Gilts: U.K. Government bonds held firm as worries elsewhere in Europe, notably Spain, persuaded cautious investors to look to safer assets. The June gilt future settled three ticks lower at 116.31, broadly in line with the equivalent German bund, in advance of U.K. inflation data. The ten-year gilt yield dipped less than one basis point to 2.03%.
Bet of the day: Spread-betters dusted themselves down and bought the Footsie. They dismissed recent gloom about European debt problems, a potential slowdown by the Chinese economy and any signs of weakness in the United States as an overreaction and declared share prices to look cheap. ETX Capital offered 5,666 to 5,666 points on its U.K. 100 rolling daily bet.
Deal of the day: Another African miner is coming to AIM. Alufer wants to raise as much as $40 million (25.2 million) to run tests on its bauxite assets in West Africa. China is expected to drive a near-7% increase in demand for Bauxite, which is used in the production of aluminium, between now and 2030. RBC Capital Markets will handle the float.
Moulton slips into Jaeger for 19.5 million: A year ago, it was hanging on the rack with a suggested 100 million price tag, so Jon Moulton was probably congratulating himself on picking up a high street fashion bargain when he bought a 90% stake in Jaeger for only 19.5 million. Harold Tillman, who rescued Jaeger from near-collapse in 2003 for a nominal sum but has recently grAppled with a tough fashion market, will retain a 10% stake.
Outrage in Madrid as Argentina grabs Repsol: Spain threatened an all-out trade war with Argentina after Buenos Aires said that it would nationalise part of the Spanish oil giant Repsol. President Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner announced a law under which Argentina would assume control of 51% of Yacimientos Petrolferos Fiscales, the South American division of Spains largest oil producer.
Google accused over Street View trawl: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has accused the search engine giant of deliberately impeding and delaying an inquiry into its Street View project. Google dispatched camera cars around cities in the United States and Europe so that it could add images to its Google Maps application.
PwC faces full inquiry into audit of Tenon: PwC is facing an investigation by an accountancy watchdog into its auditing of RSM Tenon, the stricken professional services group, The Times understands. The Accountancy & Actuarial Discipline Board has been looking into PwCs work for Tenon and is expected to open a full inquiry within weeks, people familiar with the matter said.
Boss demands 600,000 as he walks out the door: A legal battle is brewing between the Chief Executive of Synchronica and its new Owner after he left and demanded a payoff. Angus Dent stepped down after Myriad took control of the business. David Mason and Michael Jackson also left the board after Myriads 24 million share-based offer was accepted by more than 80% of Synchronica shareholders.
Facebook benefits from higher ad rates ahead of IPO: Facebooks advertising rates have shot up 41% on a year ago, an authoritative new survey suggests, boosting hopes for the social networking websites planned $100 billion (63 billion) stock-market flotation. The figures, compiled by the ad agency TBG Digital, one of the biggest spenders on Facebook, show that the cost of advertising was rising even as the website increased the number of ads it carries on each page.
Spanish bond yields breach 6% as investor fears of a bailout intensify: Panicking investors sent Spains cost of borrowing above 6%, pushing the country closer towards a bailout. The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds rose to 6.15% in trading morning as the countrys Finance Minister, Luis de Guindos, confirmed that the economy contracted again in the first quarter of 2012.
Renaissance offer for Andrew Osborne: The former Bank of America Merrill Lynch corporate broker at the centre of a Financial Services Authority (FSA) market abuse crackdown has been offered a return to the City by Russias Renaissance Capital. It is understood that a senior broking role in RenCaps London office is one of more than 20 offers that Andrew Osborne has received since quitting Merrill late last year.
Citi claims recovery is almost complete: Citigroup, the American financial giant that twice had to be bailed out by the U.S. taxpayers, claimed to have edged closer to financial health, citing an increase in its capital reserves as evidence that its restructuring is nearing completion.
Better Capital buys fashion brand Jaeger in 19.5 million deal: The entrepreneur Harold Tillman has sold Jaeger, the 128-year-old fashion brand, for a knock-down 19.5 million to Better Capital, the firm founded by the veteran venture capitalist Jon Moulton. Better Capital has acquired 90% of Jaeger, which has 50 U.K. shops, 90 concessions and a handful of stores overseas.
Fortnum & Mason Boss Aspinall quits: The Boss of Fortnum & Mason has quit after seven years in the job to pursue other challenges. Beverley Aspinall, pictured, stands down as Chief Executive of the 305-year-old store at the end of May.
