News

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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own