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August 17, 2009

Drug maker Shire sees gains on session

by Elaine Frei
Drug maker Shire sees gains on session
European equities markets were lower Monday, with the FTSE 100 1.46 percent lower to 4,645.01 in London, while the FTSE 250 fell 2.84 percent to 8,274.09. Drug maker Shire (LSE: SHP) turned in the best performance of the day on the 100 as it added 2.21 percent and GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) also was among the top 5 gainers on the index ...




Asking prices slip back in August

by Gill Montia
”Asking
The average asking price of a UK home fell in August, after nudging up 0.6% in July. Vendors shaved a typical £5,102, or 2.2%, off their ambitions as they adjusted to lower seasonal demand. The decline took the average asking price back to £222,762, compared to £227,864 in July, although London saw a steeper slide at 3.8%, reducing the average asking price in ...




BSA against Northern Rock split

by Kay Mitchell
”BSA
The Government announced earlier this year it was planning to split nationalised Northern Rock into two divisions - a deposit bank and a mortgage platform. However, the proposals have met with criticism from the Building Societies Association (BSA) saying that the split would put building societies at a big disadvantage. Northern Rock collapsed at the onset of the credit crunch in autumn 2007 ...




Ryanair to close Manchester routes and axe 600

by Kay Mitchell
”Ryanair
Budget airline Ryanair is to close or switch nine of its 10 routes from Manchester airport, citing the airport's refusal to lower its charges. The measures will lead to 600 job losses within the area and the loss of 60,000 passengers a year. However, Manchester airport highlighted that the 600 jobs will be switched to other airports. Passengers who are affected by ...




Plans to curb excessive bonus payments

by Kay Mitchell
”Plans
The excessive bonus culture, a subject which has dominated the news this year, rears its head again after Chancellor Alistair Darling has responded to calls for a new commission to restrict bonus payments. Bank bonuses, in particular, have sparked public anger and have been the subject of heavy criticism since it is banks that are being blamed for the financial crisis. One hundred ...




Half of final salary pension schemes will close

by Kay Mitchell
Half of final salary pension schemes will close
A survey of over 250 employers by consultants Watson Wyatt has revealed that half of Britain’s companies will close final salary pension schemes in the private sector to existing employees between now and 2012. The survey, conducted in July, also found that another 28% will keep their scheme open to existing members but on less generous terms. While around three-quarters ...




Leeds postal bond pays 4.30%

by David Masters
”Leeds
Leeds Building Society has launched a new three-year fixed-rate postal bond paying interest at 4.30%. Customers requiring a regular income from their savings can opt to have interest paid monthly at 4.11% AER. Savers investing in the bond can access up to 10% of the initial amount invested without notice, penalty free. A minimum investment of £1,000 is required to open the bond. Kim Rebecchi, LBS ...




Open a 4% bond with £100 at Leeds

by David Masters
”Open
A new bond from Leeds Building Society paying 4% interest can be opened with as little as £100. The four-year fixed-rate bond was launched alongside a two-year bond paying 3.5% interest. Both bonds can be opened with a minimum investment of £100 and a maximum of £1,000,000. Furthermore, both allow savers to withdraw up to 10% of the initial amount invested without ...




One in sixteen better off from recession

by David Masters
”One
One in sixteen Brits are better off because of the recession, according to new research by Yorkshire Bank. In the north-east, more than one in five (21%) are financially stronger compared with before the recession. Lower interest rates have put more money into the pockets of mortgage payers, while decreased VAT has generated extra bargains on the high street. Many mortgage holders are ...




Credit crunched Brits cutback holiday budget

by David Masters
”Credit
Millions of Brits have made drastic cuts to their holiday budget this summer, new research has discovered. Santander Cards found that a quarter of Brits taking a well-earned break in the sun this year plan to reduce holiday spending. Eating out is the biggest target of cutbacks, with 54% of those reducing their budget planning to dine out less. Just under half (46%) are ...




Japan’s false economic recovery

by Brian Turner
Japan's false economic recovery
Today's news that Japan has stepped out of recession is, superficially, good news. However, before anyone opens the champagne, it's worth pointing out that there's nothing natural about Japan's economic growth in the slightest. In April Japan unveiled a £100 billion stimulus package on top of previous stimulus attempts, resulting in a total boost of £260 billion over the economic year. It should be worrying to ...




Michael Page profits halve but confidence improves

by Kay Mitchell
”Michael
Britain's second-largest recruitment company, Michael Page, has announced a 49% decline in first-half profit after firms cut back on hiring new staff amid the recession. The recruiter reported a pre-tax profit of £43.2 million for the first half of 2009, down 49% compared with the same period ago. Meanwhile, revenue during the period was 27% lower at £364.7 million. However, Michael Page ...




Gloomy jobs outlook for school leavers

by Kay Mitchell
”Gloomy
A report has warned of challenging times for school leavers this summer, according to the Prince's Trust and the University of Sheffield. According to the figures, a record number of school leavers could be claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and those leaving school with no GCSEs at all are twice as likely to sign on. Professor Danny Dorling, from the University of Sheffield, comments: "The ...




Remortgages enter risky loan category

by Gill Montia
”Remortgages
Moody's Investor Services has categorised remortgages as having "adverse loan characterisics", indicating that they carry some of the risks associated with a high default rate. In a recent report entitled "What drives UK mortgage loans to default" the credit rating agency places remortgages alongside other risky loans, based on data gathered on mortgages that originated in or before 2008. The firm also names high ...




World’s no.2 economy exits recession

by Kay Mitchell
”World’s
The Japanese economy, which is the world’s second largest, has emerged from its longest recession since World War II after the economy grew by 0.9% in the second quarter. The news follows on from the announcement last week that Hong Kong had emerged from recession after the economy grew 3.3% in the second quarter. Furthermore, it followed the news that Singapore, France and ...