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The Bottom Line: The Herald business diary

Selling strategy

Selling strategy

Property guru Andrew Jones, who as a British Land director created some of Scotland's biggest shopping centres, has a simple strategy for his £1.2 billion investment trust LondonMetric Property. He told a seminar in Edinburgh this week he has been buying in the regions, where the right property is suddenly investable again, and selling in central London, where profits can be made as overseas investors queue up to get their hands on prime real estate. His next London sale will happen in due course, he said. "It will be sold to an overseas investor, I don't know which one, but I probably won't be able to pronounce their name."

Trade confusion

It is easy to get confused about trade associations. Whether you think the AIC represents investment companies or agricultural industries really depends on your point of view. So it was that Bottom Line was surprised to discover the National Association of Bodyshops is all about car repairs and nothing to with body butter.

Identity crisis

THE merits or otherwise of British identity are much discussed, even at some of our biggest companies.

Shareholder James Grant asked the board of BP to consider a name change to play down its Britishness.

He blames it for the treatment of BP in the US courts following the Gulf of Mexico explosion. Mr Grant suggested adopting the moniker of one of the US companies it has absorbed over the years such as Atlantic Richfield. That prompted a robust defence of the merits of British identity from chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, a Swede who oversees the work of BP's American chief executive Bob Dudley.

Safety first

A form distributed to parents about plans to introduced woodwork classes for three to five year olds in a Glasgow nursery was accompanied by an assurance that the one-to-one teacher-pupil ratio would be maintained at all times when saws were being used. No mention of nails though.

Egg discovery

Journalists are used to getting a variety of occasion-related press releases. So it was no surprise to receive one entitled Healthy Eggs for Easter. Bottom Line was, however, rather bemused to discover that rather than advice on raising chickens, the missive contained tips from a fertility expert concerning human reproduction.

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