Business Diary: Is the CBI running scared?

Monday 21 November 2011 01:00 GMT

It rather sounds as if the beasts of big business have been spooked by protesters such as the "Occupy" campaign. The instructions for journalists attending today's annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry are full of dire warnings about the strict security arrangements in place. Moreover, John Cridland, the CBI's director-general, is not even revealing who from the Government will address the conference, promising only that the keynote address will be made by a "senior UK politician".

Asia's finest party is just up the road

Presumably at least some of the guests at the CBI's bash, to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, will be hotfooting it next door this evening, with the Asian Who's Who Awards taking place at the Dorchester, also on Park Lane. Our inside tip for a gong, should you fancy having a flutter, is Rajesh Agrawal, founder and chief executive of Rational FX. You heard it here first.

Gas worker Sid turns 25 today

A very happy birthday to Sid. Did you know that British Gas, one the biggest privatisations of the 1980s – and the deal for which the memorable "Tell Sid" advertising campaign was conceived – took place 25 years ago today? Had you bought 100 shares at flotation, you would have paid £135 – a holding that would now be worth just shy of £1,700, assuming you had never got shot of it. That's almost enough to pay one of the energy company's bills.

SABMiller pips Pearson to post

Our congratulations go to SABMiller, the booze company, which has been named as having the best website of any FTSE 100 firm.

Ironically, it beat off media and education firm Pearson, putting it in second place.

Pearson, of course, is best known for being the owner of the Financial Times, which prides itself on leading the field in terms of online publishing.

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