SHAREHOLDERS in defence services company VT Group yesterday speculated over a raised offer from shipbuilder Babcock, which has been ordered to “put up or shut up” by April.
A REVISED bill on financial regulatory reform is expected to be unveiled this week in the US Senate by Democratic Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd.
GMAC chief executive Michael A. Carpenter received a pay packet comparable to Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein. Carpenter, head of the bailed-out US auto and real estate lender, received nearly $1.2m (£1m) for a month-and-a-half’s leadership.
WestLB has received 10 non-binding bids for its real estate finance unit Westdeutsche Immobilienbank but the offers are below book value, sources said yesterday, stoking fears that a fire sale could spoil real estate asset valuations.
Fertiliser maker CF Industries Holdings has relaunched its hostile bid for Terra Industries, betting that a higher price of $4.75bn (£3.49bn) would help it break up Terra’s planned takeover by Norway’s Yara International.
General Motors will provide €1.9bn (£1.7bn) in equity and loans to Opel, the carmaker said yesterday, tripling its funding and cutting its request for state aid in a bid to win over European governments and labour.
KEN Clarke yesterday said the pound was being hammered by fears Labour could win another term in government.
The shadow business secretary said markets were taking fright at polls suggesting Gordon Brown might hold onto office.
THE HEDGE fund industry yesterday said plans to introduce a pan-European short-selling regime needed to be improved.
MARTIN BATHER | SCH
“I think it has to have an impact on sterling. In the current climate, things are very sensitive. It is difficult to say what will happen, but it will definitely depend on the outcome of the election.”
THERE will be three live face-to-face debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg on Wednesday evenings in the run up to the election, the BBC, ITV and Sky News confirmed yesterday.
HYUNDAI yesterday announced a sharp rise in February sales, benefiting from recall woes at rival Toyota, which planned aggressive incentives to win back US customers.
TIGHTER capital and liquidity control is needed at some of the UK’s biggest banks said Financial Services Authority (FSA) chairman Lord Adair Turner, as financial regulators begin plans to crack down on proprietary trading.
THE City is the engine room of the British economy, but you wouldn’t know it from the policies of the main political parties.
Metro Bank, the start-up high street lender backed by US entrepreneur Vernon Hill, is set to be granted a banking licence by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) within days, City A.M. understands.
WPP, the world’s largest advertising group by revenue, sees calmer seas ahead after a turbulent year.
A RENEWED surge of interest in the stock market on the part of retail investors has boosted full-year profits at the Share group, owner of retail broker The Share Centre.
Company directors are spending over £80bn and more than a month of their time every year on handling government red tape, a report from the Institute of Directors (IoD) warned yesterday.
SPORTS Direct yesterday said it is considering a takeover offer for Blacks Leisure.
Mike Ashley’s group, which has brands including Slazenger and Dunlop, already owns almost 30 per cent of Blacks shares.
ASTRAZENECA is to stop researching some disease areas that form the backbone of its current business – including schizophrenia and acid reflux – in a drive to focus R&D efforts and cut costs.
FERRARI yesterday presented its first hybrid car – the experimental model HY-KERS – at the Geneva Motor Show. It said it had applied Formula One technology for a greener, but no less sporty, ride.
STOCKBROKER WH Ireland remained in the red over the past financial year despite a nascent pick-up in activity in the small cap broking sector, though the firm insisted yesterday the worst of its woes are behind it.
SUBPRIME lender Provident Financial posted lower-than expected profit for the full year as customers were more cautious in their borrowing habits, a trend which is likely to continue in 2010, it warned.
ALLIED Irish Banks said it would try to sell assets or a stake in the group before approaching shareholders or the government for further capital, after posting its first ever full-year net loss.
PADDY Power yesterday blamed a series of difficult-to-call sporting events for a year-on-year drop in profits.
PINSENT Masons, the law firm, has completed its search for a new City of London office and will move into 30 Crown Place in early 2011.
INSURANCE group Admiral has seen record growth after breaking the £1bn revenue barrier at the same time as posting double-digit growth in UK profits.
COVENTRY Building Society saw operating profits during 2009 climb to £75m after the UK’s third largest building society took a healthy share of the market.
JARDINE Lloyd Thompson (JLT) has seen double-digit growth in 2009 revenue and profits as the Lloyd’s of London listed insurer said it will avoid making any large acquisitions.
THE amount of money spent by overseas firms on acquiring UK companies surged in the fourth quarter of last year to £13.8bn from £4bn in the previous three months, official data showed yesterday.
FOOD PRICES are increasing at their slowest annual rate in three years thanks to the falling cost of fresh food according to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC)-Nielsen shop price index published today.
IT IS not good enough for indebted governments to talk about reducing the fiscal deficit, they must take action if they are to retain investors’ trust in their sovereign debt, Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s biggest mutual fund at Pacific I
ACTIVITY in Britain’s struggling construction sector continued to fall in February but the rate of the decline was one of the weakest during the two-year period of contraction, a leading market survey revealed yesterday.
BRITONS are at their most confident in two years with expectations about the future the highest level on record, the Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index for February will show today.
AUSTRALIA’S central bank raised its cash rate by 25 basis points to four per cent yesterday and flagged further hikes ahead, saying a surprisingly strong recovery allowed it to move policy toward more normal settings.
HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon swung back into profit last year after writing up the value of its landbank by almost £75m.
SET-TOP box maker Pace reported an astonishing 168 per cent rise in profit for 2009 yesterday as demand for high definition TV soared.
PACE has spent the last 28 years quietly building set top boxes for pay-TV firms.
MEDIA group Informa’s cost cutting measures cushioned the worst effects of the tough trading conditions it faced in the last year.
RACHAEL WARING | PANMURE GORDON
Signs of recovery in the financial services sector helped push confidence levels higher among London businesses since the beginning of the year, according to the latest UK business confidence survey by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Eng
British energy services company John Wood Group said yesterday that full-year pretax profit fell 31 per cent in 2009 as oil explorers cut spending, offsetting the company’s confidence on its long-term growth.
Ground engineer Keller Group posted a 34 per cent fall in pre-tax profit, hurt by a shortage of contracts due to a severe downturn in global construction, and sees a challenging 2010.
THE number of people placed in permanent employment in the UK grew at its fastest pace last month since July 2007.
INTEL’S executive vice-president Sean Maloney has suffered a stroke at his home and will take several months’ medical leave.
APPLE is suing phone rival HTC, claiming it has broken patents related to the iPhone.
LUFTHANSA posted a 2009 operating profit that was better than expected yesterday after the German flagship carrier started slashing costs to become more lean and compete with low-cost carriers and Asian rivals.
IT seems that British consumers are very sensitive to the details of their arrangements with their utility suppliers. This week we compare one utilities company that has benefited from this (British Gas), and one that has suffered (BT).
GAM Holding’s full-year net profit tumbled 60 per cent as clients pulled money from hedge funds in favour of safer lower-margin products, the Swiss-listed asset manager said yesterday.
Jupiter Asset Management
The asset manager has appointed John Tevenan as a sales director in its global financial institutions group, responsible for developing relationships among global wealth management businesses.