Business briefs: Bank of England | Thomas & Adamson | Puma | Penguin

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ASSET purchases by the Bank of England remain effective, but other options may also help boost the economy, central bank policymaker Ben Broadbent said yesterday.

“I’m confident it had an important effect and I still believe QE [quantitative easing] does actually ... but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t something else which would help,” he said.

Broadbent did not specify what other tools beyond the central bank’s Funding for Lending Scheme would help. He was unconvinced about interest rate guidance like that favoured by new governor Mark Carney.

Wallace steps up at Thomas & Adamson

Alastair Wallace has succeeded Martin Reid as senior partner of international construction and property consultancy Thomas & Adamson which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Abu Dhabi, Kiev, London and Manchester. It is due to open another in Oregon, US.

Reid has been with the 75-year-old practice for 35 years and has been the senior partner for 17. He will remain as a partner and will continue to develop national and international clients and work closely with Wallace and the management team.

Puma refocuses sports deals

Sportswear firm Puma is pulling out of the sailing market to concentrate on other sports such as football and running to rebuild its flagging business, leaving an Americas Cup team seeking a new sponsor.

The German company, which yesterday reported a 70 per cent drop in its annual profit, is going through its biggest reorganisation in 20 years to restore the business and get its products back in fashion in the United States, Europe and China.

The group is closing stores, cutting product lines and last month said it would stop sponsoring rugby union.

US clears Penguin books merger deal

Publishing group Pearson and German media giant Bertelsmann yesterday said the US department of justice had approved the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House without imposing any conditions.

The two companies announced an agreement to combine the two publishing businesses in October. The proposed merger is currently under review by the European Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau. Pearson and Bertelsmann expect the deal to complete in the second half of 2013.