News archive from 3 January 2011

VAT rise means £2.2bn in lost sales, says report

VAT rise means £2.2bn in lost sales, says report

Retail sales will fall by about £2.2bn in the first quarter of 2011 because of the rise in VAT, according to a report. It says consumers will rein in their spending after the standard rate of VAT rises from 17.5% to 20% on Tuesday. The Centre for...

BBC, 18:32 in Business
 
Facebook investment 'values firm at $50bn'

Facebook investment 'values firm at $50bn'

Facebook has reportedly raised funds from Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor in a deal valuing the social networking site at $50bn (£32.3bn). The New York Times said that Goldman was investing $450m in Facebook, and Digital Sky Technologies another...

BBC, 18:33 in Business
 
Fiat sets sights on raising stake in Chrysler

Fiat sets sights on raising stake in Chrysler

Fiat could take a majority stake in US carmaker Chrysler, according to the Italian company's chief executive. Fiat already owns 20% of Chrysler, and Sergio Marchionne said strengthening the alliance was a priority. His comments came as Fiat demerged...

BBC, 18:33 in Business
 
Porsche shares surge 12% on hopes of VW merger

Porsche shares surge 12% on hopes of VW merger

Shares in German carmaker Porsche have soared after a US judge dismissed a lawsuit that had threatened to de-rail a planned merger with Volkswagen Two hedge funds claimed more than $2bn (£1.3bn) in damages over a 2008 deal in which Porsche bought a...

BBC, 18:33 in Business
 
Union 'angry' over sick pay lapse

Union 'angry' over sick pay lapse

Sick pay should be given to all public sector workers, including those hired by outside contractors, a union says. Unison found some public service contractors were denying the benefit to cleaning and catering staff in schools and hospitals - even...

BBC, 18:33 in Business
 
Eurozone manufacturing picking up, PMI figures show

Eurozone manufacturing picking up, PMI figures show

The eurozone's manufacturing sector ended 2010 enjoying strong growth, a survey has indicated. The Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) recorded a level of 57.1 for December, up from an earlier estimate of 56.8 and above November's 55.3. A reading...

BBC, 18:34 in Business
 
Singapore economy sees record expansion in 2010

Singapore economy sees record expansion in 2010

Singapore's economy expanded at a record rate in 2010, driven by a surge in manufacturing activity. The economy grew by 14.7% last year, rebounding strongly from a 1.3% contraction the previous year. Singapore's growth surpasses the previous record...

BBC, 18:34 in Business
 
Minister Grant Shapps wants 'stable' house prices

Minister Grant Shapps wants 'stable' house prices

People should no longer see property as an investment for retirement, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has said. In an interview with the Observer, the Conservative minister said he wanted government policies to usher in a new age of "house price...

BBC, 18:34 in Business
 
iPhone alarms hit by New Year glitch

iPhone alarms hit by New Year glitch

A glitch on Apple's iPhone has stopped its built-in alarm clock going off, leaving many people oversleeping on the first two days of the New Year. Angry bloggers and tweeters complained that they had been late for work, and were risking missing...

BBC, 18:34 in Business
 

Train boss defends above-inflation rise in fares

The chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies has defended fare increases which average 6.2% and in some cases are much higher. Michael Roberts said the rises were part of a government policy to make rail passengers pay a...

BBC, 18:34 in Business
 
Pace of China manufacturing growth eases

Pace of China manufacturing growth eases

The pace of growth among China's manufacturers eased last month but output continued to expand, figures suggest. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its purchasing managers index fell to 53.9 in December, from 55.2 in November and...

BBC, 18:35 in Business
 
Russia-China oil pipeline opens

Russia-China oil pipeline opens

The first oil pipeline linking the world's biggest oil producer, Russia, and the world's biggest consumer of energy, China, has begun operating. The pipeline, running between Siberia and the northeastern Chinese city of Daqing, will allow a rapid...

BBC, 18:35 in Business
 
Fire damages Rochefort Trappist beer abbey in Belgium

Fire damages Rochefort Trappist beer abbey in Belgium

A 13th-Century Belgian abbey famous for its brewery has been damaged by fire but the monks escaped unhurt and the vats survived intact. The Trappist (Cistercian) monks were dining when fire broke out at the abbey at St Remy-Rochefort, famous for its...

BBC, 18:35 in Business
 
London's Grosvenor House hotel bought by Indian firm

London's Grosvenor House hotel bought by Indian firm

London's iconic Grosvenor House hotel has been bought from the Royal Bank of Scotland by an Indian business group. Sahara India, which acquired the Mayfair hotel for £470m, plans to add restaurants and a nightclub. The hotel in Park Lane, currently...

BBC, 18:35 in Business
 
House prices rose slightly during 2010 says lender

House prices rose slightly during 2010 says lender

House prices ended the year barely higher than they started, according to the latest survey from the Nationwide building society. It says prices rose by 0.4% in December, leaving them also 0.4% up on a year ago. It means the average UK home now costs...

BBC, 18:35 in Business
 
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