Ministers are being warned against “political interference” in a bribery investigation into a massive UK contract to overhaul military communications in Saudi Arabia. Transparency International and Corruption Watch fear a repeat of the debacle in 2006 when the UK government pressured the Serious Fraud Office to shelve its investigation into alleged bribery over sales of military jets to Saudi Arabia under ‘Al Yamamah’.
Business / INSOLVENCIES
Hotels and restaurants suffered a sharp rise in company failures as the latest insolvency figures bring further gloom for the UK economy.
The sector, including bars and clubs, is under acute pressure as consumers curb spending. The number of companies in insolvency in the sector is rising at a far higher rate than for the overall economy, according to Exaro data.
Insolvencies in Scotland fell last month far faster than for the rest of the UK in a boost ahead of tomorrow’s independence referendum. But figures compiled by the Exaro Insolvency Index show that the drop came after a poor year for company failures in Scotland. Insolvencies have risen sharply in Scotland this year so far, but have fallen slightly in the rest of the UK.
Latest figures from the Exaro Insolvency Index show that company failures fell slightly amid a volatile picture for the UK economy so far this year. However, the construction sector has shown strong improvement throughout 2014, with consistent falls in insolvencies. Overall, the number of companies that filed one or more insolvency notices in July dropped by 1.6 per cent compared with July 2013.
Helicopter maker AgustaWestland faces losing the chance of defence deals with India worth billions of pounds because of bribery allegations against it. The UK’s only helicopter manufacturer and its Italian parent company, Finmeccanica, are bracing themselves from being “blacklisted” from India following formal advice issued by the country’s attorney general, its top law officer, to its Ministry of Defence.
Insolvencies in the manufacturing sector rose sharply as company failures across the UK economy suffered a setback, according to data compiled by Exaro. The number of manufacturing companies that filed one or more insolvency notices in June rose 19 per cent year on year. The Exaro Insolvency Index also shows that the figure across all sectors rose by nearly 5 per cent.
Company failures continued to fall in the UK in the latest monthly figures from the Exaro Insolvency Index. With a sharp drop in companies that entered the early stages of the insolvency process, the figures are giving some optimism to specialists in business recovery about the overall economy. And the numbers fell more strongly in the retail sector.
One of the king of Saudi Arabia’s relatives ran a company that skimmed 10 per cent from a massive contract with a British contractor. Mahmoud Fustok, King Abdullah’s brother-in-law, is named in a book to be launched on Wednesday as the manager of a Lebanese company that received millions of pounds in commission from a defence deal between the UK and Saudi governments.
Helicopter maker AgustaWestland faces the prospect of a criminal investigation in the UK over a huge contract with India. UK officials say that they are “carefully” monitoring a corruption trial in Italy over the contract. Meanwhile, Philip Hammond, defence secretary, told Exaro that he was unaware of a formal request by India for UK help over a criminal investigation into the contract.
Company insolvencies in the UK are decreasing for the first time this year. And the number of businesses that entered the early stages of the insolvency process has fallen sharply. In April, 2,611 companies were going through insolvency, down just under three per cent from 2,687 for the same month last year, according to the Exaro Insolvency Index.
Insolvencies in the South East of England are rising more sharply than across the UK as a whole, figures compiled by Exaro show. The number of companies that were going through insolvency in the South East jumped 45 per cent in March year on year, and up nine per cent for the whole UK, according to the Exaro Insolvency Index.