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Bonuses 'necessary'

BARCLAYS Chairman David Walker defended bonuses paid to investment bankers, saying the UK's second-largest lender by assets needed to retain talent last year as US competitors stepped up pay.

"We saw significantly higher numbers of high quality people we wanted to recruit turning down our offers," Walker said in London. It said it will post a "small reduction" in first-quarter pretax profit as revenue at its investment bank's fixed-income unit declines.


BULMERS maker C&C is investing £1.2m in a new commercial business support centre in Belfast which will create some 25 jobs over the next two years at its south Belfast site.

Tom McCusker, of C&C Group Ireland and Tennent's NI said several locations were looked at.

He added: "Belfast emerged as the most suitable and best cost location because of the availability of skilled people, a record of low staff turnover rates, a robust infrastructure in terms of telecommunications, and the support package from Invest NI."


ADIDAS is moving some production away from Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings's shoe factory in Dongguan, China, where a strike over benefits and pay disrupted output for a ninth day.

"In order to minimise the impact on our operations, we are currently reallocating some of the future orders originally allocated to Yue Yuen Dongguan to other suppliers," Adidas spokeswoman Katja Schreiber said. The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based sportswear maker "has a highly flexible supply chain in place," she said.


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GENERAL Motors has posted lower quarterly profit after a huge recall due to defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. But results still topped Wall Street expectations on strong pricing for its vehicles, especially in North America.

Net income in the first quarter fell to $108m, or 6c a share, from $873m, (58c a share), in the year-earlier period. The most recent quarter included recall costs of $1.3bn, or 48c a share.

Some switches can make vehicle engines stall while operating, stop airbags from deploying, and power steering and power brakes from operating.

The company is under investigation by US safety regulators, Congress and the US Department of Justice.

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