Istanbul aggressively increased its overnight lending rate to 12% from 7.75%

Alliance defeats Laxey's shares buyback proposal

Alliance Trust has seen off an attempt by rebel investor Laxey Partners to force the investment trust to buy back shares trading at a discount to net asset value of 10 per cent or more.

Stock Markets: 21/05/2011

New York

Stocks slid amid signs that American consumer demand may be weakening, and fears about the Greek debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 33.30 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 12,572.63 in afternoon trading.

Workers enter Fukushima No3 reactor at last

Japanese workers have entered the last of three reactor buildings hit by nuclear fuel meltdowns at the crippled Fukushima plant. The operator, Tokyo Electric, is moving to stabilise a facility that has been leaking radiation for more than two months.

David Prosser: Greater auditing competition is overdue

Outlook The Office of Fair Trading's latest thoughts on competition in the audit market (or the lack of it) make interesting reading. Not only does it question whether Britain can tackle the problem without assistance from the European Commission – in which case, it says, why bother with a Competition Commission inquiry? – but it also effectively suggests that the big four audit firms' clients must shoulder some of the blame for concentration in the industry.

Sharaku: The mystery man unmasked

In 10 months, Japanese artist Sharaku created prints that became classics – then he vanished. Adrian Hamilton is gripped by an enigma at the Tokyo National Museum

Radioactive 'pond' found at Fukushima

Japanese officials have found an Olympic swimming pool-sized pond of radioactive water in the basement of a unit at the Fukushima nuclear plant crippled by the March earthquake and tsunami.

Third worker dies at Fukushima nuclear plant

A worker at Japan's tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant died today, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said, bringing the death toll at the complex to three since a massive earthquake and tsunami in March.

ONS revises data on construction industry

Britain's building industry endured another contraction of output in the first three months of the year – but by less than previously estimated, the Office for National Statistics says.

Partial meltdown hits Fukushima nuclear plant

Uranium fuel in at least one of the six reactors at Fukushima has melted, the operator of the crippled nuclear plant has said. The admission effectively torpedoes a plan to flood the overheating fuel with water and bring a quick end to the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Warm weather catches out Supergroup

Shares in Supergroup, owner of the Superdry clothing brand, fell by nearly 23 per cent to 1219p yesterday after it posted a sharp slowdown in its sales growth.

David Prosser: Alliance prepares to face its tormentor

Outlook The day of reckoning is fast approaching for Alliance Trust and its highly regarded boss, Katherine Garrett-Cox. Laxey Partners, its dissident shareholder, yesterday won the backing of two corporate governance groups for its campaign to force Alliance to implement an automatic discount- control mechanism.

Osborne 'unlocks' Stock Exchange in new ceremony

The London Stock Exchange's version of Wall Street's opening bell was launched yesterday with the use of a giant countdown clock and key.

Flying in for the summer

A gannet comes in to land at the RSPB's Bempton Cliffs on the East Yorkshire coast. About 20,000 gannets, which pair for life and can live for more than 20 years, are among the quarter of a million seabirds that return to nest each summer on the 100m high chalk cliffs at Bempton.

National Express nears Elliott truce

The transport operator National Express, which last week put on a show of strength with news of rising profits amid calls by its biggest shareholder for strategic changes, is close to striking a deal with the dissenting investor before its annual meeting tomorrow.

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