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FTSE 100 ends in the red amid Brexit jitters and rise in UK inflation

The FTSE 100 index closed down 10.8 at 7,516 on the day

City
FTSE 100 closed in negative territory amid the latest Brexit worries
  • FTSE 100 closes 10.8 lower

  • US stocks higher at open, helped by Goldman earnings

  • Sterling weak on Carney Brexit comments

  • UK inflation hits 3%, as forecast

  •  

 

FTSE 100 closed Tuesday in the red as the pound weakened and as UK inflation reached a five year high in September.

The index of leading UK shares closed at 7,516 - down 10.8, while the more UK  company focused FTSE 250 lost over 86 points at 20,130.

It comes as the market has been spooked by Brexit comments from Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who said the central bank  was preparing for the possibility of a hard Brexit without a transition period.

Elsewhere, the OECD ( Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has published a report suggesting a  further referendum to reverse Brexit to avoid the crippling effect on the British economy.

Against the Euro, the pound shed 0.15%, while against the US dollar, it lost 0.56%.

The key Consumer Prices Index (CPI) climbed to 3% in September this year, a level it last reached in April 2012, and up from 2.9% in August, driven by higher transport and food prices.

It suggests there is a more likely chance that UK interest rates will be raised next month.

Top dog on Footsie was publisher Pearson (LON:PSON), which rose 7.32% to 667p as it nudged up its profit guidance and said while structural problems in US higher education were likely to “persist” in the medium-term, there had been some temporary respite.

Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MERL) – formerly a part of Pearson - was the biggest blue chip faller, plunging  nearly 16% to 377.9p after  it unveiled a fall in trading in the key summer period blaming a series of terror attacks in Britain and unfavourable weather.

In small caps, Greatland Gold (LON:GGP) rocketed nearly 57% in London to 1.84p after it said it has applied for a new exploration licence to expand its landholding at the Ernest Giles gold project to more than 2,000 kilometres.

3.15pm: Gains remain for Footsie

UK blue chips held firm in late afternoon trading as New York shares found early gains, also supported by a weaker pound which was spooked by Brexit comments from Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

Around 3.15pm, the FTSE 100 index  was up 18 points at 7,545, hovering just below the day’s peak of 7,550.44, and above the low of 7,506.31.

On currency markets, the pound fell 0.6% versus the dollar to US$1.3175, and lost 0.2% against the euro at €1.1218 after Carney told MPs today that the BoE is preparing for the possibility of a hard Brexit without a transition period.

Carney also told lawmakers that the central bank still has to balance the need to support job creation and growth with an inflation rate which climbed above its 2% target to 3% in September, according to official data released today, although he still believes a rise in interest rates may be needed over the coming months.

In early deals on Wall Street, the Dow Jones was up 23 points at 22,980, helped by gains from banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) after it reported third-quarter results that beat market expectations.

Pearson up; Merlin down

In London, Pearson plc (LON:PSON) remained the top FTSE 100 gainer, up 7.8 % at 670p as the under-pressure educational publisher nudged up its profit guidance and said while structural problems in US higher education were likely to “persist” in the medium-term, there had been some temporary respite.

The FTSE 100-listed group said benefits from the company’s cost-savings programme mean operating profits are now expected to be £576mln-£606mln, up from the £546mln-£606mln previously forecast

But Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MERL) – formerly a part of Pearson - was the biggest blue chip faller, plunging 16% to 377.9p after the operator of Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds unveiled a fall in trading in the key summer period blaming a series of terror attacks in Britain and unfavourable weather.

Analysts at Liberum Capital placed their rating for Merlin ‘under review’ from ‘hold’ saying: “The poor summer trading adds to our on-going concerns about the Midway division, the reallocation of capex away from the existing estate towards accommodation dilutes returns and the additional £262mln required to build LEGOLAND New York delays returns visibility yet further. The risk/reward profile has shifted more to the downside."

1.25pm: Dow gains expected

The FTSE 100 index  hit session highs in afternoon trading on expectations for early gains on Wall Street after a boost from US banking results, with today’s as forecast increase in UK inflation passed by.

Around 1.25pm, the UK blue chip index had gained 20 points at 7,547, trading just below the session peak of 7,549.82, and well above the day’s low of 7,506.31.

On currency markets, sterling dropped 0.5% versus the dollar to US$1.3185, and shed 0.2% against the euro at €1.1212 as, although UK inflation climbed to 3% in September, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told lawmakers today that the central bank still has to balance the need to support job creation and growth with an inflation rate above its 2% target.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is seen opening  slightly higher today, inching closer to 23,000, fuelled by strength in banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) after it reported third-quarter results that beat market expectations.

