Profit at Ulysses down 20pc in 2009
PROFITS at Ulysses Securitisation dropped almost 20pc last year, as the State's mortgage special purpose vehicle (SPV) suffered a fall-off in investment income in its last trading year.
Founded in 1995 to raise money for the State by issuing bonds guaranteed by packaged local mortgage loans, Ulysses will be wound up later this year following the repayment of most of the original mortgages. The latest accounts for the SPV show profits of just over €1.5m were generated last year against more than €2m in 2008 amid falling interest income.
Smurfs importer admits extortion
The man who introduced the Smurfs to America has admitted conducting an $11m (€8.6m) extortion attempt against his son-in-law David Blitzer, the head of Blackstone Group's London operations.
Stuart Ross, a former lawyer who bought the North American rights to the cartoon characters, pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny at a court in New York. He admitted threatening to ruin Mr Blitzer's career unless the private equity boss paid him $5.5m (€4.3m).
Aviva turns down €6bn buyout offer
British insurer RSA is reported to have approached rival Aviva about buying its general insurance operations in the UK and elsewhere for £5bn (€6.1bn).
It is understood that the approach was immediately rejected by the Aviva board, and there are no discussions continuing between the companies.
Talks aim to avert UK airport strike
British airport operator BAA and the Unite union are to hold talks on Monday aimed at averting planned strikes by ground staff, conciliation service Acas said.
Unite said yesterday that its members at BAA, owned by Spanish group Ferrovial, had voted three-to-one in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pay.
Analysts forecast fall in crude oil
Crude oil may fall next week on speculation that slowing US economic growth will increase fuel inventories, Bloomberg News has said.
Twenty of 36 analysts forecast that crude oil would decline through August 20. Ten respondents predicted that futures would be little changed and six projected an increase. Last week 61pc of analysts forecast a drop.