Bidder for TV Station Has Ties to Government

A Russian oil company with ties to the Kremlin offered to a buy a 35 percent stake in REN TV, one of Russia's last independent TV channels, as the government tightens its control over the media and energy industries. Surgutneftegas is run by Vladimir L. Bogdanov, who campaigned for President Vladimir Putin during the 2004 election. The potential purchase follows a June announcement that the state-controlled gas company Gazprom will buy a majority of national newspaper Izvestia, sparking renewed criticism that the government is reducing press freedom.


Bank Considers Buying London Exchange

Macquarie Bank, Australia's largest investment bank, rejuvenated the prospect of a bidding war for the London Stock Exchange when it expressed interest in buying it.

Shares in the exchange jumped by almost 5 percent, as analysts said Macquarie's confirmation of a potential cash bid could galvanize rival potential bidders Euronext and Deutsche Boerse into firming up their own interest in the London exchange.

British Airways Flights Resume

British Airways said it was almost back to business as usual, as it resumed all scheduled domestic and European flights, but analysts said that the airline will not be so quick to shake off the negative effects of last week's ground-crew walkout.

The dispute, which grounded more than 100,000 passengers, was the third major incident causing cancellations to hit the airline in as many summers and comes as it struggles with soaring oil prices and greater competition from low-cost carriers in Europe.

Terrorist Attacks Take Toll on Economy

Last month's deadly terrorist attacks pushed confidence in the British economy to its lowest point since the start of the Iraq war, a survey of London businesses found.

In a separate report, the London Retail Consortium said shop sales in central London fell 8.9 percent in July on an annual basis, compared with a 6 percent increase in sales in June. Sales across the country recorded a smaller decline in July of 1.9 percent.


U.S. Trade Group to Reconsider Shrimp Tariffs

A U.S. International Trade Commission team plans to visit India to determine whether the damage last year's tsunami caused to shrimp farms warrants revoking punitive tariffs imposed on Indian shrimp exports to the United States, an Indian trade official said.

The punitive tariffs were aimed at protecting American shrimpers from what they said was unfair competition.

Compiled from news service reports.

Macquarie Bank's interest in the exchange could start a bidding war.