Goldman is one of the biggest components of the price-weighted Dow, and with its shares up over 1% in pre-market trading, that would equate to a roughly 20 point gain for the Dow.

12.00pm: Bank needs to balance

In a testimony to parliament today, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said the central bank still has to balance the need to support job creation and growth with an inflation rate that is running above its target.

Carney told UK lawmakers: "Inflation rising potentially above the 3% level in coming months is something that we have anticipated.

"As a consequence we faced a trade-off, and we still face a trade-off, between having inflation above target and the need to support, or the desirability of supporting, jobs and activity."

The BoE has said most of its rate-setters think they will need to raise interest rates "in the coming months" to head off a build-up of inflation pressure. Carney has previously said he is part of that majority.

At midday, the FTSE index was ahead nearly 15 points at 7,541, just below the session high of 7,543.34, and well above the day’s low of 7,506.31.

11.10am: Consumer price rise predicted

With today’s increase in inflation exactly as forecast, and a Bank of England rate hike before the end of the year largely priced-in to markets, the FTSE 100 index managed to recoup initial falls while the pound turned lower against the dollar.

Around 11.05am, the UK blue chip index was up 2 points at 7,528, below the session high of 7,533.95, but above the day’s low of 7,506.31.

On currency markets, the pound reversed earlier gains to shed 0.1% versus the dollar at US$1.3246, though sterling added 0.3% against the euro at €1.1268 as UK inflation climbed to 3% in September, up from 2.9% in the preceding month.

Maike Currie, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, said:  “With price rises now one percentage point above the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target, governor Mark Carney will be penning a letter to the Chancellor explaining why inflation is so far above target.

“But this will be cold comfort to cash-strapped consumers, as today’s inflation figure marks the biggest squeeze on UK households in five years - inflation has not been at this level since April 2012.

She added: “Life is getting much more expensive with an increase in the cost of food, fuel and a last-minute price spike in flights all contributing to the rise in inflation. Meanwhile, our pay packets have stagnated with wage growth falling behind inflation, despite UK unemployment being at a record low.”

Currie noted: “It’s also worth noting that September’s inflation figure matters hugely to both retirees and savers. Under the government’s ‘triple lock’ guarantee, the state pension will rise in April each year by whichever number is the highest out of the September CPI inflation number, average earnings or 2.5%.

“With inflation running higher than either wages or 2.5%, this will determine the rise in the State Pension next year, arguably making retirees the biggest winners from today’s inflation figure.”  

9.50am: Rate rise predicted

The Footsie fell back to session highs as the morning session progressed ass the pound gained after the latest UK inflation data hit a 5-1/2 year high fuelling rate rise fears.

Around 9.50am, the FTSE 100 index was down about 14 points at 7,513, just above the session low of 7,506.31, having reversed from an opening peak of 7,530.34.

On currency markets, sterling took on 0.2% versus the dollar at US$1.3274 but remained flat against the euro at €1.1279 after the latest UK data added to the pressure on the Bank of England to consider a hike in UK interest rates.

The UK consumer price index rose to an annualised rate of 3% in September, according to the Office for National Statistics, matching economists’ average expectations and marking the biggest rise since April 2012.

David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB.com commented: “With the core reading remaining in line with the prior at 2.7% it is clear that price pressures are currently running well above the 2% mandate for the BoE and today’s release has all but rubber stamped a rate hike from the central bank at their next meeting.“

He added: “Given the likely historic consequences of the release the market reaction has been remarkably subdued with the pound dropping in the immediate aftermath before recovering to trade back near its highest levels of the day.

“This can probably be explained by the fact that a Nov hike has already been widely discounted by the markets and today’s rise was consistent with expectations and therefore it doesn’t come as too much of an upside shock.”

Other data from the ONS today saw the annual growth in factory gate prices cool to 3.3%, as expected, compared with the 3.4% increase in August.

And official house prices in August saw a 5.0% annual increase across the UK, compared with a 4.5% increase in July, with prices in London alone up 2.6%.

9.00am: No magic for Merlin

Even a Peppa Pig licencing deal couldn’t prevent Thorpe Park owner Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MERL) from plunging this morning.

Merlin inked an agreement with Peppa’s owner Entertainment One PLC (LON:ETO) that will allow it to roll out “location based entertainment” based on the brand around the world (apart from the UK and China).

But investors weren’t too fussed about the lovable pig, instead focusing on weak like-for-like revenues growth of just 0.3% in the 40 weeks to 7 October.

The FTSE 100 group blamed “the series of terror attacks and unfavourable weather” in the UK and Europe for the poor performance. To add insult to injury, Merlin said full-year underlying earnings (EBITDA) would come in between £470mln and £480mln, below previous estimates of £490mln.

