Friday. 25 July 2014

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Saudi king’s brother-in-law handled UK contract’s ‘agency fees’

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.

UK considers corruption probe into helicopter deal with India

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.

UK economy enjoys falling insolvencies for first time this year

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.

South East outside London sees insolvencies increase steeply

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.

Middleman on UK-India deal agrees plea bargain over ‘bribes’

Italian prosecutors have agreed a ‘plea bargain’ with a middleman who they accused of bribing Indian officials to help Britain secure a huge helicopter contract. Pressure on AgustaWestland, the British helicopter maker, over the corruption allegations has increased as an Italian judge approved the plea bargain. Ministers in Britain also face even more questions over the affair.

Company failures rise despite George Osborne’s budget cheers

Company failures are on the rise again as insolvency figures across the board are up compared with last year, according to data compiled by Exaro. As George Osborne, chancellor, celebrated improved economic indicators in his budget speech last week, the Exaro Insolvency Index highlights a more troubling picture for UK business. Increasing numbers of companies filed one or more insolvency notices.

Diplomat lobbied India over helicopter deal, minister confirms

One of the UK’s key diplomats who helped AgustaWestland win a huge helicopter contract with India went on to run the company’s arm in Delhi. Exaro can reveal the “revolving-door” case as Michael Fallon, business minister, was forced to confirm to Parliament the former diplomat’s role in the AgustaWestland deal. India cancelled the contract in January amid allegations of bribery.

UK government helped negotiate ‘corrupt’ contract with India

UK officials helped an Anglo-Italian contractor clinch a huge helicopter deal with India that has become embroiled in bribery allegations, Exaro can reveal. The civil servants were from UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), the government agency that promotes British exports. The disclosure undermines efforts by David Cameron, prime minister, to distance the UK from the allegations.

IT sector sees sharper rise in insolvencies than overall economy

Information and communication companies are suffering a rising number of insolvencies, according to analysis by Exaro. By contrast, transportation and storage companies are seeing falls across all types of insolvency. The latest figures from the Exaro Insolvency Index mark the varying fortunes for different sectors as the UK economy sees a slight upturn in company failures, after months of decreases.

Thatcher government sold ‘wobbly’ British helicopters to India

Margaret Thatcher’s government pressed India to buy a fleet of Westland helicopters despite knowing that the model had “mechanical problems”, newly-released documents show. Her private secretary received a warning that the helicopter, the W30, did not even have air-worthiness certificates because of the faults. And ministers were advised that the economic case for using aid for the deal was “marginal”.


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