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[August 15, 2014]


(City A.M. (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Goldman invites Wall St to chat for $5m Goldman Sachs has asked financial companies across Wall Street to invest $5m-$6m each to create a new online chat service, as an alternative to Bloomberg's instant messaging. The Financial Times reported last month that the US bank was spearheading an attempt to build a chat service for bankers and traders which could compete with the system installed on Bloomberg's $20,000-a-year terminals.

Facebook's 50,000 angry Messengers Facebook is suffering a backlash from users pushed into downloading a separate app for messages as part of its strategy to dominate the smartphone market with a portfolio of apps. Facebook's Messenger app received almost 50,000 reviews with a rating of one star across all the app stores since the start of the month, or nearly 95 per cent of all the reviews posted, according to App Annie, an app analytics firm.

A-level language numbers fall A rise in the popularity of A-level science and maths will boost industry but the drive to keep Britain competitive is threatened by a fall in pupils studying languages, business figures warn. Exam results published yesterday showed that the A-level pass rate has dropped slightly for the first time in more than 30 years following curbs on resits and pupils pursuing tougher "Stem" subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Sultan targets Grosvenor House Hotel The Sultan of Brunei is being tipped as favourite to acquire the five-star Grosvenor House Hotel in London and the Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels in New York for an estimated $2.2bn. They are being sold by Subrata Roy, the Indian tycoon jailed for alleged contempt of court.

Retroscreen raises £34m for expansion A healthcare company that operates a "flu camp" to test cough and cold medicines is raising £33.6m to fund diversification into asthma, diabetes and obesity. Retroscreen Virology announced it was placing 12.9m shares with investors at a price of 260p to generate money for expansion.

Coca-Cola pays $2bn stake in Monster Coca-Cola has agreed to buy a minority stake in energy drink company Monster as the US giant seeks to offset a slowdown in its traditional market. Coke, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, will pay $2.15bn (£1.29bn) for a 16.7pc stake in Monster.

EE launches 50p charge to queue jump EE is letting customers jump the queue on customer service calls if they pay 50p. Under the new initiative, called Priority Answer, callers are greeted with an automated message asking them if they want to pay the one-off fee. The telecoms firm insisted the charge would be used to improve its service, but some users were unconviced.

Brevan Howard cuts risk after losses Brevan Howard's flagship $26.5bn hedge fund has more than halved its risk levels this year and moved back toward interest rate trading, the specialty of its founders, during a testing 2014. The fund, managed by the billionaire Alan Howard, lost money every month in the first half.

Deutsche Bank settles $810m lawsuit Deutsche Bank and Bayerische Landesbank have settled in principle a lawsuit over residential mortgage-backed securities of a nominal value of $810m, a spokesman said. In a suit filed in 2012 at a New York, BayernLB alleged that Deutsche Bank sold securities backed by mortgages whose quality employees internally disparaged as poor.

(c) 2014 City A.M.

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