- France to go ahead with warship sale to Russia
In spite of recent political turmoil as a result of Russian backed separatists in Ukraine shooting down Malaysian Airways Flight MH17, the French Government has decided to go ahead with a sale of a warship to Russia. The ship is a helicopter assault ship that can hold up to 45 attack helicopters and 400 men. The deal was agreed between France and Russia back in 2008 in the aftermath of the Russia invasion of South Ossetia. Francois Hollande responded to criticism over the deal considering Russia’s actions in the past year. The French President said that the deal for the warship, to be named Vladivostok after the port city in the Russia Far East, had already been agreed and paid for. Failing to deliver the warship would have left France liable to pay Russia back the €1.1bn it has already received. Hollande is expected to have pressure applied to him over the choice to deliver the ship as well as to not honour the delivery of a second warship due in 2015. The second warship will be named Sevastopol and is set join the Russian Black Sea fleet in newly annexed Crimea.
- Barclays ‘dark pool’ trades dry up after high-frequency suit in US
Barclays position as a market leader in the shadowy ‘dark pools’ that have permeated into stock market trading in recent year appears to be over. Dark pools have been under fire by regulators and lawmakers in the US since their inception. A lawsuit against the UK bank over the conduct of its high frequency trading activity has had institutional investors abandoning the Barclays dark pool, it has slipped from 2nd to 12th in terms of volume traded. Dark pools allow investors to trade large volumes of shares anonymously, preventing huge price fluctuations that can occur when a big investors looks to either buy or sell. The deal is only reported once it has been completed, supposedly protecting investors, although regulators have become concerned with the lack of oversight.