Where now for GCM Resources’ controversial mining project in Bangladesh, after a protestor dressed as Santa Claus stormed the company’s pre-Christmas AGM and deposited a stocking full of coal in the lap of chairman Gerard Holden?
It seems the Aim-listed miner has already shrugged off the scenes of the St Nicholas imposter 19-year-old grass-roots activist Ashley Feils of the Climate Justice Collective being frogmarched out of the meeting at the Institute of Directors.
A spokesman says GCM Resources is still “very committed” to getting the project approved, and plans to meet Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina “as soon as possible” to discuss how the project can address the country’s energy needs.
The groups opposing the mine say the Phulbari Coal Project could displace 220,000 people. Not so, responds GCM, which claims 40,000 people will be resettled over 10 years, and that 17,000 new jobs will be created as the open-pit coal project develops.
“We welcome the opportunity to speak in a constructive dialogue with any group, but have not yet been taken up on this offer,” says GCM, which has reassured shareholders it is “aware” of their frustration.
What do Britain’s richest people want from life? To make sure they have enough cash to look after number one, claims deVere Group. When the financial adviser asked 232 of its clients with net worth of £1m-plus what they “really want from their wealth”, 47pc said their top priority is to protect their assets to “afford a comparable lifestyle throughout their retirement”. “Unexpected” costs such as medical bills are of greater concern than providing for next of kin.
= Taxing issue for Caudwell =
Billionaire Phones4U founder John Caudwell is famous for his philanthropy through his foundation for underprivileged children, Caudwell Children. But he wasn’t always so saintly.
In the early days of building his mobile phone empire, the ferociously driven Caudwell dabbled in a spot of “tax planning”.
“In the early days, I did things I probably wouldn’t do now,” Caudwell told a Sunday magazine supplement. “But there came a point when that didn’t feel right. How can you preach about doing what’s right for society and then not pay your full [tax] whack to the Chancellor?”
Caudwell claims he now pays Britain’s largest personal income-tax bill, and encourages others to boycott organisations that aren’t behaving in a “fiscally responsible way”. “If everyone took their money offshore, we’d be stony broke,” preaches HMRC’s new poster child.
= Qatarlyst's secret suitors =
Now (Other OTC: NWPN - news) the broking and insurance technology provider has appointed PwC to manage its search for a strong third party in an “orderly” and “professional” manner. The names of Qatarlyst’s several suitors are protected by non-disclosure agreements, but Diary is told the partnership will be announced in the next few months.
This year is off to a flying start the Office for National Statistics has already jumped in to claim 2013 as “The International Year of Statistics”. That’s a whole 365 days dedicated to recognising the contributions of statistical science, and an excuse for Diary to remind readers of the joke about the man who was given a job at the ONS. Apparently, he was only hired to make up the numbers.