Sunday 24 June 2007

Sunday Papers Round-up

Eight stories that caught my eye this week, while Mr Slicker takes a short break

The Observer kindly relays to us a press-release
that claims Britain's creative industries are “as vital to the economy as the financial services sector”. Yeah, right: we all like a creative TV commercial. Oh, and “it warns that its growth could slow without 'targeted public investment'”. Now there’s a thing. The film industry does always quite like a sub.

Next, it reports that sovereign funds – established by countries awash with oil money etc - are “set to rule the markets: they're bigger than hedge funds and more secretive than private equity”. Indeed they are! And if you hated private equity … actually, these guys are a different kettle of fish altogether.

But they do have some similar preoccupations. Take Saudi Prince Al-Waleed – “the Saudi Arabian Warren Buffett” – who has reportedly scaled back plans to float his Kingdom Holdings vehicle.

Exclusive to all newspapers (yes, including the Sunday Telegraph), this tale of bid and re-bid for ICI, another supposed jewel in the UK’s crown with a long track-record of, erm complacency. Read the briefings and counter-briefings – all the fun of the fair!

The Inde informs us that Canadian nuclear company AECL “will pledge to employ over 10,000 UK workers if it wins the contract to build a new generation of nuclear reactors”. Well. Not many of them will be engineers, will they? – we’ve discussed this before.

And in another energy story, we learn that the unequal struggle is over and BP has ceded control of its Siberian gas field to Gazprom, which “will pay between $700m and $900m”. But let’s not fool ourselves that a cheque is about to be written: Gazprom doesn’t do cash. It will be some sort of ‘asset swap’ …

Well, at least someone is paying attention to goings-on in Russia: the Sunday Times tells us that DSG (Dixons) is dropping a $2bn plan to expand in that part of the world, and quotes their Mr Clare as saying: “We will continue to watch with interest … Russia remains an interesting and exciting market.” Ain’t that the truth!

Finally, we note that shareholders in Metronet are in talks over what they call “an unusual pledge” to its banks. In other words, they are up the proverbial, sans paddle. See where these McBroonite financing deals get you?

Slicker’s back next week – ND


Anonymous said...

Nothing from News of the World then?

Nick Drew said...

We-ell, yes Mutley, of course, I realise you've had a big & rather public disappointment this week, and it was cruel of the NoW to report it so prominently. I was going to draw a kindly veil over it, but since you insist ...


"Little Elwood has been named the World's Ugliest Dog - but is your mutt more minging? We want pics of your paw pups looking the pits"

Anonymous said...

I used to get four Sunday broadsheets but cancelled them recently as I was always too busy to read them. I shall be turning to this column regularly each weekend, you do a great job with your round up.

Nick Drew said...

Ellee - thanks, we aim to please

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