first_imgWednesday 1 September 2010 8:50 pm whatsapp FINANCIAL TIMES MEAT PRICE SURGE FUELS FEARS OF FOOD INFLATIONGlobal meat prices have hit a 20-year high as robust demand from emerging countries has coincided with a drop in production by exporters such as the US and Australia, fuelling concerns about rising food inflation. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s index of meat prices rose in August to its highest level since 1990, up 16 per cent over the past year.SANTANDER WORST FOR COMPLAINTSSantander has emerged as the bank with the highest proportion of customer complaints in the UK, with gripes about its banking service flooding in at the rate of one every minute during the first half of this year.The Spanish-owned bank received 216,158 complaints in the six months, making it the institution with the highest ratio of complaints to the number of customer accounts. Barclays was next with 195,956.BRUSSELS SET TO GIVE WAY ON OTC DERIVATIVESEuropean companies look set for a victory in their efforts to persuade regulators not to force them to use clearing houses for over-the-counter derivatives trades after the European Commission proposed that they be given exemptions from sweeping regulation to clamp down on such markets.SPICE HAS SECOND POTENTIAL BUYERThe prospect of a bidding war for Spice has emerged after the utility services group being stalked by Cinven, one of Europe’s biggest buy-out houses, disclosed it was in talks with a second potential buyer. Shares in Spice jumped 12 per cent to 63?p after the group said it had received a “conditional proposal” from another interested party.THE TIMESZARA TO SELL CLOTHES ONLINEZara will finally make its entry into online sales in Britain tomorrow when it begins selling its high street fashion on the web. The retailer will open up retail channels over the internet in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal and will extend its online presence to the United States, Japan and South Korea next year.IMF BOSS CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST TAX EVADERSThe battle against tax evasion must be stepped up to ensure that action to cut the public debt is fair to all taxpayers, a leading figure at the International Monetary Fund said last night. Carlo Cottarelli, director of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department, renewed calls for an international body to help to fight tax evasion and co-ordinate tax policy.The Daily TelegraphBP ATTACKED OVER $5M A WEEK SPEND ON ADVERTS SINCE OIL SPILLTroubled oil giant BP has confirmed massive spending on advertising since the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In a letter to US Congresswoman Kathy Castor, the House Energy and Commerce Committee disclosed that BP spent $93m (£60m) on advertising between April and July.QUANGO SAVES £111 MILLION IN THE SPACE OF A YEARAn expert quango set up to reduce the costs of building new schools, roads and hospitals has saved the taxpayer £111 million in its first year of operation, a newly-published report has found. The Scottish Futures Trust acts as a “centre of expertise” for any public sector body making significant investment in infrastructure and wanting to get a better deal. WALL STREET JOURNALDEUTSCHE BANK LAUNCHES TRADING SYSTEMDeutsche Bank AG on Wednesday launched an electronic trading system for foreign-exchange options—complex products that are usually traded over the phone. Deutsche Bank, which holds the world’s biggest market share in currency dealing, said in a statement that the new service was the first of its kind. MUNICH RE MAKES A BET ON JAPANMunich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, is bolstering its presence in Japan despite a slowing economy and an aging and dwindling population, even as opportunities beckon in the faster-growing economies of Asia. Earlier this week, the German reinsurer opened its first branch office in Tokyo, expecting Japan’s reinsurance market to grow as fast as those in China and India in the next five years. 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