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City battle

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On the day Our Ken was elected mayor of London, a City symposium met to consider a topic of equal importance to the capital: the ongoing tussle with Frankfurt to be financial capital of the eu. Research commissioned by Development Securities from Reading University suggested that there is really no contest: the volume of business carried out in the City is massively more than Frankfurt by any measure. Nor is it true that it is easier to obtain planning permission for flexible buildings in the latter. So what has the City got to worry about? Well, cost for one thing. The crude comparison suggest that occupancy costs are double what they are in Frankfurt and the futures market has been stolen from the City - as a result of better technology, rather than better buildings. London is miles ahead, but it still needs to think about speed and capacity, whether in relation to property, travel times or technology. Meanwhile one experienced City hand expressed few worries about Ken. 'He has told us he will not try to out-eat the Lord Mayor, or travel all over the place flying the flag.' Let's see.

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