City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Wednesday, 2 September 2009 41 Inbrief Cattles cuts jobs and branches STRUGGLING doorstep lender Cattles is to close 30 of its Welcome Finance branches across the UK with the loss of 510 jobs. Chairman Margaret Young said: These changes are central to Cattles achieving a more cost- efficient business model. We are still in constructive discussions with key creditors to obtain a standstill agreement. Madoff family face $50m claim BERNARD MADOFFS sons and brother could face claims for over $50million (31 million) because of the Ponzi scandal. Irving Picard, appointed to liquidate Madoffs firm after he was jailed for 150 years for the $65 billion fraud, is preparing civil complaints against sons Mark and Andrew, who ran their fathers firms, and brother Peter, the chief compliance officer. Economy on the up Down Under AUSTRALIAS economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to June, confirming not only that it has almost certainly avoided recession but also that it was the fastest growing developed economy over the last year. Wayne Swan, Australias Federal Treasurer described the growth as remarkable given the fragile state of the world economy. LG Electronics to drive new sales LG ELECTRONICS wants to increase sales of electrical appliances in Europe by 10% a year with the aim of becoming the largest producer of washing machines and refrigerators by 2012. LG currently has a 7% share of the European refrigerator market and 4% of the washing machine market. Australia Dollars 1.8426 Canada Dollars 1.6981 Denmark Kroner 8.0528 Eurozone Euro 1.0851 Hong Kong Dollars 12.0100 Japan Yen 144.9500 New Zealand Dollars 2.2155 South Africa Rand 11.7900 Sweden Kronor 11.0700 Switzerland Francs 1.6434 UAE Dirham 5.6268 United States Dollars 1.5591 TOURIST RATES DOWN 21.77 at 4787.93 FTSE 100 DOW JONES NIKKEI -$ DOWN 185.68 at 9310.60 DOWN 280.60 at 10,280.46 DOWN 0.13 at $1.6147 >>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 OBrien calls off Indy truce AN uneasy six-month truce at Independent News & Media (INM) collapsed today as Denis OBrien, its second- largest shareholder, called for an immediate sale or closure of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. OBrien, who owns 26% of INMs shares, called for an extraordinary general meeting which would also vote on ending 300,000 (264,000) a year payments to the publishers founder and now President Emeritus Tony OReilly. PC World sees sales fall as recession bites PC WORLD and Currys owner DSG International today reported a collapse in sales in Britain and sold its stores in Poland for just 1. Computing sales fell 15% at PC World in the UK and there was a 14% slump in the electricals division in the 16 weeks to 22 August as the firm was hit by the recession. DSG also pulled out of Poland, selling its eight loss-making Electro World Poland stores for 1, but said its overall sales decline eased over the summer helped by strong growth in the Nordic region. Shares surged 7% or 2p to 29p having plunged below 15p in January. The firm said group sales fell by a not-as-bad-as-feared 6% in the 16-week period compared with a 9% drop in the prior financial year. Given the challenging environment, this is an encouraging start to the year, said chief executive John Browett. We remain cautious about the economic outlook. Analysts said the decline in sales was better than the 7% to 11% expected in the City driven by a 9% rise in Scandinavia. The UK performance was in line with expectations. Singer analyst Matthew McEachran said the results were encouraging. Browett blamed the 15% plunge in sales at PC World on significantly lower sales to businesses as a result of the recession. A quarter of customers at PC World are small businesses, many of which have put spending on hold. City&FinanceBriefing Little Miss Sunshine: Gisele in one of Calzedonias designs Giseles bikini maker splashes out in Oxford StITALIAN fashion company Calzedonia today bought its flagship UK Tezenis store at Oxford Circus for 22.9 million -- a 12.5% premium on its value at the end of March in a sign the London property market is turning. The Verona-based firm, which hired model Gisele Bundchen as the face and body of its summer range, bought Spirella House on the corner of Oxford Street and Regent Street. The building has three floors of shop space and five storeys of offices, and is home to one of two Tezenis outlets in London, the other being in the Westfield shopping centre. Tezenis sells underwear and pyjamas for men, women and children. Calzedonia bought the site off Great Capital Partnership, a joint venture between London landlords Great Portland Estates (GPE) and Capital & Counties. Spirella House was last valued at the end of March after extensive refurbish- ment and at the start of a recovery in the London property market. Robert Noel, property director at GPE, said: The sale is in line with our usual disciplined approach of recycling capital from mature assets. Spirella House is held on a lease from The Crown Estate for another 123 years. 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