City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Monday, 9 November 2009 37 READER OFFER TOP PRICE TICKETS FOR 25.50* DAZZLING The Observer SIMON McBURNEY ...the greatest theatre- maker of his generation... MARK RYLANCE the greatest actor NOW THEY ARE TOGETHER ON STAGE AT LAST Independent DUCHESS THEATRE CATHERINE STREET, LONDON WC2 0844 412 4659 ENDGAMEBY SAMUEL BECKETT Complicite NICA BURNS AND MAX WEITZENHOFFER PRESENT DIRECTED BY SIMON McBURNEY Top price tickets for 25.50To book top price tickets for 25.50 (usual price 46) call 0844 412 4659 and quote LONDON LITE OFFER Terms and conditions: Offer valid for all performances Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm and Wednesday to Saturday at 3pm until 5 December. Offer subject to availability and not in conjunction with any other offer. Booking fee applies. * Inbrief Lloyds pair get premium boost l LLoyds of London insurers Hiscox and Beazley saw a rise in gross premiums, both in the nine months to october. Hiscox, whose insurance includes policies against kidnap and hurricanes, enjoyed a 10% rise on the same period last year to 1.2billion. Beazley reported an 18% rise in gross premiums to 861.9 million, boosted by its catastrophe business. Pelham merges with PR rival l PR firm Pelham is merging with Bell Pottingers corporate and financial arm, owned by Chime Communications. Pelham chief executive James Henderson will be managing director of the new business, to be called Pelham Bell Pottinger, in which Chime will own a majority stake. Hendersons holding in the merged group will eventually be bought by Chime. RBS boss gets a second job l RoyaL Bank of scotlands chairman, sir Philip Hampton, joined the board of mining group anglo american as a non-executive director today, despite how busy he is at the part-nationalised bank. anglo americans chairman, sir John Parker, said: sir Philip brings a wealth of financial, strategic and boardroom experience across a number of industries. Undertaker is making a killing l dEaTH is a healthy business for Britains only listed undertaker, dignity. Group revenues rose 5% to 137.3 million in the 39 weeks to 25 september against the same period last year, with operating profits up 7.2% to 43 million. dignity has splashed out on seven funeral homes and five crematoria since the start of the year. Australia Dollars 1.7194 Canada Dollars 1.6817 Denmark Kroner 7.9086 Eurozone Euro 1.0661 Hong Kong Dollars 12.2200 Japan Yen 143.0700 New Zealand Dollars 2.1320 South Africa Rand 11.7300 Sweden Kronor 11.0900 Switzerland Francs 1.6094 UAE Dirham 5.7233 United States Dollars 1.5858 ToURiST RaTeS UP 44.35 at 5187.07 fTSe 100 dow joneS nikkei -$ UP 17.46 at 10,023.42 UP 19.64 at 9808.99 UP 1.6c at $1.6774 >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. not all stocks are available iraq keen to raise oil output Iraq today set its sights on raising oil production as international firms such as BP move back into the country after years of war. Oil minister Hussain al- Shahristani said he now expects three of major oilfields -- rumaila, Zubair and West qurna -- to pump more than six million barrels of oil a day. That is more than was hoped for from all eight oilfields offered up by Iraq to foreign firms in June in the first bidding round since the US-led invasion in 2003. Capital leads recovery but job losses go on London is leading the UK out of recession despite unemployment continuing to rise at pace in the capital. Research by Markit today showed that the economy grew faster in London than anywhere else in the country last month. Its barometer of activity, where anything above 50 marks growth, hit a 35-month high of 59.6 in the capital in october -- up from 55.1 in September and compared to an average for the UK of 56.9. Tim Moore, an economist at Markit, said: The UK regions continued to take steps along the road to recovery with London leading the way in october. Companies across the UK reported another month of rising output and demand, but generally cautioned that workloads remain well below pre-recession levels. As a result, labour market weakness persisted in october, with firms forced to cut jobs in response to excess capacity. Squeezed operating margins remained evident, as input costs increased across all UK regions and strong competition limited pricing power. However, the employment index, which also uses 50 as the cut-off between growth and decline, measured 44.7 in London last month, therefore showing that jobs continued to be lost. official figures published on Wednesday are expected to show that unemployment has risen to 2.5 million or 8% in the UK. 20 million loss clouds picture at Channel fiveCHannel Five today underlined the challeng- ing state of the terrestrial commercial TV market as new figures showed it recorded a 20.8 million annual loss. although the neighbours broadcaster made an operating profit of 379,000 in the year to 31 December 2008, restructuring and the cost of servicing loans pushed Five into a pre-tax loss of 9.14 million. another 11.61 million for unused tax losses resulted in a total loss of 20.75 million, as opposed to a 4.9 million deficit in 2007. luxembourg-based parent company rTl acknowledged Fives problems by parting company with chief executive Jane lighting in spring 2008. lightings successor, Dawn airey, who is also chairman, has since axed around a quarter of the 290-strong staff after an efficiency and effectiveness review. Turnover rose 2% to 344.4 million during 2008 but the accounts for Channel 5 Broadcasting limited, filed at Companies House, indicated Five was hit in the second half of the year as a result of the current economic climate. like ITV and Channel 4, Britains third-biggest terrestrial TV broadcaster saw a double-digit plunge in advertising sales after the banking meltdown in September 2008. BY GIDEON SPANIER Ousted: former Channel Five chief executive Jane Lighting 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.html40.html41.html42.html43.html