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Councils allowed to relax Sunday trade laws to promote 'thriving high streets'

Mayors and councils to decide which areas are free from current law, which stops shops more than 3,000 sq ft opening more than six hours on a Sunday

Mayors and local councils are to be given new powers to relax Sunday trading laws for high street stores to allow them to compete with large out-of-town shopping centres and online retailers.

Under government plans to allow high streets to “grow and thrive”, councils will be given powers to zone areas where Sunday trading laws could be relaxed. The changes would mean that a local council could declare that shops on a designated high street could be allowed to operate under more relaxed hours while out-of-town shopping centres with fewer local ties could face restrictions.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

New Rolls-Royce investors claim 'good directors should challenge forceful CEO'

Quote features on ValueAct Capital’s website, who own more than 5% of engine firm, in a message sure to attract attention of new chief executive Warren East

If Warren East, the new chief executive of Rolls-Royce, wants to sleep well at night, he should probably avoid reading one of the two rotating quotations on the front of the website of ValueAct Capital, the San Francisco-based activist hedge fund that recently unveiled a stake in the British aircraft engine maker.

It comes from the legendary investor Warren Buffett, and is a warning to any chief executive in charge of an under-performing company.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

SFO chief says more Libor charges on the way after Tom Hayes conviction

David Green says the 14-year sentence handed to former trader is ‘part punishment, part deterrent’

More criminal charges are to be brought against individuals suspected of rigging Libor following the conviction of Tom Hayes, according to the head of the Serious Fraud Office.

David Green, the director of the fraud-busting agency, told the Wall Street Journal that the 14-year jail term handed down to Hayes would “send a strong deterrent message” to others considering rigging benchmark rates.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Why has Shire joined the biotech bonanza with Baxalta bid?

The sector is awash with mergers and acquisitions but it’s hard to understand what the appeal of Shire/Baxalta is meant to be

The old wisdom said hostile deals don’t work in the world of cutting-edge pharmaceutical research because successful science requires willing partners. In the current bid-a-week biotech bonanza, such niceties can be thrown out of the window, it seems. Shire, the Dublin-based and London-listed outfit, has gone hostile with an all-share $30bn approach to US group Baxalta after being given the cold shoulder by a company spun out of former parent Baxter only last month.

Related: Shire pharmaceutical makes $30bn move for Baxalta

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

US hedge fund builds up stake in Smiths

ValueAct’s stake could lead to a break-up of the business, whose products include medical equipment, electronic components and security scanners

ValueAct, a US hedge fund that agitates for change at companies, has emerged as a shareholder in British engineer Smiths Group, days after revealing it was the biggest investor in Rolls-Royce.

The San Francisco-based activist investor is believed to own between 3% and 5% of Smiths. ValueAct informed Smiths in the past six months that it had bought a stake following prolonged talks with company executives.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Greek bank shares slump again but creditor talks make progress – as it happened

5.37pm BST

The European Commission has said it believes a deal on a third Greek bailout in time for 20 August, when the country has to pay €3.2bn to the European Central Bank, is possible.

Reuters has received a statement from EC spokeswoman Mina Andreeva in response to earlier comments from Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos that the talks could be concluded this week.

The European Commission is encouraged by the progress made so far. We are moving in the right direction and intense work is continuing.

The constructive collaboration with the Greek authorities should allow the negotiations on a new three-year programme to progress rapidly.

5.30pm BST

A day after the Athens market recorded a 16.2% collapse, the first day it had opened for five weeks, it fell back again but only by 1.22% as some signs of normality returned.

Returned everywhere, that is, except to the Greek banking sector, which saw leading banks lose around 30% for the second day running on the prospect of the banks being recapitalised after savers withdrew their cash in waves this year before the introduction of capital controls.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

FTSE ends flat and Coca-Cola Hellenic loses its fizz

Bottling group hit by sell notes as analysts warn of difficult markets

Leading shares ended marginally lower amid another decline in the Greek stock market – with banks losing another 30% – and despite a recovery in commodity prices.

One of the biggest losers was Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling, which has been under pressure in recent months due to its exposure to the trouble Greek and Russian markets.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

After the Greek crisis, it's time for a new deal on debt

There would have been risks in restructuring Europe’s debt, but running those risks would have been well worth it

The International Monetary Fund’s acknowledgement that Greece’s debt is unsustainable could prove to be a watershed moment for the global financial system. Clearly, heterodox policies to deal with high debt burdens need to be taken more seriously, even in some advanced countries.

Ever since the onset of the Greek crisis, there have been basically three schools of thought. First, there is the view of the troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF), which holds that the eurozone’s debt-distressed periphery (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain) requires strong policy discipline to prevent a short-term liquidity crisis from morphing into a long-term insolvency problem.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Business must collaborate – without it the world is brutal and terrifying

Companies should simultaneously compete and work together, says Jonathan Rowson, but there is a moral case for loading the dice to support greater collaboration

I was recently introduced to Pandemic. Unlike zero-sum competition games such as chess, Pandemic is a cooperative board game that helps focus the mind on winning in the context of sustainability. The threat in Pandemic is the end of the world and, although the focus is public health rather than ecological collapse, the same principles apply.

In Pandemic, players have to cooperate to keep four virulent diseases under control and can only win or lose as a team that actively collaborates. In its emphasis on coordinating diverse forms of expertise (dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher or operations expert) to address complex challenges, the game shares some overlaps with my view that climate change should be understood as problem with seven dimensions – science, law, technology, money, democracy, culture and behaviour.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Shire pharmaceutical makes $30bn move for Baxalta

Potential merger could create global leader in treating rare-disease treatments with annual sales worth $20bn

London-listed drug company Shire has made a $30bn (£19.2bn) unsolicited takeover offer for the rare-disease specialist Baxalta.

Shire announced it was ready to pay $45.23 (£28.96) per Baxalta share, a 36% premium on Baxalta’s stock price on Monday. Merging the two companies would create “the global leader in [treating] rare diseases” with combined sales of $20bn by 2020, Shire said.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS