LLOYDS HOT FOR PROPERTY DEALS
Lloyds Banking Group will be behind almost one-sixth of all property deals in the UK this year, as some £4bn of property has been shifted by boom-time borrowers needing to repay loans to the bank’s £30bn troubled real estate debt division. Lloyds, the largest lender to commercial property with almost a quarter of the £250bn of outstanding debt, has formed a 425-strong business support team headed by Richard Dakin.
BRAZIL FACES AIRPORT SHORTFALL AT WORLD CUP
Brazil risks public embarrassment because it will run out of space at its airports well before it hosts the World Cup in 2014 due to a rapid increase in demand and inadequate development plans, according to leading airline industry executives. Without more development, observers fear that Brazil will face flight delays and cancellations around the World Cup.
DEBT VENTURE AIMS TO PLUG £1.5BN PROPERTY HOLE
Fund managers Schroders and Cairn Capital have teamed up with Eurohypo, the German bank, to launch a real estate debt venture with the aim of plugging a £1.5bn hole in the UK property market. There is a shortage of new real estate lending as bank retrench after profligate lending for property purchases during the boom years.
SPORTECH AND BETFRED LEAD FIELD IN TOTE RACE
Sportech, the football pools operator, and bookmaker Betfred are the early frontrunners in the auction for the government’s Tote betting business. Lazards, which is conducting the auction, this week sent out an information memorandum to prospective bidders, according to those close to the deal.
US FACES BOYCOTT FOR CARBON HABIT
The US will be banned from selling goods to many countries if it continues to shirk its promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the world’s leading climate change economist. In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern said nations that were taking strong action on emissions could start imposing restrictions on “dirty” US exports by 2020.
GAMBLERS CAN STILL TURN TO LITTLEWOODS FOR A WINNER
The name may have disappeared from the pools coupons handed to doorstep collectors every week, but Littlewoods will survive on the internet for another five years. Football pools operator Sportech has signed a licencing deal with Shop Direct, which owns the Littlewoods brand, to use the name for online gambling.
The Daily Telegraph
BERNARD MADOFF EMPLOYEES ARRESTED
A former secretary to Bernard Madoff and another long-term employee of the multi-billion-dollar fraudster have been arrested and charged with securities fraud and falsifying books. Annette Bongiorno, who worked as a secretary and helped to run the back office at Madoff Securities, was arrested at her home in Boca Raton, Florida. Joann Crupi, another former employee, was also arrested.
HALF OF BRITISH BUSINESSES HIT BY PROFIT SQUEEZE
Almost half of British businesses were hit by decreased profits in the last quarter, according to a survey of business owners and financial directors. A quarterly ranking of the warning signs of business distress by R3 found that a downturn in profits was experienced by 49 per cent of firms.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NORWAY CENTRAL BANK OWNS 7.5PC OF BLACKROCK
Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway, became the latest to report boosting its stake in BlackRock. after Bank of America and PNC Financial Services sold a total of $9.57bn in a BlackRock secondary offer this month. According to a filing with US regulators yesterday, Norges now owns 9.85m shares, or 7.5 per cent of BlackRock’s common shares.
TRICHET CONCERNED ABOUT STABILITY PACT
European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet yesterday expressed “grave concerns”?about the depth of the EU’s stability pact, calling for a “quantum leap” in economic governance, while speaking at a central banking conference in Frankfurt. He called for increased governance and surveillance.