EUROPEAN stocks gained ground yesterday in light trade, with Italian shares outperforming after the country’s Senate expelled former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, fuelling hopes of stability for the current government.
LONDONERS save less of their monthly income than people in any other part of England and Wales, leaving the capital’s population facing a savings timebomb.
BITCOIN broke fresh records last night when the price of the digital currency reached $1,073 (£659.60) on popular online exchange Mt.Gox, as market momentum lifted it to a new high.
THE COALITION government is to announce an independent review of plain packaging for cigarettes, in a dramatic U-turn.
THE CHIEF executive of RBS jumped to his bank’s defence yesterday, saying he did not believe that it had made a “systematic” effort to profit from its troubled business customers.
WHEN Benjamin Disraeli, the 19th century Prime Minister, wrote of “two nations, between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy”, he was of course referring to the rich and the poor.
LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson gave a speech praising Margaret Thatcher and the spirit of rivalry last night, telling the audience that a bit of healthy competition is a good thing for the economy.
FORMER Goldman Sachs economist O’Neill has said that the City of London is “beautifully placed to be the major financial services centre for the world”.
SOARING margins boosted revenues at Royal Mail in the six months to September and doubled the firm’s operating profits, the postal operator said yesterday.
IT IS far too soon to judge whether or not the taxpayer lost out in the privatisation of Royal Mail, business secretary Vince Cable said yesterday, arguing that the shares could fall a long way.
VINCE Cable is right: it’s probably too soon to be booking losses on behalf of the taxpayer for the Royal Mail share sale.
TURBULENCE in global markets is an escalating risk to the Eurozone’s financial stability, even as funding challenges for the region’s banks begin to abate, according to the European Central Bank (ECB).
STERLING jumped yesterday after the UK statistics office confirmed the economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of the year, driven by investment and consumer spending.
THE WALBROOK in the City is almost fully let after securing three new tenants.
BUILDING society Nationwide yesterday announced it has more than covered its books in a £500m capital-raising exercise with a new equity instrument.
It had aimed to raise between £300m and £500m.
DAVID Cameron’s calls for tighter rules on European migration yesterday sparked a row over free movement within the EU.
BANK of England governor Mark Carney has indicated he fears a new bubble could build in the housing market, ahead of the publication of the Financial Stability Report today.
THE PLANNED London flotation of Damac, the Dubai-based property group, received a boost last night when Dubai was chosen as the venue for Expo 2020, beating off stiff competition from cities in Brazil, Turkey and Russia.
STANDARD Chartered yesterday became the first international bank to open a full branch in Iraq.
The UK-listed lender, which specialises in emerging markets, opened the branch in Baghdad.
A GIANT Louis Vuitton suitcase in Moscow’s Red Square is set to be dismantled after locals criticised the installation for trivialising a “sacred space” for the Russian state.
GEORGE Osborne should ease the burden of buying a house by reducing the huge jumps in stamp duty at each price threshold in next week’s Autumn Statement, leading tax adviser Baker Tilly urged yesterday.
YELLOW Pages parent company Hibu has been placed into administration after it agreed a financial restructuring plan with lenders.
THE Italian Senate yesterday voted to expel former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud.
GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right party yesterday secured a deal with the country’s social democrats for the formation of a new government, after months of negotiations.
THE TROUBLED Greek economy will continue to shrink in 2014, despite official forecasts to the contrary, according to international researchers.
ITALIAN bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena would be nationalised without a capital injection and disappear from its base in Siena, bank executives said in an attempt to overcome local opposition to its planned rights issue.
Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis resigned yesterday, taking responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof that killed 54 people last week and plunging the Baltic state into turmoil weeks ahead of its entry into the Eurozone.
European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Jorg Asmussen yesterday insisted that Ireland is not eligible for Brussels’ bond-buying programme, following the country’s decision to exit its bailout without a precautionary credit line.
Spanish retail sales fell 0.5 per cent last month compared to the same time a year earlier, the country’s official statistics office INE revealed yesterday.
THE largest US banks may need to pay out up to an additional $105bn (£64.5bn) to settle legacy mortgage-related issues, but have a capital cushion that would help them absorb these losses, according to a report by ratings agency Standard & Poo
FRENCH judicial authorities probing Swiss bank UBS over allegations it illegally sold products designed to avoid French taxes visited the bank’s headquarters in Paris yesterday, a UBS spokesman said.
FTSE 100-listed water company United Utilities yesterday said it plans to use a tax settlement to keep price increases in line with inflation next year, as it unveiled increased half-year revenues and earnings.
ENERGY giant RWE Npower is set to cut 1,400 UK jobs and close three sites in the North East of England.
INSOLVENCIES among Britain’s largest companies more than halved in October when compared to a year earlier, according to data released by Experian yesterday.
FTSE 100-listed engineering firm Amec’s shares plunged 3.5 per cent yesterday, after speculation of a takeover approach for US rival Foster Wheeler triggered fears of a rights issue that would dilute the stock’s value.
THE UK’S oil and gas sector is suffering from a skills shortage and is looking for talent outside of the industry, according to a report released today.
LONDON corporate lawyer Matthew Layton has been named as the next global managing partner of Clifford Chance, replacing David Childs when he steps down early next year.
MONCLER, an Italian maker of luxury fur lined puffer jackets, yesterday announced plans to float on the Milan stock exchange, hoping to replicate the success of Brunello Cucinelli, the luxury retail group that went public in early 2012.
ELECTRA Private Equity’s 20 investment team staff are each set to receive an average payout of about £3m following a year of gains for its portfolio.
COMPASS launched its third buy-back in two years yesterday as the world’s biggest catering company posted a nine per cent rise in full-year profits to £1.2bn.
KEITH BOWMAN HARGREAVES LANSDOWN
FTSE 250-listed Hochschild Mining’s share price soared over seven per cent yesterday morning, after the gold and silver miner showed it had swung back into the black in the first nine months of the year.
PAWNBROKER Albemarle & Bond saw its share price collapse 33 per cent yesterday after it warned that it expects to make a loss during the first five months of the year.
CHICKEN restaurant chain Nando’s has beefed up its profits in the last year after opening new branches.
FROZEN food specialist Iceland is moving back into white goods by starting an online appliances store in partnership with DRL Limited – the parent company that launched Appliances Online more than 10 years ago.
FINDEL said yesterday that efforts to turn the business around were starting to pay off, as the home shopping group narrowed losses in the first half of the year from £6m to £400,000.
TESCO yesterday shut the door on its loss-making move into the US after completing the sale of its Fresh & Easy business to American billionaire Ron Burkle’s investment firm Yucaipa.
ITALIAN insurer Generali is aiming to pay higher dividends to investors as its turnaround plan to cut debt through a string of asset disposals and hefty cost savings starts to pay off, its new chief executive said yesterday.
OXFORD Instruments said it had made a firm offer to buy scientific camera maker Andor Technology for about £159m, the same price it indicated it would be willing to pay earlier this month.