AGE STEALS A MARCH ON BEAUTY IN THE IMF LEADERSHIP CONTEST
DO CITY insiders know something the rest of the world doesn’t about the IMF leadership race to replace the disgraced Dominique Strauss-Kahn?
Ever since Stanley Fischer announced his bid on Saturday, the odds on the Bank of Israel governor have been steadily shortening to make him Paddy Power’s “biggest liability” – even though at 67, he is officially two years too old for the role.
The odds on Fischer succeeding Kahn are now 12/1, making him joint fourth favourite, and even Paddy Power – which stands to lose £25,000 if Fischer’s bid is successful – reckons the trail of money makes sense.
“The betting on Fischer is significant,” a spokesperson for the firm told The Capitalist. “Fischer is gambling on the IMF changing the rules to facilitate him. I don’t think he would have thrown his hat into the ring unless he thought there was a fair chance of the IMF changing the rules to allow candidates over 65 to get the job.”
As of yesterday, £15,000-worth of bets had been placed on the IMF succession through Paddy Power – although 75 per cent of that is backing the glamorous French finance minister Christine Lagarde, the clear favourite with an “exceptionally short price” of 1/8, followed by Mexican economist Agustin Carstens at 7/1 and Singapore’s deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at 10/1.
However, Paddy Power, the eponymous public face of the bookmaking chain, is steering clear of the IMF gambling – even though a £22 stake on 500/1 outsider Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Fed, could recoup the £11,000 he made and then blew over a “weekend of madness” at the Investec Derby, as reported in this column on 6 June.
“International politics is not my specialist subject,” said Power, who says he will stick to what he knows best: horses and football.
HORSES FOR COURSES
AS ROYAL Ascot gets underway this morning, The Capitalist brings you the City-owned horses to mark on your racecard on the opening day.
Keep an eye out for Cape Blanco, the 7/1 runner in the Queen Anne Stakes at 2.30pm owned by Jim Hay, the Dubai-based businessman behind chemical supplier Fosroc and JMH Group, as well as Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler’s Dubawi Gold, a 14/1 chance in the St James’s Palace Stakes at 3.45pm.
It is also a big week for Qipco, the Qatari investment fund that signed a two-year deal to sponsor the British Champion Series in March, with three of the series’ races scheduled on the opening leg of Ascot today.
Expect to see Sheikh Fahad Bin Abdulla Al Thani, the driving force behind Qipco with his brother Sheikh Hamad, joining the City’s racing fraternity in celebrating the headline-grabbing winners.
WHAT to wear to the City party of the summer? Finsbury co-founder Roland Rudd has received so many anxious enquiries from guests invited to his 50th birthday party at his Somerset pile Shanks House on Saturday that the PR chief’s bureau has issued some formal guidance notes.
“The dress code is elegant,” emails a Finsbury aide in response to “a number of questions we have received about the weekend”.
“Roland will be wearing a summer suit and Sophie will be wearing a dress, but it may well be open to different interpretations.” So anything goes, then – let’s hope George Osborne, who is celebrating his fortieth on the same day, is equally relaxed about sartorial protocol.
ROYAL Bank of Canada employees and their friends dominated the 5km Race for Kids in Battersea Park on Sunday, making up more than a quarter of the 2,250 runners.
RBC’s athletes included Harry Samuel, the global co-head of fixed income and currencies at RBC Capital Markets and a regular runner in the London Marathon, who finished the course in 21 minutes. Not far behind were RBC Capital Markets’ head of European investment banking Patrick Meier and chairman and co-chief executive Doug McGregor (pictured below with race opener Linford Christie, plus a furry friend). To add to the £100k raised by RBC for Great Ormond Street Hospital, please see www.gosh.org /gen/race-for-the-kids.