to clothing manufacturers in Poland and Turkey, who in turn supply most of the Russian market for sheepskin coats.
The Russian slump has cut the price to pounds 3 a skin.
MICHAEL KERR-DINEEN, chief executive of Credit Lyonnais Securities Europe, has at least one reason to be cheerful, whatever's happening in the markets: he's succeeded in poaching John Davies from Instinet to be global head of equities, a big step forward in Credit Lyonnais's attempts to build a pan-European investment bank.
Before joining Instinet as global head of sales, Mr Davies spent eight years as head of European sales at Lehman.
AND NOW on to the important matter of the day. Stand by for National No Snoring Week, that kicks off next Tuesday. Launched last year by the Harley Medical Group, it returns with re- search focusing on "how partners of snorers really do suffer from the cumulative effect of their nocturnal nightmares".
"There are approximately 10 million habitual snorers in the UK, 40 per cent of whom are women, and although the condition can pose serious physical health concerns to the sufferers, the often devastating physical and psychological effects on their partners frequently go by the wayside", the group says.
Then comes the money bit. The group performed laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) treatment to cure over 1,300 patients of their snoring last year.
It claims: "89 per cent of the partners of snorers suffered equally if not more so from day time weariness which lead to secondary problems in both relationships and in workplace."
When asked what was the key motivating factor for patients to proceed with LAUP surgery the main response was "to get my life back to normal".
When asked what the single most significant change in their lifestyle was, the three commonest responses were "being able to party more", "much more sex" and "greater enthusiasm and interest in my work".
ANDREW HUGHES is leaving FT Electronic Publishing after 13 years with the group, to join OneSource Information Services in a newly created role, that of commercial director, UK & Europe.
OneSource is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and provides information services to companies like ABN Amro and Oracle.
Mr Hughes will be marketing the company's Business Browser Internet service amongst other things to European corporate clients.
THE MAN behind the Harry Enfield "Oi No" campaign for Hula Hoops, Jonathan Cowan, has been poached from Nestle to be the new general manager for private label computer brands at PC World, the Dixons Stores Group subsidiary.