Merlin – which also owns Alton Towers and the LEGOLAND brand – was the top blue chip faller, losing more than a fifth of its value to sit at 360p.

That was the big drag on the FTSE 100 which is broadly flat at 7,526.6.

Pearson top blue chip riser

Keeping the index from going too far under was education and publishing group Pearson PLC (LON:PSON) after it nudged expectations towards the upper end of its previous guidance.

Pearson has struggled to get off the profit warning train in recent years – issuing five warnings in just four years – but said today that adjusted operating profits should come in at between £576mln and £606mln.

The embattled firm still expects “tough conditions” in its core business but investors were looking past that, with the stock jumping 5.5% to 655.9p.

17 consecutive months of growth for supermarkets

Elsewhere among the blue chips, J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) shares rose by 2.8% to 250.4p after the latest Kantar Worldpanel data.

All of the ‘big four’ – Sainsbury’s, Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), WM Morrisons PLC (LON:MRW) and Asda – recorded sales growth in the 12 weeks to 8 October, although they all saw a small decline in their market shares as Aldi and Lidl continue to make inroads.

Down on AIM, Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) advanced 5.6%, or 2p, to 37.5p after it revealed a 14% rise in turnover in its full-year results announced today.

Losses also narrowed, thanks to a rise in development income and moderately better services income, in the firm’s first set of finals since it was rebooted and renamed last July.

Proactive news headlines:

Ferrum Crescent Limited (LON:FCR) has appointed experienced capital markets man Myles Campion to the board, following the departure of chairman Justin Tooth. The company is currently reassessing and standardising data held on all the old core at the Toral zinc project, and expects to release a maiden JORC resource before the end of the year.

Progress at bulk email specialist dotDigital Group PLC (LON:DOTD) quickened in the second half of the financial year to the end of June.

Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) has revealed a 13.7% rise in turnover, for the twelve months ended June 30, thanks to a rise in development income and moderately better services income. It is the first full financial reporting period since the company, formerly Epistem Holdings, was rebooted last July.

Myanmar-focused social media group MySQUAR PLC (LON:MYSQ) has restated last week's trading statement after getting the maths wrong. Average monthly revenues of $135,000 per month in the last quarter were a 350% gain compared to the US$29,744 achieved during July-September 2016 rather than the 450% stated.

ANGLE PLC’s (LON:AGL) Parsortix system has outperformed comparable liquid biopsies in a new study undertaken on kidney cancer sufferers in Germany. University Hospital Muenster, an ANGLE customer, compared in detail the ability of four different types of systems to harvest circulating tumour cells (CTCs) for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) patients.

The cyber security arm of BATM Advanced Communications Limited (LON:BVC) has landed a US$350,000 deal from the defence agency of an undisclosed European country. Its Celare operation will supply monitoring and detection systems as part of a proof of concept contract.

Falcon Media House (LON:FAL), the global digital media group, is to raise £3.4mln through the issue of a convertible loan note carrying an interest rate of 8%.

Stratex International PLC (LON:STI) has sold its 13.7% stake in Goldstone Resources for £550,000. Stratex argued that it had been diluted down by a recent fundraise and was no longer able to materially influence strategy. In conjunction with the news, Emma Priestley, chief executive of Goldstone, has resigned as non-executive of Stratex.

PCG Entertainment PLC (LON:PGCE) confirmed that it has received £8,249.33 as the first monthly payment under the equity sharing facility arranged by RiverFort Global Capital announced on August 18. The group said that, going forward, the company intends to announce the results of their monthly payments in the second week of the month following the month in which the trading calculations are made.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) revealed it has purchased an additional 356,239 ordinary shares in Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (ASX:KCN) at an average price of circa A$$0.36 (£0.21) per ordinary share for a total consideration of circa A$128,246 (circa £75,933), to bring its total holding in KCN up to 11,939,648 ordinary shares, representing 5.34% of the company.

The cyber security arm of BATM Advanced Communications Limited (LON:BVC) has landed a US$350,000 deal from the defence agency of an undisclosed European country.

Its Celare operation will supply monitoring and detection systems as part of a proof of concept contract.

7.00am: FTSE 100 set to open modestly higher as Brexit talks plod on

The FTSE 100 was set to claw back all of yesterday's minor losses at the outset, after US markets again broke new ground yesterday.

Spread betting quotes suggested the blue-chip index, which shed 8 points yesterday to close at 7,527, would open at around the 7,536 level.

Brexit discussions between UK prime minister Theresa May and the president of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, were said to be “constructive and friendly”, but not much of any consequence came of the meeting.

A statement was released after the meeting which said: "The prime minister and the president of the European Commission reviewed the progress made in the Article 50 negotiations so far and agreed that these efforts should accelerate over the months to come," the statement read.

