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    ALEX BRUMMER: Glaxo's new boss Emma Walmsley resets the agenda and gives Britain a much-needed shot in the arm

    We haven t heard much from Emma Walmsley since she moved into the chief executive s office at 80billion GlaxoSmithKline in March.Her first series of actions may not be significant in of themselves but they do give some important clues to future directions.Walmsley is seeking to underpin GSK s pedigree as a research based, innovative pharmaceutical group by upping investment in respiratory and HIV medicines in Britain by 140million. She is also taking the opportunity to tidy up some of GSK s older and less-productive enterprises. [media_photo id="882891" height="420" width="634" alt="Emma Walmsley is seeking to underpin GSK's pedigree as a ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: The Brexit effect looks to have peaked but interest rate hikes are still on their way

    Judging from some of the recent frenzied commentary about surging consumer price inflation (CPI), one might have thought Britain was heading back to the bad old 1970s.How quickly it has been forgotten that not so long ago people were fretting about deflation and, horror of horrors, the need for Japanese-style negative interest rates.The reality always has been that the current burst of inflation would be a transitory affair. Prices have been bolstered over the last year by higher import costs and a surge in energy prices. Now that the Brexit effect looks to have peaked and oil prices have weakened, ...

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    CITY DIARY: Publicity friendly Carney grabs the limelight at new 10 launch

    Say cheese: Mark Carney unveils the new tennerPublicity friendly Bank of England governor Mark Carney s unveiling of the new 10 note yesterday seemed somewhat opportunistic. Not only did it require him to travel to Winchester Cathedral, but with Jane Austen s face appearing on the note it might have been more appropriate to have allowed chief cashier Victoria Cleland do the honours rather than hog the limelight himself. A seasoned City observer sniffs: I don t recall Mervyn King or Eddie George bothering with these sort ...

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    DAN HYDE: Stop the car hire firm cowboys from getting away with highway robbery

    Have you ever had the suspicion that the extortionate fees charged at car hire collection desks are fraudulent?You may be on to something.Our discovery that drivers are being put on the hook for supposed damage of up to 8,400 comes as Europcar is investigated for inflating the price of customer repair bills by as much as 300 per cent.That sort of overcharging would take a simple 200 windscreen job to 800. Which is bad enough. [media_photo id="879080" height="423" width="634" alt="Road to ruin: Our discovery that drivers are being put on the hook for supposed damage of up to 8,400 comes ...

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    SALLY HAMILTON: Pension raiders moving money without seeking proper financial advice

    Pity the poor Lamborghini salesmen. Though a million pension pots have been tapped to the tune of nearly 12 billion since new freedoms were introduced two years ago, it seems few retirement savers have chosen to blow their money on a fast car. This was not the response some commentators predicted.The killjoy in me should be relieved by the official figures, published last week, showing that pension savers are resisting splashing out on such frivolous and pricey purchases.But when I saw what many pot raiders have been doing with their life savings, I wondered whether some might have been better ...

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    JON REES: Tony Durrant's Premier strikes oil off coast of Mexico and it is a boost for all

    There aren t that many oil barons in Belgravia, a swish borough of London where Premier Oil boss Tony Durrant is based, but he can now definitely count himself one of them. Last week Premier, and its two partners, struck oil off the coast of Mexico and struck big.It announced a historic and significant discovery in the Zama field of the Gulf of Mexico. Durrant said the discovery suggests the presence of more than a billion barrels of oil.So, how did that feel? It felt very good indeed, Durrant told me, with commendable understatement. [media_photo id="868596" height="448" width="634" alt="Driving force: ...

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    BIG SHOT OF THE WEEK: BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, 69, is a City big cheese like no other

    Top dog: BT chairman Sir Mike RakeCity grandees are two a penny these days. But there are grandees, and there are grandees. Then there is Sir Mike Rake.As grands fromages go, Sir Mike is a gooey, bubbling discus of pongy vacherin, oozing hauteur and courtly gravitas. Just take a peek at his Who's Who entry. It's littered with all manner of lofty appointments and plum postings.Rake, 69, is chairman of BT; chairman of Worldpay; chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital; ex-chairman of EasyJet; ex-president of the CBI; ex-deputy chairman ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: Remain supporters must recognise how dysfunctional the EU really is

    Brexit was always going to be complex and a political minefield. But we should never forget how dysfunctional the European Union and the eurozone is as a political and economic construct.A recent visit to Athens was a shocking first-hand reminder of the hardship imposed on Greece by its richer neighbours. The city is blighted by boarded up shops and graffiti. Top consultants at the major hospitals are on the breadline, uncollected rat-infested rubbish is piled up on the streets and the economy has shrunk by more than 25 per cent since the euro crisis struck in 2010. [media_photo id="868634" height="433" ...

