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NEWS | IN BRIEF

Deutsche Boerse takes a hit
Stagnant US equity options markets killed revenue growth at Deutsche Boerse’s ISE unit last year, forcing it to take an impairment charge that will hit its 2009 net profit by around €200m (£174.5m), Boerse said late yesterday.

In a statement sent after the close of trading, the Eurex derivatives exchange operator said it would write down €420m off intangible assets on its balance sheet acquired as a result of its ISE purchase. The accounting charge did not mean that shareholder payouts would decline, Boerse said. It plans to propose a stable dividend of €2.10 per share thanks to strong operating cash flow.

House prices higher than past
Houses are less affordable than 50 years ago although the quality of homes has improved, according to the Halifax. The lender, now owned by Lloyds Banking Group, said that over the last five decades UK house prices have risen by 2.7 per cent a year, allowing for inflation. This was above the two per cent annual increase in real earnings over the same period.