ARAB TIMES, THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011 BUSINESS 45 Airbus ruling overturned bribery rife across EU top firms The World Trade Organization’s appeal body on Wednesday More than one third of employees at large European across 25 European countries agreed that bribery which can make businesses with any UK interest overturned part of its ruling on Washington’s complaint against companies are prepared to offer cash or lavish gifts and corruption was widespread on their turf — and criminally liable if staff, subsidiaries or “associated the European Union over aid for aviation giant Airbus. and entertainment to win business as the economic nearly half were unaware of any company anti- persons” offer bribes anywhere in the world. While the appellate body upheld findings that some subsidies downturn prompts firms to cut corners to stay bribery policy. It also clamps down on so-called “facilitation pay- provided by Brussels “have caused serious prejudice to the inter- ahead. “Complacency about fraud, bribery and corrup- ments” — often used to oil the wheels of business ests of the United States,” it reversed a key finding that financing In its 2011 European fraud survey, consultants tion, combined with cost cutting initiatives at many by speeding up services such as visa applications by Germany, Spain and Britain for the development of the A380 Ernst & Young said on Wednesday that Greek and companies, creates additional exposure,” said — and “disporportionate” hospitality. superjumbo amounted to a export subsidy. Russian staff were most likely to offer cash bribes, David Stulb, who leads Ernst & Young’s global fraud After polling employees from the factory floor to “As a consequence, the appellate body reversed the with Greece also topping the chart for the most like- investigation & disputes services. top executives, Ernst & Young said over 40 percent panel’s recommendation that the European Union withdraw ly to offer personal gifts. Britain’s Bribery Act, which comes into force from acknowledged that bribery and corruption had wors- prohibited subsidies within 90 days,” the WTO said on its France and Norway had the cleanest slates, July, unsettled business leaders in part because of ened over the last two years of the economic crisis. website. (AFP) although two thirds of the 2,365 people quizzed an onerous new offence of failure to prevent bribery, (RTRS) Emirate wants more discipline Abu Dhabi to rein in state firms’ bond binge ABU DHABI, May 18, (RTRS): Abu Top officials are keen to improve International Petroleum Investment Co bond may be issued later this year or early “The basic premise of the process is to comment. A TDIC spokeswoman said she Dhabi plans to curtail bond sales by state accountability and discipline in state- (IPIC), Aabar, Tourism Development and 2012. It may be followed by the United have a look at the (global) investments was unable to immediately comment. companies and review the investments owned firms, some of which have been Investment Co (TDIC), the sources said. Arab Emirates’ first federal sovereign bond. made by these firms and assess if they Abu Dhabi’s investment firms are they hold to ease through the sale of sov- described as “mini-fiefdoms”. “(Government officials) feel a vacuum The part of the review that looks at make sense to the economic development among the most high-profile issuers in ereign bonds and ensure the firms’ That means the Department of Finance exists between them and the people run- investments will be reassessing the value of Abu Dhabi,” said a second source the Gulf Arab region and regularly tap actions benefit the economy. will become forceful in exercising its ning the show,” said a banking source. of the state-linked firms’ holdings, some involved in the discussions. “In whether bond markets to fund their ambitious The plan to centralise fundraising and authority — until now often bypassed by Abu Dhabi has been unable to print of which are household names. they help create jobs, build local expert- investment plans. crack down on undisciplined issuance in companies — and control over purse another sovereign bond since its $3 bil- Currently, portfolio assets at ise. If that doesn’t happen, these assets But Abu Dhabi has been concerned the biggest of the seven United Arab strings. The debt management office lion, five and 10-year April 2009 debut Mubadala, IPIC and Aabar, which recent- will be eventually sold.” about the arbitrage trade across bonds Emirates has been in the works for at (DMO), part of the finance department, issue because its state-linked firms have ly bought in as a cornerstone investor in The Abu Dhabi government did not issued by these firms and believes that least six months and may take another will direct bond issuances from Abu Dhabi. accessed markets, draining away limited Glencore’s IPO, range from stakes in respond to requests for comment. Mubadala streamlining issuance through a single year to complete, several people familiar The review will affect