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Dubai has become an unlikely participant – albeit still a very small one – in European stock exchange consolidation. Today, the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority has bought 1.7 per cent of Euronext, which is in talks with the London Stock Exchange, the NYSE and Deutsche Börse. The DIFC says its stake was bought with the full knowledge of Euronext, whatever that may mean. In fact, there is much that is unclear about this. Is DIFC just acting as an investor? Are its interests more strategic? Will it buy more Euronext shares? We’re looking hard for answers to these questions. Separately, and less surprisingly, the London Stock Exchange got approval at an EGM today to return £510m of capital to shareholders. The stock (off a touch today) continues to drift as the market, and the reporters, await developments on the bid front.

Andrew Rosenfeld, who got caught up in the party funding scandal, says he plans to step down this year as non-executive chairman of Minerva, the property company. Rosenfeld, who lent the Labour Party £1m, plans to start a new business. This comes a month after Rod Aldridge resigned as chairman of Capita after becoming embroiled in the same scandal.

We’re still looking for more angles on the Standard Life and Goldman Sachs stories. In the meantime, the best corporate story so far is the worse-than-expected first half profit from Associated British Foods. Thank goodness for its Primark discount retailing business. Lex has commented on ABF online.

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