Backlash over Barclays Chiefs pay: Barclays is set to spend much of the next 10 days ahead of its annual meeting reassuring investors that its Chief Executive Bob Diamonds 17 million pay package, including 5.75 million towards his New York tax bill, will not be repeated.
The Daily Telegraph
Jim Yong Kim chosen to lead World Bank: The World Bank chose Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next Chief Monday in a decision that surprised few despite the first-ever challenge to the U.S. lock on the Banks presidency.
Supermarkets now sell almost half of all petrol sold in U.K.: Supermarkets have cornered almost half the petrol and diesel fuel market in a shake-up that has led to renewed calls for an Office of Fair Trading inquiry into unfair trading practices. BP, Shell, Esso and other oil majors, along with the small independent retailers, have suffered as the jump in petrol prices and supermarket promotions attract more motorists to Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrison forecourts.
Singapore sovereign wealth fund targets U.K. property: Singapores sovereign wealth fund is preparing to buy up swathes of distressed properties in the U.K. with the launch of a 200 million fund. The investment drive by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) is a further example of the growing overseas demand for U.K. property.
Apple and Google see $53 billion wiped off shares in a week: A slide in Apple and Googles share prices has wiped more than $53 billion off their combined value in a week, as investors enthusiasm for the technology giants cools. Apple shares hit a historic high last Tuesday, opening at $644, but have since dropped more than 8%.
GDF Suezs nuclear reservations hit government energy policy: The governments energy policy has suffered a fresh blow when GDF Suez, the French firm behind plans to build a new nuclear plant in Cumbria, said it needed more financial incentives if it was to proceed.
Executive pay too high across top firms, not just banks, investors warn: F&C Investments said it was contacting 50 banks to warn them of the risk to their reputation, not just from high pay of Chief Executives but across the organisation. It came as a study by the Share Centre found that 95% of institutional investors believed pay was too high across all leading companies, not just the banks.
Anthony Bolton extends Hong Kong stay in bid to reverse losses: Anthony Bolton, the Fidelity fund manager whose controversial 600 million China fund has lost more than 20% of its value since launch, is to extend his time in Hong Kong in a bid to reverse the losses suffered by nearly 100,000 British small investors in his trust.
Stagecoach plans to shake up European coach market with Megabus: Transport group Stagecoach has pledged to shake up the European coach market by introducing its dirt-cheap Megabus brand to cross-channel customers with services joining London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. Fares will start from 1 or 1 on a fleet of new coaches that promise free Wi-Fi and toilets.
U.K. steel industry given a double-barrelled boost: Britains steel industry was given a double-barrelled boost as two major announcements set fires roaring in the U.K.s industrial heartlands. The first saw the re-lighting of the blast furnace in Teesside, as steel production resumed at the Redcar site after shuddering to a halt in 2010.
Fund guru Neil Woodford sells last of his Tesco shares: Star fund manager Neil Woodford has revealed he has ditched the last of his Tesco shares. Woodford, Manager of two giant income funds at Invesco Perpetual, is regarded as one of the U.K.s best stock-pickers following long spells of making the right calls.
Analysts expect spring boost for Marks & Spencer: A raft of new and exclusive food ranges at Marks & Spencer should boost fourth quarter underlying sales by 2% for its food business according to analyst estimates.
Goldstone Resources Ltd: Westhouse Securities maintained a Strong Buy rating on the stock, with a target price of 15.00p
Invista Real Estate Investment: JPMorgan maintained an Underweight rating on the stock, with a target price of 18.00p
DDD Group: Canaccord Genuity Corp maintained a Buy rating on the stock, with a target price of 50.00p
Stagecoach Group: Citi upgraded the stock to Buy and increased the target price to 281.00p
JCB sales build in emerging markets: Strong demand for diggers and tractors in tiger economies boosted JCBs profits but the heavy plant maker said it was struggling to recruit engineers. Privately owned JCB said builders and farmers in emerging markets were snapping up its products, helping it lift earnings 51% to 355 million in 2011.
U.K. brands help Tata: Strong demand for luxury car marques Jaguar and Land Rover has helped to drive sales higher at parent company Tata Motors. Buyers in China and the U.S. snapped up the new Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Freelander 2 last month while Jaguar also did well.
Paces strong signals: Pace, the television set-top box maker, is picking up speed as it bounces back from a year when it was hit by a string of profit warnings relating to natural disasters and a delayed order. Chairman Allan Leighton said the company had an encouraging start to the financial year with revenue and profits in line with expectations during the 15 weeks to April.
