News

Retail sales rose at their fastest rate in nine years in December, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday. However, some City analysts immediately cast doubt on the reliability of the figures.

BNP beats forecasts with 34 per cent fall in earnings

BNP Paribas, the bank that signalled the severity of the financial turmoil nearly a year ago, rode out the crisis in the second quarter with profit ahead of expectations.

Price cuts help Morrisons to outshine rivals

Morrisons has delivered price cuts on 2,000 items this month to lure cash-strapped customers into stores, as it showed rivals a clean set of heels with barnstorming sales for the 13 weeks to 4 May.

Bank deputy governor Gieve urges early interest rate cut

Another cut in UK interest rates edged closer yesterday after it emerged that the deputy governor of the Bank of England Sir John Gieve has moved into the camp calling for reductions.

Crédit Agricole rules out major purchases after sub-prime losses

Crédit Agricole has ruled itself out of "significant acquisitions" after the credit crunch sent it slumping to its first quarterly loss since listing in 2001. The French bank did not close the door completely on a move for Société Générale, however, saying it would "not remain indifferent" should the beleaguered group be approached by a rival.

Banks lined up to share SocGen spoils

Investment banks are jostling for position in the potential bidding war for Société Gé*érale, which became vulnerable to an approach after last week's rogue trading scandal.

Rio deal drives up Europe shares ahead of US jobs

European shares rose today, led by mining shares after a Chinese aluminium company said it had bought a stake in bid target Rio Tinto and by banks ahead of key US jobs data later in the session.

BNP Paribas hints it may bid for embattled rival SocGen

BNP Paribas yesterday gave its first hint that it may bid for Société Générale since its arch rival became vulnerable to takeovers in the wake of last week's rogue trading scandal.

Bouton wins unanimous vote to stay at SocGen

Daniel Bouton, the chairman and chief executive of Société Gé*érale, won a reprieve yesterday after the board of the beleaguered bank voted unanimously to keep him at the helm. This came as the bank announced it had set up an independent task force to investigate last week's €5bn (£3.7bn) trading scandal.

BNP Paribas tops list of banks that could table bid

It didn't take long for the speculation to begin. Just hours after Société Gé*érale revealed it had been victimised by a rogue trader who lost the bank an astonishing €4.9bn (£3.7bn) on fraudulent trades, market watchers began speculating on who might swoop on the stricken bank.

Danone consortium in pounds 1.26bn bid to swallow United Biscuits

THE FRENCH contender in the race to buy United Biscuits last night mounted a surprise 11th-hour offer for the underperforming Jaffa Cake maker.

Nabisco consortium raises offer in pounds 1.2bn United Biscuits bid battle

A US consortium yesterday looked close to winning the tug of war over United Biscuits, the struggling UK snack maker, after it raised its offer for the company to "at least" 254p a share, topping its initial agreed offer of 245p.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness