REGULATORS TELL US BANKS TO HOLD FUNDS
US regulators have told banks not to increase dividends or buy back shares until political and economic uncertainty surrounding the industry dissipates, in a move that will delay by months the return of capital to shareholders. Some investors in financial stocks argue that winners of the credit crisis, such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, have profitable businesses and strong balance sheets and should consider raising dividends or buying back stocks.
MYSPACE PLANS PHASED REVAMP
MySpace will be relaunched in phases over the coming months, its new co-chief executives have revealed after a difficult period that has seen the site’s market share drop as users migrated to other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
PINK FLOYD SUES EMI OVER ONLINE REVENUES
Pink Floyd has taken EMI, its record label since 1967, to court in a dispute over the calculation of royalties for sales over the internet. The band, whose album Dark Side of the Moon is one of the five best-selling music records, is seeking clarification of its contract with EMI, last renegotiated in 1998-99, before the huge expansion of online music.
GM CONSIDERS EMPLOYEES’ PLAN TO RESCUE PLANT
General Motors said it was studying a proposal from its Belgian employees to keep its Antwerp plant open to build vehicles on contract for other carmakers. GM, which wants to close the plant as part of a plan to cut capacity at its European Opel/ Vauxhall operations by 20 per cent, said it had made no decision on the plan. Under Belgian law on mass layoffs, GM must allow unions the chance to table alternative plans.
BROKER ADMITS COURT’S TAX RULING HAS PUT PAID TO CITY EXODUS
Hundreds of City traders are rethinking plans to leave the UK for tax purposes in the wake of last month’s landmark court ruling against a British businessman based in the Seychelles. The interdealer broker Tullett Prebon led the revolt over the Treasury’s plans for a one-off bonus levy and 50 per cent income tax rate.
TOYOTA DRIVER IN 90MPH RUNAWAY TERROR RIDE
A terrified Toyota driver was forced to use a police vehicle to help to stop his own runaway car after the accelerator pedal in his Prius became stuck at speeds of more than 90mph on a California highway. James Sikes, 61, was overtaking another vehicle on a highway in San Diego yesterday when he suddenly realised that he could not control his car.
The Daily Telegraph
NEW YORK STATE FACES $9.2BN BUDGET BLACK HOLE
New York state is to examine the amount of taxes paid by Wall Street bankers as it tries to narrow its ballooning $9.2bn budget deficit in an attempt to fend off financial collapse.
The state –America’s third-largest by population – is considering a raft of drastic measures similar to those enacted by California to stay afloat.
PRIVATE EQUITY LINES UP FOR CARD FACTORY
Husband and wife team Dean and Janet Hoyle are set for a £350m windfall after several private equity firms delivered bids for their Card Factory greetings cards retail chain. Permira, Cinven, Summit Partners and Warburg Pincus are among several firms to have submitted offers of up to £350m for the 480-store nationwide chain.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
BOFA LAWYERS REBUKED IN CABI CASE
Attorneys for Bank of America Corp. have agreed to reimburse lawyers for a Miami developer after a US bankruptcy judge in Florida criticized the bank's lawyers for trying “to score a litigation point” in an ongoing foreclosure dispute. In her decision, Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff criticized Bank of America’s attorneys at Kaye Scholer LLP of New York for claiming that Cabi Downtown LLC had rented at least nine units in the Everglades on the Bay condominium to convicted felons, including a sexual offender, according to court filings.
NORTHER IRELAND LAWMAKERS BACK POWER-SHARING STEP
Northern Ireland lawmakers have voted in favour of taking the next step to make their Catholic-Protestant government work.