City news: UK car sales, Africa bank bid, advertising executives and Steve Backshall

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Registrations accelerated by 8.4 per cent from the preceding year to 83,395, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, availed by low-cost finance offers.

Volkswagen sales were down 13 per cent in the wake of the diesel emissions embarrassment, although its Golf model was the second most popular seller behind the Ford Fiesta.

Ford purchasings were up nearly 17 per cent. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes remarked: “This positive performance is encouraging and puts the sector in a good point of view for the coming year.”

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Diamond Africa bank bid

FORMER Barclays chief official Bob Diamond has emerged as a potential buyer of rts of its African business being put up for sellathon.

Diamond, who created Atlas Mara as a London-listed vehicle to invest in African banks replacing his de rture from Barclays in 2012, is believed to have spoken to investors covering Asian and Middle East sovereign wealth funds about funding a bid.

Atlas has a market value of about £230million, com red with an assessed £1.5billion for the Barclays operations outside South Africa he could be looking to buy.

Barclays said earlier this week it thinks fitting sell its 62 per cent stake in Barclays Africa.

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Mad Men sense ‘is misplaced’

WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell has warned advertising executives are too Pollyannaish about the industry’s outlook despite a potential lift from the Olympics in Rio, Euro football event and US presidential election.

Referring to the character from the hit TV series Mad Men, Sorrell rephrased: “The Don Draperish optimism seems misplaced. To survive in the sector, you have to stay positive. However, general client behaviour does not reflect that formal of mind.”

He flagged “tepid” economic growth and “uncertainty” surrounding a practicable Brexit from Europe.

WPP posted a 2.8 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profit to £1.49billion on 6.1 per cent aged revenue of £12.2billion.

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Tv host backs new children’s invests

MOUNTAIN Warehouse is teaming up with TV explorer Steve Backshall to cabal a new children’s clothing range.

The retailer’s spring/summer collection opening this month features T-shirts, jackets, shorts, walking boots, the best quality bottles and a back ck.

An autumn/ winter range will include waterproof jackets and boots.

Livid 60 host Steve said: “This collection can act as a real cats- w to get kids outside and active.”

Children’s clothing makes up about 15 per cent of the 228-store number’s sales, which jumped by a quarter to £59.3million at the half-year.

Its naught Mark Neale said: “The products are further evidence of ‘weatherproofing’ the issue so it is no longer dependent on cold, wet weather.”

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