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UK asset managers are often failing to show they consider environmental and social factors when they invest, despite signing up to codes of conduct on responsible investing, an investment watchdog said on Saturday. ShareAction ranked Threadneedle as the most responsible in a survey of 33 UK asset managers who invest a combined 13.8 trillion pounds on behalf of pension funds, charities and universities around the world. Only 42 percent of those surveyed disclosed policies on how they include environmental and social factors in their investment decisions, though this is up from 34 percent in 2010, when ShareAction last conducted the survey. "A wide range of big names in asset management ... still refuse to be transparent about how they invest clients' money," ShareAction Chief Executive Catherine Howarth said in a statement.
By Allison Lampert and Allison Martell MONTREAL (Reuters) - Aviation leaders will try to secure a mandate to implement new safety standards when they meet next week after a string of high-profile accidents around the world made 2014 the deadliest year for commercial airlines in almost a decade. Efforts to adopt new standards for global plane tracking and co-operation on the risks of flying over conflict zones will dominate the meeting on safety in Montreal from Feb. 2-5, weeks ahead of the anniversary of the disappearance of flight MH370, the Malaysian Airlines jet with 239 people on board. "Issues such as flight restrictions over conflict zones can only be tackled at a global or regional level," Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, said. "The global aviation regulatory system should also act more quickly to address the recommendations for safety improvement made by accident investigators," he told Reuters ahead of the talks at the International Civil Aviation Organization.
By Alina Selyukh and Malathi Nayak WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - AT&T Inc spent close to half the total in the record-setting U.S. sale of airwaves for mobile data, with Dish Network Corp spending heavily to manage a surprise win at No.2 ahead of Verizon, results showed on Friday. AT&T bid a total of $18.2 billion (12.1 billion pounds) to win licenses of so-called AWS-3 spectrum. Dish itself did not win any licenses, but had invested in bidding partners SNR Wireless LicenseCo LLC and Northstar Wireless LLC, which bid a total of $13.3 billion. The two companies, backed also by financial firms including BlackRock Inc but with little to no revenue, had applied to receive a discount as small-business entities, bringing their net bid amount to $10 billion.
(Reuters) - Former rugby league player Sam Burgess failed to shine on his first appearance in an England shirt as the second string Saxons overcame the Ireland Wolfhounds 18-9 in Cork on Friday. The 26-year-old Bath inside centre was watched by England head coach Stuart Lancaster, whose team kick off the Six Nations against Wales on Feb. 6, but Burgess had few chances to catch the eye and was replaced late on as he continues to adapt to the new code. ...
European Central Bank Executive Board member Peter Praet defended the ECB's decision to buy government bonds in an interview published on Saturday, saying it took pre-emptive action to prevent a deflationary spiral in the euro zone. "If inflation in the euro zone were to rise to 4 percent, everyone would expect the ECB to do something about it. So the ECB also has to act when inflation falls to zero percent," he told Saturday's edition of Germany daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. "Foresight is better than hindsight," Praet said, adding that he expected the ECB's decision to contribute to positive growth developments in the euro zone economy in coming months.
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney bowed out of the 2016 U.S. presidential race on Friday after considering a third run, telling supporters it was time for the next generation of party leaders to seek the White House. Romney's decision helps clarify an emerging Republican field split between potential establishment candidates like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and conservative voices represented by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The move will likely boost Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush, even though Romney has privately made known to aides he is not convinced that Bush can defeat Hillary Clinton if she becomes the Democratic presidential nominee. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, all of whom will have a better chance for money and media attention with Romney on the sidelines.
On Friday, the United Kingdom observed the 50th anniversary of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill's funeral. While anniversaries are typically noted or marked, observed seems more precise here considering both the gravity and extent of the ceremonies held to honor the iconic leader. AP
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rallied on Friday following the sharpest weekly drop in U.S. oil rig count in nearly 30 years, while the dollar index ended January with its longest run of gains since the greenback was floated in 1971. U.S. stocks finished the day down more than 1 percent as data showed U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter. Major U.S. stock indexes posted losses for the week and month, with the declines driven by falling oil prices and concern about weak overseas demand. The U.S. dollar index advanced for a seventh straight month in January, marking the longest streak of monthly gains since the greenback was floated in 1971.
By Erik Kirschbaum BREMEN, Germany (Reuters) - The congress of a eurosceptic German party that is stealing votes from Angela Merkel's conservatives got off to a turbulent start on Friday, with delegates in the Alternative for Germany (AfD) squabbling over the agenda and debate rules. With a post-war record 2,200 delegates, the AfD party congress is more than twice as large as Merkel's CDU party meetings, but with size and the novelty of having been formed just two years ago comes the almost inevitable in-fighting. AfD founder Bernd Lucke, who wants Greece to leave the euro zone, said open debate should make the AfD stronger and united by Sunday's close of the meeting, including a decision on whether to change the rules to pick just one leader by December. The power struggle is being closely followed by Merkel's conservatives, who are worried about the sudden rise of a group that siphons off some of its support.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney ended his rollercoaster return to presidential politics on Friday, declaring his party would be better served by the "next generation of Republican leaders" and concluding his unlikely comeback as suddenly as it began.