And in the real world... inflation, Shell, M&S, Vodafone and more

LONDON - Today's round-up of the biggest business stories.

World news... round-up
World news... round-up

Investors in Shell have rebelled over its executive pay plan by voting in a majority of 59 per cent against its remuneration report. Their main objection was to the award of bonuses for 2006-2008, which were made to executive directors despite the company failing to meet targets.
Source: Financial Times

Three bidders are due to make formal offers for a stake in General Motors European operations today. The Brussels-listed car parts holding company RHJ International, Italy's Fiat and Canada-based Magna are all thought to be serious contenders.
Source: Financial Times

Following a greater than expected weakness in Vodafone's 2008-2009 results, its chief executive, Vittorio Colao, has signalled that he is likely to extend the company's cost-cutting plans beyond the agreed £1 billion programme. Colao stated he would accelerate the cost-cutting exercise, by saving around £650 million by 2010, compared with the planned £500 million.
Source: Financial Times

After announcing dramatic declines in its results yesterday, the Marks & Spencer executive chairman, Stuart Rose, has announced a new plan to improve its prospects online and abroad, called "2020 – doing the right thing". The company's pre-tax profits were down 37 per cent, sales figures were flat and its share of the womenswear market fell 0.6 percentage points.
Source: Financial Times

Inflation has slowed to its lowest level since June 1939 after prices fell 1.2 per cent in the year to March.  The evaporation of inflation and the onset of deflation was mostly attributable to the reduction in mortgage repayments following the Bank of England's decision to cut interest rates to 0.5 per cent.
Source: The Independent