Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Abu Dhabi and Soros Got 'Golden Ticket' in Royal Mail Sale

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Sovereign wealth funds and billionaire investors among 16 firms given preferential treatment over small investors in the Royal Mail privatisation

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, billionaire investor George Soros and activist hedge fund Third Point were among the 16 investors given preferential treament in the controversial Royal Mail privatisation.

The Government on Wednesday released details of these preferred investment firms, who saw their shares jump 38pc rise on the first day of trading, while thousands of small private investors missed out after the Government imposed a cap of £10,000 on them.

Other preferential investors included Lazard Asset Management, the investment arm of the government’s independent adviser on the privatisation, Capital Research, Fidelity Worldwide, GIC, Henderson, JP Morgan, Kuwait Investment Office, Lansdowne Partners, , Och Ziff, Schroders, Standard Life, and Threadneedle.

The Government, which has insisted that Royal Mail was not sold on the cheap, has been under pressure to release the names of "pilot fishing investors".

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, clashed with David Cameron at Prime Minister's Question Time. He said some of the firms invited to invest in the business were given a "golden ticket" and had made a "fast buck" by selling the shares as their price soared, with some selling on the first day of privatisation. » | Telegraph Staff | Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Zero-hours Contracts: 1.4m in the UK, ONS Says

THE GUARDIAN: Office for National Statistics says the trend for hiring staff without guaranteeing a minimum number of hours is more prevalent than previously thought

The number of UK jobs offered on zero-hours contracts is 1.4m, according to the latest government figures, a far higher number than expected.

A snapshot survey of employers by the Office for National Statistics, taken from a two-week period between late January and early February, shows the trend for hiring staff without guaranteeing a minimum number of hours is more prevalent than initially thought.

Following an earlier survey of employees, the ONS had previously estimated that 583,000 people were employed on zero hours, suggesting that some people have more than one job on a zero-hours basis.

The TUC said the figures showed the UK jobs market was far more precarious than the government suggested, and urged ministers to crack down on the "abuse" of zero-hours contracts by employers.

"Insecure work with no guarantee of regular paid hours is no longer confined to the fringes of the jobs market," said Frances O'Grady, the TUC's general secretary. » | Angela Monaghan | Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter! Joyeuses Pâques! Frohe Ostern! Buona Pasqua! ¡Felices Pascuas! Pasg Hapus!

Wishing all my visitors, followers, and Twitter followers a very Blessed and HAPPY EASTER. – Mark

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Counting the Cost: Libya: Heading towards Bankruptcy?

As oil output continues to slide since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, we look at the impact on the country's economy.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Gold: Abandoned Mines in Siberia Get New Lease on Life

Siberia and Russia's Far East hold 11% of global gold reserves. But after the fall of Soviet Union many mines were abandoned. This to be changed soon as new technology that allows to extract gold from stones emerged. RT's Thabang Motsei reports.

Mass Rally against Austerity Turns Violent in Rome

At least 80 people -- both police and protesters -- have been injured as street battles broke out in Rome, with rocks being flung and police deploying pepper spray

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Tu felix Helvetia: 3300 Euro Mindestlohn für die Verkäuferin

DIE PRESSE: Die bevorstehende Volksabstimmung genügt schon, damit bereits jetzt Schweizer Unternehmen den Mindestlohn auf 4000 Franken erhöhen.

Beim Urlaub sind die Schweizer sparsam. Sechs Wochen? Nicht notwendig, befand das Volk im März 2012 und stimmte mit beachtlichen 67 Prozent gegen eine Initiative, die den Mindesturlaub um zwei Wochen ausweiten wollte.
Beim Geld aber kennen die Eidgenossen keine Grenze nach oben - oder besser: nur eine sehr, sehr hohe Grenze. Während die deutsche Bundesregierung am Mittwoch - nach überaus heftigem Tauziehen - einen Mindestlohn von 8,50 Euro brutto pro Stunde beschlossen hat, dringt man in der Schweiz in völlig andere Sphären vor: Lidl, Aldi (der Schweizer Hofer) und jetzt auch die Bekleidungskette H & M haben eben einen Mindestlohn von 17,98 Euro pro Stunde umgesetzt. Hochgerechnet auf den Monat sind das 3269 Euro brutto für eine ungelernte Arbeitskraft. Nur zum Vergleich: Das Durchschnittseinkommen in Österreich liegt bei 2163 Euro brutto. » | Von Norbert Rief | Die Presse | Samstag, 05. April 2014