The Scottish Herald
Cairn shares jump as Agora strikes oil: Cairn Energys new North Sea acquisition has struck oil just a fortnight after the 280 million deal was announced. Shares in Scotlands flagship explorer and producer jumped 3% after the success was unveiled by Agora Oil & Gas, the Norwegian group targeted by Cairn for its smart management.
Success of smart meter pays off for SMS: A gas meter technology firm has reported 285% uplift in profits in its first annual results since listing on the stock market. Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems (SMS) saw pretax profits increase from 857,000 to 3.3 million in 2011.
HeroTSC to create 150 Glasgow jobs: Scottish call centre company HeroTSC has revealed it is recruiting 150 more staff in Glasgow to work on a contract for Sky that has been moved by the satellite broadcaster from entrepreneur Sir David Murrays Response business.
Omega forecasts 41% rise in sales: Omega Diagnostics is predicting sales will rise 41% to 11.12 million on the back of strong growth in its allergy division. In a pre-close trading statement, the firm based in Alva, Clackmannanshire, said the acquisition of Allergopharmas in vitro diagnostics business boosted figures in that section from 1.54 million to 4.47 million.
Pharmacells aims to lead world in stem cell supply: Scots stem cell Storage Company Pharmacells has announced its acquisition of the assets of Edinburgh-based biotech firm Immunosolv, in a deal Bosses believe will propel it to world-leader status in the supply of stem cells for research.
FTSE holds up despite banking losses: Londons leading shares index managed to hold its head above water, despite heavy losses for the banking sector amid ongoing fears over the Eurozone. Investors dumped financial stocks as borrowing costs in Spain moved past 6% and closer to the unsustainable levels that forced Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek an EU bailout.
GDF Suez takes over full control of IPR for 6.8 billion: French utility giant GDF Suez snapped up the 30% of the U.K.s International Power it does not already own for 6.8 billion. The 418p-per-share offer is 7% above the initial 390p offer approach that was rejected by International Powers (IPR) independent directors recently, and values the British company at 22.8 billion.
Further job losses as receivers seek to save R&M Deluxe Group: The Owner of Instyle Furniture, the Scottish sofa manufacturer and retailer, has gone into receivership with the loss of 17 jobs. R&M Deluxe Group, which had employed 45 people, had experienced challenging trading conditions in recent years, according to joint receivers Gary Fraser and Blair Nimmo of KPMG.
Global Energy sells 25% stake to Mitsui in drive for further growth: The owners of Scottish engineering heavyweight Global Energy have sold 25% of the company to Japanese conglomerate Mitsui in order to fund plans to grow the business and cement a partnership between the two firms.
Banks slump on growing fears of Spanish bailout: Shares in Britains banks took a hammering amid mounting fears over Spains ability to afford its debts, writes Gareth Mackie. Lloyds Banking Group was the hardest hit, falling 3.4%. Royal Bank of Scotland closed down 3.1%, while Barclays dropped almost 2%.
NAB suffers blow over talks to sell U.K. banks: Speculation over the future of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks took another twist amid reports in Australia that the front-runner to buy the operations had walked away from a potential deal. NBNK Investments, seen as the leading suitor to acquire National Australia Banks (NAB) U.K. operations, was said to have pulled out of takeover talks due to an unrealistic valuation being placed on the business.
Hedgies march out of Mayfair as property costs bite: London hedge funds are moving away from their Mayfair heartland including the hedge fund alley of Curzon Street and Berkeley Square as they come under pressure to cut costs after a dire year for the sector.
Green light for Cucinelli float: Italian cashmere business Brunello Cucinelli has attracted enough support for its 124 million IPO after its first day of bookbuilding.
Carlyle looks to raise $762 million in its U.S. flotation: Private equity powerhouse Carlyle revealed that it hopes to raise between $701.5 million and $762.5 million (441 million and 479.7 million) through an initial public offering in the U.S., which would value the firm at up to $7.61 billion.
UBS and Goldman are hired to work on Formula Ones float: Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has hired UBS and Goldman Sachs to lead an expected $2 billion (1.26 billion) initial public offering of motor racing business Formula One in Singapore, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Tiny number of high earners use tax reliefs: The vast majority of high earners pay the maximum possible amount of tax, with very few benefiting from the legitimate reliefs which the government plans to limit, Treasury figures showed.
Charles Schwab profits tumble by 20%: Charles Schwab, one of the largest U.S. brokerages, reported a 20% drop in quarterly profit, as expected, due in part to lower asset management fees and higher expenses, but said its outlook was improving.
Vickers to slice 7% off British bank earnings: British banks will have to find buyers for 23 billion worth of new, expensive debt due to the Vickers Commission and new EU rules, according to an analysis by JP Morgan Cazenove.