Abu Dhabi’s high- liquidity, bankers said. Daimler and Virgin Galactic to General declined to comment. Officials at IPIC and window will make it easier for the emi- with official discussions told Reuters. profile investment vehicles Mubadala, The banking source said the Abu Dhabi Electric and Spain’s Cepsa. Aabar were not immediately available for rate to issue debt in the near future. Data leaves BoE in spot Republicans will own responsibility UK jobs mkt improve but doubts still linger for the ‘first’ US default – Geithner LONDON, May 18, (Agencies): est rates for a few more months, ‘Gang of Six’ budget talks founder Britain’s labour market continued amid uncertainty over the faltering to show modest signs of improve- economy, according to analysts. ment in March, although a jump in Britain’s unemployment rate and NEW YORK, May 18, (Agencies): Treasury Secretary “If Republicans try to impose that plan on this country as a condition for raising Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that if Republicans insist on the debt limit, then they will own the responsibility for the first default in our his- the number of benefits claimants jobless total fell in the first quarter tory, with devastating consequences,” Geithner said in a speech to the Harvard last month raised doubts about the of the year, but the number of peo- passage of their budget plan as a condition for approving an Club of New York. prospect for any further strengthen- ple claiming benefits rose between increase in the nation’s borrowing limit, they will be respon- ing. March and April, the Office for Geithner noted that the country reached the current borrowing limit of $14.29 tril- The Office for National Statistics National Statistics (ONS) said. sible for the consequences. lion on Monday. He said he has begun deploying a series of bookkeeping maneuvers said the number of people without Also on Wednesday, the Bank of Speaking to a New York audience, Geithner said that Republicans would to avoid a debt default but that he will run out of maneuvering room around Aug 2. a job on the ILO measure fell by England revealed that its monetary bear responsibility for the first debt default in the nation’s history if they insist “As I have said before, Congress must meet its responsibility to protect the 36,000 in the three months to policy committee (MPC) voted 6-3 they will not vote for an increase in the $14.3 billion borrowing limit unless nation’s full faith and credit by increasing the debt limit,” Geithner said. March, taking the jobless rate in May to keep interest rates at a they win approval of a House Republican budget plan. He said while the borrowing costs on the national debt have remained low, that down to 7.7 percent. That was record low level of 0.50 percent, as could change quickly if financial mar- below forecasts for a reading of 7.8 it balanced high inflation and kets begin to doubt America’s ability to percent and the lowest since the anaemic economic recovery. deal with its financial difficulties. three months to September 2010. “May’s MPC minutes and the He said the cost of debt default, The number of people in latest labour market data have done something that has never occurred in employment rose by 118,000 in the little to... the interest rate outlook,” the country’s history, would be as dev- three-month period to its highest in said economist Jonathan Loynes at astating as the financial crisis that hit in more than two years. consultancy Capital Economics. 2008. “The UK labour market data is The ONS announced that the “As we saw in the fall of 2008, when actually fairly encouraging,” said unemployment rate fell unexpect- confidence turns, it can turn with brutal James Knightley, economist at edly to 7.7 percent in the first quar- force and with a momentum that is very ING. ter, from 7.8 percent during the difficult and costly to arrest,” Geithner The government is banking on final three months of 2010. said. “That is a threat we should pre- the private sector to create enough Market expectations had been empt.” jobs to offset heavy losses in the for an unchanged reading of 7.8 Geithner called on lawmakers to public sector as spending cuts start percent between January and work on a credible deficit-cutting plan to bite. March. that could be accepted by both Recent surveys such as the And, while the jobless total fell Republicans and Democrats. Purchasing Managers’ Indices have by 36,000 to 2.46 million people in House Speaker John Boehner said shown that British firms are hiring the first quarter, the ONS added again on Monday that Republicans will more staff. that the number of people claiming not support an increase in the debt limit And a study by the Chartered jobless benefits increased by “without serious budget reforms and Institute of Personnel and 12,400 between March and April to significant spending cuts.” Development (CIPD) and consul- reach 1.47 million. Republicans have ruled out any tax tancy KPMG on Wednesday sug- “Today’s labour market figures