Business diary

New London business club

By Candice Krieger, April 29, 2009

A new club to promote trade among the north-west London Jewish community has launched. Called the Jewish Business Network and founded by David Barry, it represents tradesmen and service providers — such as IT workers, mortgage brokers, white goods suppliers and wine sellers — and provides a business directory. Members meet monthly. View the full list of businesses at www.thejbn.co.uk.

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BT chief makes an early morning call to defend capitalism

By Candice Krieger, April 29, 2009

We must defend capitalism urged Ian Livingston, the chief executive officer of BT, this week.

Acknowledging that economic events had damaged the reputation of capitalism, he said: “What we have now is probably the biggest attack on capitalism since the fall of the Berlin Wall. There may be problems in the financial sector but it is dangerous to challenge it.

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Bucking the recession

By Candice Krieger, April 29, 2009

Property crisis? Not for north London estate agency Living Residency. The West Hampstead firm, run by Jason Werter, has been honoured by the Estate & Letting Agent Awards. It was voted one of the top three letting agents in London. The awards, supported by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, were presented by Phil Spencer, the presenter of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location.

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Lok’NStore takeover bid

By Candice Krieger, April 23, 2009

Lok’NStore, the self-storage company run by Andrew Jacobs, has reportedly received a takeover approach. The AIM-listed company has a market value of around £18 million.

Mr Jacobs, the biggest shareholder, would have to agree to the offer for any takeover to go ahead.

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Leviev firm enjoys share surge

By Candice Krieger, April 23, 2009

What is the story with the firm Africa-Israel? Despite grim financial reports pointing to huge losses of $1.2 billion, the company — controlled by billionaire Lev Leviev — has witnessed a sharp rise in its share price. The share has reportedly risen over 140 per cent since the beginning of 2009, and the company’s market cap has broken through the NIS 4 billion threshold. The trading volume in Africa-Israel’s share has also been high lately.

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US banks may open in Iran

By Candice Krieger, April 23, 2009

Four American banks, including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, are said to have filed requests to open branches in Iran. According to reports, official requests have been submitted to the Central Bank of Iran. If approved, the banks will be able to send delegations to Iran’s free trade zone.

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GLG chief on $1 salary

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

Sir Fred Goodwin take note. According to reports, hedge-fund manager Noam Gottesman and two other top executives at GLG Partners, one of Europe’s biggest hedge funds, have cut their salaries to $1 (71p) as the global financial turmoil puts pressure on senior managers to waive their pay.

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Hapoalim resignation

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

Bank Hapoalim’s chief executive, Zvi Ziv, will step down towards the end of 2009. His decision is said to be partly based on a disagreement with the board over the bank’s future.

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Robert Peston is the showbusiness

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

BBC business editor Robert Peston has been named as ‘non-acting television performer of the year’ at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild awards. The honour was no doubt bestowed on Mr Peston in recognition of his scoop on the Northern Rock crisis, in addition to other breaking business stories. Here at JC Business, however, we doubt it is due to his unique ability to emphasise certain words and syllables for no apparent reason. The category’s other nominees were Cheryl Cole, Stephen Fry, Bruce Forsyth and John Sergeant. Tough competition.

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Top hedge boss buys into Sotheby’s

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

Steve Cohen, the hedge-fund billionaire and owner of one of the most expensive art portfolios in the world, has reportedly built a six per cent stake in auction house Sotheby’s for his company SAC Capital. This makes him Sotheby’s third-largest shareholder. The son of a garment executive, Cohen began his career at Gruntal & Co in 1978, and established himself as a star trader on Wall Street.

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