City&FinanceBriefing Inbrief Trading probe woe for Ashley l MIKE ASHLEYS woes piled up today as the sportswear chain billionaire was told he is under investigation by the Competition Commission. The Sports Direct boss is already under pressure from the high street recession, the likely losses he is to suffer from the sale of Newcastle United, and a high-profile slanging match with arch-rival retail chain JJB. Australia Dollars 1.9101 Canada Dollars 1.7293 Denmark Kroner 8.3573 Eurozone Euro 1.1262 Hong Kong Dollars 12.4800 Japan Yen 153.7400 New Zealand Dollars 2.3602 South Africa Rand 12.7300 Sweden Kronor 11.5700 Switzerland Francs 1.7200 UAE Dirham 5.8481 United States Dollars 1.6203 TourisT rATes DOWN 49.13 at 4614.40 fTse 100 dow jones nikkei -$ DOWN 24.71 at 9256.26 UP 24.00 at 10,412.09 DOWN 0.40 at $1.6743 >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit thisismoney.co.uk * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. not all stocks are available sales fillip for john Lewis HIGH Street bellwether John Lewis has had another encouraging seven days. Sales in the week to 1 August rose 5.6% to 50 million. It said trends have been good since early July and the internet arm John Lewis Direct is doing especially well. The flagship Oxford Street store was below par, with sales up by 2.5%, but the new John Lewis/ Waitrose food hall at Bluewater shopping cen- tre opened yesterday with brisk business, including a run on oysters which sold out by lunchtime. BY GeorGina littlejohn London Lite Friday, 7 August 2009 33 O N L I N E G A M I N G F R O M M E T R O Score big and win as MEcasino brings the classic card game out of the playground and on to your PC! Sign up today for a welcome bonus up to 150 www.MEcasino.co.uk investments lift insurer Catlin l LLoYDS underwriter Catlin has cranked up its interim dividend by 9% as investment gains helped it to its largest ever pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of June. It posted a 40% rise in profit to $240 million (143 million) after returns more than tripled to $195 million from $53.9 million a year ago. Catlin is also benefiting from expanding its US business. indian move pays for Logica l CoMpUTEr firm Logica is benefiting from a restructuring that cost some 500 British jobs as it outsourced work to India, posting a fourfold rise in profit to 21.2 million for the six months to June, up from 5.2 million a year ago. In the UK, revenues rose 7%. Chief executive Andy Green said: We have taken swift action...to protect margins. insolvencies are at a record high l A rECorD number of people have declared themselves insolvent as the recession takes its toll. In the second quarter of the year 33,073 people in England and Wales became insolvent -- the highest figure since records began in 1960, and almost a third higher than a year ago, the Insolvency Service said. Hedge fund staff get a kick out of businessMayfairs sexiest hedge fund star has ordered his staff to take martial arts lessons to toughen them up for working in the City. Jason McNab, chief investment officer of the Duet Global Opportunities fund and dubbed the best- looking man in the hedge fund world, has launched the initiative in a bid to help his firm come out fighting after the industry has been one of the worst affected by the financial crisis. increased client withdrawals from hedge funds, plunging asset values and public uproar against some funds which profited from bets on banks shares sinking, have hit the sector hard. But McNab plans to use the tactics involved in martial arts to get his employees fighting for a profit once more. it follows the boom in white collar boxing, which enables bankers and brokers to live out their pugilistic fantasies and is attracting growing interest in the City. it was invented in the financial district of New york 10 years ago, and some now call it the new golf. Fighting fit: Jason McNab rBs chief: i will pick up 6.4m rescue bonusROYAL Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester said today he expects to pick up bonuses of 6.4m for rescuing the group -- bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of 20bn. Mr Hester said he was confident of getting his money even as RBS announced fresh losses to shareholders of 1bn -- but an operating profit of 15m. He will get the bonus, on top of his 1.2m annual pay, if RBS shares hit 70p. Unveiling half-yearly results which included writing off 7.5bn of bad debt, Mr Hester said he expects to hit the target within three years. Shares fell 4.5p to 49p as the City digested the figures. But Mr Hester said: I believe definitely one day RBS will be worth 70p and more. Asked if he understood public anger over multi-million-pound rewards at a company which had to be rescued with public money, he replied: Of course I under- stand that there is a philosophical and politi- cal debate. But if we turn this bank around the taxpaper wont lose out. That is my job. It is very important that it is done well. Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable today criticised the way the bonus was linked to RBSs share price. Reward: Stephen Hester says if he turns things around no one loses H index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html