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    CITY DIARY: The Axe man cometh for Panmure Gordon staff following Bob Diamond takeover

    Role model: Panmure's new boss is a palm greasing protege of Bob Diamond (picturedStaff at brokers Panmure Gordon, now controlled by Bob Diamond's African-focused vehicle Atlas Merchant Capital, nervously await the arrival of new chief executive Ian Axe on Monday. There are fears that ex-Barclays man Axe, 45, a palm greasing protege of Diamond, will implement a brasher working culture at the venerable firm. Of the appointment, an ex-Barclays colleague of Diamond sighs: 'You do wonder if all that African sun's got ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: The run on Carillion cash... and how it all went wrong at a British construction giant

    Take a look at the website of Carillion and you would immediately think What on earth could go wrong? After all, here is a construction group which has had a hand in Britain s most impressive projects including the Royal Opera House, the Tate Modern and the Chunnel.As was the case before the financial crisis the hedge funds spotted long ago that all was not well with the construction and consulting group and have been relentlessly shorting the shares.In the last few days the hedge funds led by Marshall Wace have been able to harvest handsome profits as the market ...

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    CITY DIARY: De Beers to redevelop its historic City headquarters

    Chopper: Former De Beers chairman Nicky OppenheimerDe Beers is to redevelop its historic headquarters in the City, after owners Anglo American cancelled plans to sell the fortress-like property. Ex-chairman Nicky Oppenheimer will be most relieved. When the grey-whiskered old Harrovian, 72, sold the family stake in De Beers for 4billion in 2012, he kept his access to the building s helipad. Interesting fact: Oppenheimer s the only person allowed to fly a private chopper within the Square Mile.Offcut from BT s annual general meeting yesterday: flashy BT boss Gavin ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: Don't let Worldpay be sold on the cheap, it must be saved for Britain

    The assertion by former CBI president Sir Mike Rake that Brexit 'killed' Worldpay's hopes of being a global leader in financial technology would be risible if it were not so serious.Not only is Rake ready to sell Worldpay on the cheap to American rival Vantiv and load the combined enterprise up with debt, he is also betraying the UK's post-Brexit future.In dollars terms Worldpay is cheaper to buy now than before the fall in the pound which followed the referendum. [media_photo id="858358" height="393" width="634" alt="Not only is Sir Mike Rake ready to sell Worldpay on the cheap to American rival ...

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    CITY DIARY: Crispin Odey's fund is up for the second month running, gaining 1.8%

    On a run: Hedge fund boss Crispin OdeyBearish hedge funder Crispin Odey's fund is up for the second month running, gaining 1.8 per cent thanks to various short bets. After ending last year 50 per cent down, does the Bunterish old booby sense a change in fortunes? 'The chances of car crashes everywhere are rising,' he predicts with glee.Silver-backed JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon has been reading Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind by Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari. The book's cover enquires: 'How did our species succeed ...

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    DAN HYDE: Regulators should have acted sooner to banish rip-off bank fees

    Eleven years after we launched our Fair Play on Charges campaign, highlighting the iniquities of overdraft fees, the most outrageous rip-off of them all is finally coming to an end.The stonking fees banks levy on customers who slip into the red accidentally have always been hard to justify.Now, under pressure from the Competition and Markets Authority watchdog, Lloyds is scrapping its unauthorised overdraft charges altogether. Currently, it pockets as much as 86 from someone who unexpectedly goes 26 overdrawn one month. [media_photo id="858352" height="421" width="634" alt="Result: Eleven years after we launched our Fair Play on Charges campaign, highlighting the iniquities ...

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    CITY DIARY: Carney's gay pride could come before a very embarassing fall

    Mark Carney allowed the LBGT rainbow flag to be hoisted over the Bank of EnglandMark Carney allowed the LBGT rainbow flag to be hoisted over the Bank of England to mark last weekend's gay pride celebrations. Wonder if Bank of England staff, currently preparing to strike over a pay dispute, are charmed by the governor's posturing? The Spectator claims morale in Threadneedle Street is at rock bottom under Carney's 'humourless' tenure. Gay pride can come before a fall, dear!City grandee Sir ...

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