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.
Business / INSOLVENCIES
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.
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.
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 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.
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.