increases, including any plans to end gested overall employment levels are in truth unlikely to challenge tax cuts for high earners enacted in may improve slightly in the second the perception of fairly static con- 2001 and 2003. quarter of 2011. ditions across the labour market,” The Treasury Department confirmed However, they also said that the said HSBC economist Stuart that the debt ceiling was reached on small increase in private sector Green. Monday with the debt now totaling recruitment was still being can- Britain is still struggling to $14.293 trillion, $25 million under the celled out by large-scale public recover from recession amid the current ceiling of $14.294 trillion. sector job losses. coalition government’s deep spend- Treasury will maintain that level “The jobs market appears to be ing cuts, while weak economic over the next 11 weeks through a series taking baby steps on the long path growth has caused the Bank of of maneuvers that began Monday when to pre-recession levels,” Gerwyn England to avoid a rate hike despite Geithner informed Congress he had Davies, Public Policy Adviser at soaring consumer price inflation. halted investments in two pension the CIPD, said. Interest rates, which were plans for federal employees. “There are many sectors, such as slashed to 0.50 percent in March Treasury will begin reducing the manufacturing, that are taking large 2009 amid a record-length reces- debt holdings in those accounts over strides forward. But consumer-fac- sion, have remained on hold ever the next few weeks to make room for ing industries are simply edging since. US Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner speaks on President Obama’s approach to deficit reduction at the Joan its regular auctions of debt. forwards due to a fear of another The minutes of the Bank of Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Club of New York City on May 17, in New York A push to overhaul the US corporate consumer slowdown.” England’s rate-setting meeting ear- City. ‘If a fiscal agreement is not reached in the coming weeks, in advance of Aug 2, then the debt limit must still be increased,’ said Geithner of the federal government’s debt limit, which was reached yesterday. ‘It simply is not an option tax code will take a back seat to negotia- The ONS data showed that the lier this month showed that policy- for Congress to evade the basic responsibility to protect America’s creditworthiness.’ (AFP) tions on the deficit and debt ceiling over number of people claiming jobless makers Martin Weale and Spencer the next two months, Treasury Secretary benefit rose by 12,400 last month Dale again called for an increase in Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday. — the biggest rise in more than a year and following an upwardly the rate to 0.75 percent. Andrew Sentance voted for a UK intellectual property laws fail Geithner said the Obama administra- tion hopes to take up the issue of tax revised increase of 6,400 in March. bigger increase in the rate to 1.0 simplification before the presidential Skewed But it said the figures were being percent, as he had done at the pre- vious three meetings. Meanwhile, official data pub- Copyright shakeup may boost economy election in 2012 but he signaled the issue is on hold for now. skewed by recent changes in bene- Also: lished Tuesday showed that annual fits rules for lone parents — main- inflation soared to 4.5 percent in LONDON, May 18, (RTRS): A shake- “The recommendations of the al, but said it was relieved the review WASHINGTON: Deficit-reduction talks ly women — which had led to a April, hitting a two-and-a-half-year up of copyright laws could add nearly 8 review are designed to enhance the focused on promoting market access among a high-profile group of US sen- rise in the number of people seek- high above the BoE’s official 2.0- billion pounds to the economy by put- economic potential of the UK’s cre- rather than more radical reform such as ators foundered on Tuesday in a bleak ing employment and therefore eli- percent target. ting it on par with international com- ative industries and to ensure that the the adoption of fair use principles used sign for other lawmakers trying to gible to claim jobseekers petitors, an independent report wel- emergence of high technology busi- in the United States. hammer out a deal to tackle the coun- allowance. Muted comed by government ministers said nesses, especially smaller businesses, “The Exchange should make it easi- try’s budget woes. Nonetheless, some analysts took “The mixed unemployment on Wednesday. in other sectors is not impeded by our er for businesses and individuals to Republican Tom Coburn, one of the these figures as a warning sign for news, ongoing muted wage growth The Digital Opportunity review was IP laws.” legitimately access and pay for copy- Senate’s leading fiscal conservatives, the months ahead. and general tone of the MPC min- commissioned to address concerns that The review estimated the impact on righted material, while