The Sunday Telegraph
NORTHERN ROCK £400M LOSS
Northern Rock made multi-million pound losses for a third year running in 2009, the nationalised lender will reveal this week. The bank will report pre-tax losses of about £400m, analysts believe, a marked improvement on the £1.36bn of losses in 2008. Since the Government bailed it out in September 2007, it has a lost a total of £2bn.
SUPERMARKET LOOKS TO RETAIN FINANCE CHIEF WITH BETTER DEAL AS FURTHER GROWTH PREDICTED
WM Morrison, the supermarket chain, which isw expected to a show a 16 per cent increase in full-yearj jjprofits this week, is considering putting together a retention package for finance director Richard Pennycook in a bid to prevent him from defecting to another company.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
VIRGIN’S THREAT TO FREE BANKING: GROUP TO LEVY A MONTHLY FEE BUT LOWER OVERDRAFT CHARGES
The era of free banking may be drawing to a close after Virgin Money said it plans to levy a charge for current accounts when it launches its banking services this year.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, its chief executive, revealed plans to charge a low monthly fee rather than impose high overdraft charges or require customers to pay in regular monthly sums.
BATTLE OVER GOLD MINER
PTwo billionaires will go to war this week over Crew Gold, a London-based miner. Severstal, the Russian steel gian controlled by oligarch Alexei Mordashov, will this week make a £250 offer. But Endeavour Financial has built a blocking stake.
BEIJING LOOKS AT SEVERING DOLLAR PEG
China’s central bank chief laid the groundwork for an appreciation of the renminbi at the weekend when he described the current dollar peg as temporary, striking a more emollient tone after months of tough opposition to a shift in exchange rate policy. China gave the strongest hint yet that it would abandon the unofficial dollar peg, in place since mid-2008.
AIM NEWCOMERS POINT TO A THAW IN THE IPO MARKET
Emis, the healthcare software provider, today starts doing the rounds of institutions in the City in preparation for a £200m flotation seeking to raise £50m on Aim later this month.
The Daily Telegraph
FOXTONS COMES CLEAN ON £218M LOSS AFTER BUY-OUT
Foxtons, the estate agents, has finally revealed a £218m loss in its latest accounts filing, after struggling under a mountain of debt created by its private equity buy-out in May 2007.
The property company was owned by private equity firm BC Partners, but its lenders took control of the company in January in a restructuring of its debt.
In a regulatory filing to Companies House, documents reveal that Foxtons Holdings Ltd made a £218m pre-tax loss for the year to the end of December 2008.
CAPACITY CRISIS LOOMS FOR BRITAIN’S RAILWAYS
The boss of Virgin Trains has called on the Government to embrace new financing techniques to address a looming capacity shortage on trains.
BT TURNS TABLES ON VIRGIN IN CABLE DUCTS FIGHT
BT is demanding that Virgin Media opens its network of underground pipes to rivals. The telecoms group wants to use Virgin’s network as part of its plans to upgrade its infrastructure and will put pressure on Ofcom to allow it access.
JUDGE CRITICISES FORMER LLOYD’S CHIEF
Peter Middleton, the former chief executive of Lloyd’s of London, has been criticised by the High Court for “shabby and underhand” treatment of two business partners with whom he was planning a takeover of the UK’s largest pawnbroker. The criticism is contained in a High Court judgment for a lawsuit brought by Mr Middleton’s former partners. They successfully claimed compensation for being cut out of the 2004 deal.