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Business in brief
Nissan has sold 42,700 electric Leaf family hatchbacks worldwide it has been reported. In a bid to boost sales the Japanese car maker recently launched a global advertising campaign for the Leaf, which will be made at Nissan Sunderland from the new year. Leaf sales have rallied following a sluggish spell. In total 1,579 were sold in the US during October which was the second-best sales month it has had.
UK construction activity fell 13.1 per cent in September from a year ago, as the sector's downturn quickened, Office for National Statistics figures have shown. The month saw further big drops in new building by the commercial and public sectors, excluding infrastructure projects, both of which were down by a fifth from a year ago.
A new £2m fund designed to grow the North-East low emission transport sector has been launched. The Low Emission Transport Collaborative Projects Fund will offer grants of between £50k and £300k to small and medium sized businesses looking to develop innovative products and services in the area of low carbon vehicles (LCV) – an area that has seen more than £200million of regional investment since 2006.
Supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the Collaborative Projects Fund will provide grants for joint projects between businesses and knowledge based partners, such as research and development organisations and universities, and is designed to stimulate business growth and generate private sector jobs within the low emission transport sector. To apply or find out more: www.collaborativefund.org.uk
The Bank of England has said it will hand over to the Treasury the interest it earns on government debt it holds due to its quantitative easing policy. The Bank holds £24bn cash from payments on the £375bn in gilts it holds, a total expected to reach £35bn by March. The transfer will cut the government's borrowing needs and the net debt it reports in its financial accounts. The Bank has been buying up government debt from the market with newly printed money in order to boost the economy.
Drinks company Diageo is buying a majority stake in India's United Spirits group for £1.28bn. Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Smirnoff, will get a 53.4 per cent share in the business to help increase its stake in India's growing drinks market.