allowing rights told reporters he was dropping out of “The pick-up in the claimant utes suggest that the Bank of Britain’s “archaic” intellectual property growth of adopting each of its recom- owners to retain control of how their the bipartisan “Gang of Six” after count is a bit of a surprise. It’s England is currently unlikely to laws have failed to keep pace with how mendations and predicted it would be content is used and sold,” said CBI months of meetings. showing a slightly weaker picture,” tighten monetary policy before music and media are used around the between 5.5 and 7.9 billion pounds a chief policy director Katja Hall. “We can’t bridge the gap between said Marchel Alexandrovich, econ- November,” said economist world in the Internet age. year. “Firms will now be looking for reas- what actually needs to happen and omist at Jeffries International. Howard Archer at IHS Global “The team’s estimate is that if the surance from the government that it what people will allow to happen,” “We know what the story is: pri- Insight consultancy. Recommendations review’s recommendations are imple- will champion international enforce- Coburn said. vate sector adding jobs, public sec- And Hetal Mehta, economist at Led by Professor Ian Hargreaves of mented in full, they will add between ment, which is so critical to an export- A source familiar with the talks said tor shedding them. So it’s a matter Daiwa Capital Markets Europe, Cardiff University, its key recommen- 0.3 and 0.6 percent to the UK’s annual led economic recovery.” Coburn had pushed for deep and imme- of which one of those wins out.” forecast “no move from the MPC dations included a Digital Copyright GDP growth, not counting significant The review also calls for the wide- diate cuts to Medicare, the healthcare Average weekly earnings growth this year as it continues to assess Exchange where licences in copyright reductions in transaction costs for the spread practice of format shifting for program for the elderly, which were including bonuses unexpectedly the progress of household balance- can be bought and sold, and legislation public and private sectors, which the personal use — copying CDs or DVDs rejected by other members of the accelerated to 2.3 percent in the sheet restructuring and the full to permit access to orphan works team puts at 750 million a year,” it said. onto digital music players or computers group. Coburn’s proposal was three months to March from 2.1 impact of fiscal tightening”. whose owners cannot be traced. British copyright laws have been criti- — to be legalised, in a move it says described as more dramatic than a plan percent in the three months to “In the highly uncertain environ- Under current laws, if one owner out cised in the past for hampering creativ- could help academics draw on wider that passed the Republican-controlled February, but is still well below the ment, it seems the best that MPC of hundreds on a film or TV pro- ity and investment. research. House of Representatives last month. current rate of inflation. members can do is remain in wait- gramme cannot be traced they effec- It has already been legalised in all Richard Durbin, the second-rank- “Earnings growth remains and-see mode,” said Hetal Mehta at tively hold the others to ransom as it Review European countries with the exception ing Democrat in the Democratic-led deeply negative in real terms, and Daiwa Capital Markets. becomes a criminal offence to exploit Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Senate, told reporters the five remain- will continue to act as a major con- The biggest proponent of higher that work commercially, the review called for a review in a speech last Malta. ing senators in the bipartisan group straint on household spending,” rates, Andrew Sentance, leaves the said. autumn, when he told his audience: “The report highlights real scope for would meet on Wednesday and “I hope said Jonathan Loynes of Capital MPC at the end of this month and “In recent years, the UK has failed to “The founders of Google have said changes to copyright laws which could we can finish this and present it (rec- Economics. will be replaced by former make the changes needed to modernise they could never have started their add enormous value to the UK econo- ommendations) to the Senate.” Mixed British unemployment Goldman Sachs economist Ben copyright law, for which we will pay an company in Britain.” my,” said business secretary Vince While he said Coburn had made a data will push the Bank of England Broadbent who on Tuesday struck increasing economic price as we make The Confederation of British Cable, who gave a speech welcoming “valuable contribution” to the group, “I into maintaining record-low inter- a distinctly less hawkish tone. our way into the third decade of the Industry (CBI) employers’ group wel- the review at a conference in London am not reaching out to him” for further commercial Internet,” Hargreaves said. comed the copyright exchange propos- on Wednesday. discussions, Durbin added.