Morning Edition: 3i's Welsh retreat, profit warnings soar and uncertain times at Orange

The Telegraph brings disturbing news for a Monday morning - venture capital group 3i is shutting down its Cardiff operation because there aren't enough entrepreneurs in Wales.

The Telegraph brings disturbing news for a Monday morning - venture capital group 3i is shutting down its Cardiff operation because there aren't enough entrepreneurs in Wales.

Astonishingly, the nation that brought us Terry Matthews of Newbridge fame and Bob Jones - Sonix, Equiinet et al - is failing to produce the IT evangelists of tomorrow. The paper quotes a Dun & Bradstreet report that found business failures in the UK were up 26.2 per cent. The poorest performing area? You've guessed it. Between 1994 and 1998 Wales had a net loss of 4,700 companies... The IT industry is in for another bashing later today, according to a report obtained by The Times. Accountancy firm Ernst & Young will release figures this morning which suggest profit warnings rose 64 per cent in the third quarter with information technology firms representing the bulk of this figure. The higher than normal numbers are unlikely to reflect an economic slowdown, the paper argues. Rather it is symptomatic of higher expectations brought about by the new economy... If Wales is suffering, Essex is positively flourishing as its favourite high-tech son, Mike Lynch, prepares to take his company to market this week. Autonomy, which makes the Dynamic Reasoning search engine, is already listed on Easdaq and Nasdaq. This week it's applying for a full listing in London and as a result a place in the FTSE 100. Things look promising, reports the Financial Times which says the $400m secondary offering is four times over-subscribed... While Lynch's star is clearly in the ascendancy, another high-profile figure is on the wane. Or at least on the move. Hans Snook, the man behind the extraordinary success of mobile operator Orange, is currently reviewing his position, according to the Independent. The decision by parent, France Telecom, to float on the French market only accentuates speculation that Snook is being marginalised, the paper argues, and could be on his way out before the firm reaches the market early next year...