Jail-sentenced billionaire Mehmet Karamehmet is being sued for almost $10m (£6.6m) in the High Court over loans issued to Maltese shipping company Blue Shipping.

Firm's secretaries to reap pounds 120,000 bonus

A SELECT group of City secretaries stand to make about pounds 120,000 each from what must be the ultimate in staff incentive schemes. Their top boss, on the other hand, is expecting to pick up a cool pounds 100m from the same deal.

People and Business: A tale of two tastings

THE CITY press corps faced a vexing dilemma on Tuesday night: whether to go to the German beer tasting at Commerzbank, or the French wine tasting at AXA.

Greycoat shares soar in bid battle

SHARES OF property group Greycoat soared yesterday on news of a 29 per cent increase in net asset value to 283p per share, helping the company in its fight against a pounds 218m takeover attempt by rival Delancey Estates, controlled by George Soros.

One2One slashes its call rates

ONE2ONE, the mobile phone network currently up for sale, yesterday tried to claw back some of the ground it has lost to its rivals in the competitive mobile phone market by slashing its call rates.

COMPANY OF THE WEEK: Cable & Wireless

VEBA, Germany's top utility, sold its 10.2 per cent stake in Cable & Wireless at a profit of pounds 900m, raising funds to invest in its own phone ventures. ABN Amro and Cazenove placed the shares at 735p each, an 11.5 per cent discount on the previous week's price of 830.5p.

Commerzbank seeks stake in Fleming

GERMANY'S Commerzbank, has let it be known in the City that it is ready to offer up to pounds 24 a share for a majority stake in Robert Fleming, a price that would value the firm, one of the few remaining independent British investment banks, at more than pounds 4bn.

People and Business: White out

PROMPTED BY BNP's hostile bid for Paribas/Societe Generale, a Parisian mole has told me the following tale.

Market Report: Investors climb aboard the leisure revival

ARE LEISURE shares at last ending their long, debilitating bear run? The sudden awareness of the neglected value lurking on the market undercard, plus the inevitable takeover whispers, helped the run-down sector score a 3.3 per cent gain on a day most shares were in retreat.

Faith in euro grows daily

TRADING in the euro rose in the first five days of the new currency's existence. Some firms reported a fivefold increase in the size of average trades as concern that computer systems wouldn't cope with the change faded.

Fleming denies Commerzbank bid

ROBERT FLEMING, one of the UK's last remaining independent investment banks, yesterday moved to squash rumours that it had rejected a pounds 3bn offer from Commerzbank because of opposition to a takeover from its founding family.

Shell and Texaco abandon alliance

THE OIL SECTOR was thrown into fresh turmoil yesterday after Shell and Texaco abandoned plans to merge their downstream European operations, and reports suggested that the French oil groups Elf Aquitaine and Total are to form an alliance with Petrofina of Belgium.

Europe's insurers eye UK market

News Analysis: The euro is likely to ignite merger mania among insurance giants

Lloyds rebuffed by French in Lyonnais sell-off talks

LLOYDS TSB, the high street banking giant, has held top-level discussions with the French government about participating in the pounds 4bn privatisation of the bank Credit Lyonnais.

Architecture: The architectural legacy of Stephen Lawrence

The search is on for the winner of the James Stirling prize and a new award in memory of Stephen Lawrence is announced. By Nonie Niesewand

Turmoil halts the IPO gravy train

News Analysis: Investment houses will pay dearly if the number of flotations does not pick up again soon
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor