Will it be Bermuda, Barbados, Acapulco? Sorry, the freebie's off

City Diary

There are long faces around the dealing floors today. Analysts that follow Lonrho are aghast that following the pulled flotation of the Princess Metropole hotel group, a lavish overseas beano for analysts this weekend has also been indefinitely postponed.

The City scribblers were due to be flown out to a luxury Princess hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, with other Princess hotels in the Caribbean also pencilled in. Analysts were packing the sun-tan oil as they eyed Princess's roster of hotels in Bermuda, Barbados and Acapulco.

But for now - no float, no freebie. Instead of frolicking in the sun- kissed surf it looks like the scribblers will have to make do with Match of the Day and a take-away.

It is an open secret that Granada is interested in buying Yorkshire- Tyne Tees. How interesting, then, that Duncan Lewis, Granada Media Group's chief executive, together with the company's chief operating officer, Steve Morrison, and colleagues, should gather in Leeds for a strategy session.

Leeds is squarely in the Yorkshire-Tyne Tees heartland. Strangely, the Granada team eschewed the local Granada-owned Forte hotel, the Queens, in favour of a rival, Halleys.

According to people close to Mr Lewis, Halleys was the only hotel they could find at short notice within striking distance of the Manchester headquarters of Granada.

The group was spotted ogling the Yorkshire head office whilst driving their Jaguar, no doubt sizing up their prey.

What they did not know is that Halleys is home from home four days a week for Bruce Gyngell, managing director of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, who said he enjoyed rifling through the flip charts in the hotel dustbin that night.

The economics team at HSBC, headed by Roger "Inflation is Dead" Bootle, and that of James Capel, headed by Keith "Nice" Skeoch, was merged into one unit this spring.

According to insiders, the experiment has failed, and the HSBC and Capel teams are being demerged.

According to the bank, they were never merged in the first place. How puzzling.

The word amongst economics soothsayers is that the two teams simply couldn't work together. For example, in contrast to Bootle's oft-trumpeted belief that UK inflation is a thing of the past, Skeoch's team was much more sceptical.

You will be reassured to know that Dr Martin Read, chief executive of computer consultants Logica, and his colleagues are keeping their eyes peeled on Britain's potato crop.

Logica has launched a "spuds in space" project, which will use satellites to monitor UK farmers' production of potatoes for the Potato Marketing Board. The board needs to know that farmers are not fiddling the number of spuds they claim they are growing when it calculates the levies it will charge them.

BPB Industries is the British plasterboard maker headed by a Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Cuny, which is expanding its German operations, which are run by a Dane. This week BPB opened the biggest and most modern plasterboard factory in Europe.

The pounds 53m plant outside Berlin ran into technical problems as it was being shown off to journalists. A paper reel supplying plasterboard liner snapped, resulting in 15 minutes of downtime.

"These things happen from time to time," an embarrassed executive of BPB's German subsidiary explained. "It's what gives managers grey hairs."

Peter Harrison, chief executive of Molins, is determined his company should be remembered for more than cigarette rolling machinery. For those of you new to the story, Mr Harrison is spearheading the introduction of tetrahedral tea bags.

Forget round bags, let alone square ones. The future is tetrahedral. Giant models have been exhibited in fields in Cornwall. Now the real bags are on shop shelves, full of Brooke Bond tea leaves. Mr Morrison is proud that one of the largest consumers is Molins' own head office. So, will this revolutionise the drinking habits of the Great British public? Mr Harrison responds: "What we can say is, we use the tea bags in our office and they do make a good cup of tea. And a lot quicker too."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
Life and Style
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions