UK Companies

Centrica eyes tech start-ups to help trim bills

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, plans to invest £100m in technology start-ups over five years as it looks to help households lower their energy costs and persuade ministers it is taking action to benefit customers. Britain’s biggest energy supplier…

AstraZeneca boosted by positive breast cancer trial

AstraZeneca said on Friday that a new oncology treatment tipped for blockbuster status had shown to be more effective than chemotherapy in treating metastatic breast cancer. Lynparza is one of three new drugs launched in recent years by the Anglo-Swedish…

Investors back UK drive to curb executive pay

Some of the UK’s largest investors have revealed support for government proposals designed to curb high executive pay in the latest pushback against the widening wealth gap between bosses and workers. In submissions to the government’s green paper on corporate…

US Companies

Insurers braced for ruling in Hong Kong directors’ case

Global insurers such as Zurich and AIG are braced for a tribunal ruling in Hong Kong that could push Asia’s market for corporate executive insurance into the red. Directors and officers insurance guards company leaders from some liabilities when a…

Dumb phone reveals uneasy truth for tech groups

The Nokia 3310 was my first, and best loved, mobile phone when it was released 17 years ago. The device — which always felt indestructible — has now withstood obsolescence itself: a Finnish company with rights to the Nokia brand…

Zuckerberg posts manifesto defending social media

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg mounted a broad defence of social media on Thursday, taking on growing concerns about his company’s contribution to everything from recruitment by terrorists to the spread of fake news. In a 5,700 word treatise posted on the…

Week in Review, February 18

A round up of some of the week’s most significant corporate events and news stories. Snapchat prepares to tempt investors with picture show “JPMorgan hearts Snap Inc” read the large white sign, complete with red heart, that appeared on the…

Toshiba brought to its knees by two US nuclear plants

Waynesboro, Georgia, population 5,942, advertises itself as “the bird dog capital of the world”. It seems scarcely believable that anything in this quiet US rural town, about 30 miles south of Augusta, could have brought one of Japan’s greatest industrial…

Snap talks up exclusivity to justify IPO price

Snap is doubling down on its appeal to a core audience of young mobile users who are turning away from television, as it prepares to take its business case to investors next week ahead of its initial public offering. The…

Investors press banks over Dakota Access pipeline

Calpers, the $300bn California pension fund, and more than 120 other investors are calling on banks funding the Dakota Access pipeline to get it rerouted away from Native American land. The letter, which was due to be made public on…

European Companies

H&M faces up to challenge of online competitors

In the 1980s and 1990s, cheap chic from the likes of Hennes & Mauritz shook up the traditional clothes retailers. But now the disrupters are being disrupted.  H&M, the Swedish group that is the world’s second-largest clothes retailer by sales,…

Amundi denies jobs ‘bloodbath’ after Pioneer deal

It is hard to imagine Yves Perrier, the chief executive of Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager, getting excited. I meet the 62-year-old the same morning Amundi posts net inflows of €62bn for 2016, not quite a record but €22bn more…

Week in Review, February 18

A round up of some of the week’s most significant corporate events and news stories. Snapchat prepares to tempt investors with picture show “JPMorgan hearts Snap Inc” read the large white sign, complete with red heart, that appeared on the…

Peugeot offered Brexit promises to save Vauxhall

The British government has offered the potential new owners of the Vauxhall car plants in the UK assurances similar to those given to Nissan in an effort to save thousands of jobs. The Japanese carmaker was persuaded last year to…

Asia-Pacific Companies

China’s Didi Chuxing restructures core business

Despite winning a long and fiercely contested war with rival Uber, China’s dominant ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing is now significantly restructuring its core business, as it faces new challenges and competitors in the ride-sharing market. After acquiring Uber’s China operations…

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung’s crown prince

For many South Koreans, the dominance of Samsung is reminiscent of the country’s feudal dynasties. The comparison is not so outlandish: from hereditary rulers to a court of scheming mandarins, Samsung in many ways represents a modern Korean empire. And…

China’s HNA snaps up 3% stake in Deutsche Bank

Chinese conglomerate HNA has bought a 3.04 per cent stake in Deutsche Bank, making it one of the embattled German lender’s biggest shareholders. Deutsche has had a tumultuous 18 months and was caught up in two dramatic sell-offs last year:…