In the US, the Dow Jones rose 85 points to 22,957 while the broader-based S&P 500 climbed 4.5 to 2,557.6.

Towards the end of trading in Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo was up 56 at 21,312 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 58 at 28,751.

In the UK, inflation figures for September due out today could give a big clue as to the timing of the long-awaited interest rate hike by the Bank of England.

Some pundits are expecting the inflation rate to hit 3% for the first time since April 2012.

The consensus forecast is for the annual increase in the core Consumer Price Index to be unchanged at 2.7%, while the producer price index is expected to be up 8.2% year-on-year, after rising 7.6% in August.

On the corporate front, a number of big hitters are reporting, including Evraz PLC (LON:EVR), Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MDC), Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC (LON:MONY), Pearson PLC (LON:PSON), ASOS PLC (LON:ASC) and Bellway PLC (LON:BWY).

Around the markets

  • Sterling: US$1,3254, up 0.04 cents
  • 10-year gilt: Yielding 1.339%
  • Gold: US$1,294.40 an ounce, down US$8.60
  • Brent crude: US$57.80 a barrel, down 2 cents

Significant announcements expected

Trading updates: Evraz PLC (LON:EVR), Mediclinic International PLC (LON:MDC), Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MDC), Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC (LON:MONY), Pearson PLC (LON:PSON), Segro PLC (LON:SGRO)

Finals: ASOS PLC (LON:ASC), Bellway PLC (LON:BWY), DotDigitalGroup PLC (LON:DOTD), Bioventix PLC (LON:BVXP), Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR), Orchard Funding Group PLC (LON:ORCH), Utilitywise PLC (LON:UTW)

Interims: BP Marsh & Partners (LON:BPM) , Virgin Money Holdings PLC (LON:VM.)

Business headlines

The Times

Bank ‘forced analyst to change critical report’: The City watchdog is investigating an American investment bank over claims that senior managers improperly interfered with the work of analysts in its research department, an employment tribunal was told.

China bids to take stake in Saudi oil producer: Chinese state oil companies have written to Saudi Aramco offering to buy up to 5% of its shares and bypass its planned stock market float.

Nigeria corruption charge threat looms over former Shell Executive: One of Royal Dutch Shell’s most senior former Executives is due to learn within weeks whether he will face trial in Italy on corruption charges.

Number is up for Jackpotjoy chief executive as he heads for exit: Only nine months after its London listing, Jackpotjoy said that Mr. McIver would be stepping down at the end of January. Neil Goulden, the group’s chairman, who joined at the same time as McIver, will take the reins as executive chairman.

Banks order Interserve to bring in accountants: Interserve will report to the stock market on the depths of its financial crisis after it emerged that it had brought in restructuring accountants from EY, sending its shares to record lows.

Jenny Knott leaves her post as Nex looks to recover from profit warning: Nex Group, the electronic trading business run by Michael Spencer, the City veteran, has announced the surprise departure of the head of its key post-trade division, weeks after issuing a profit warning for the unit.

Big order for Bombardier train unit: Bombardiers’ train assembly plant in Derby has emerged as the big winner in an order for rolling stock in Birmingham and on the main line to London.

Data protection fines loom over ‘unprepared’ UK companies, warns Institute of Directors: Companies remain worryingly unprepared for new data protection rules that will impose huge fines on organisations that mishandle the personal data of customers, users, employees and associates, the Institute of Directors has warned.

Copper prices break through US$7,000-a-tonne mark for first time in three years: Copper prices broke through the US$7,000-a-tonne mark for the first time in three years as economic data, including from China, fuelled optimism about demand.

The Independent

Mercedes-Benz recalls 400,000 cars over air-bag fault: Daimler is recalling 400,000 Mercedes-Benz cars in the UK over faulty air-bags after reports that they had been prematurely deploying.

Vauxhall worker unions seek urgent talks after car giant plans to cut 400 jobs: Unions are seeking urgent talks with the Government and Vauxhall after describing plans to cut 400 jobs at the car giant as a “major blow”.

City firms ready for ‘irreversible’ relocations unless transition is agreed: Financial firms will pull the trigger on “irreversible” Brexit job relocations in the new year unless the Conservatives agree a transition deal imminently, a City lobby group has warned.

Gender pay gap: UK women are now working ‘for free’ for the rest of the year: According to Eurostat, the gap between male and female salaries in the UK is 20%. The disparity means that by 16 October, men have already been paid the amount it would take a woman doing the same job a whole year to earn.

Brexit: Pound sterling could fall to parity against the euro if UK fails to secure EU trade deal, analysts say: A ‘no-deal’ Brexit could see the pound will fall to parity with the euro for the first time ever and slump as much as 17% against the dollar, analysts have warned.

Financial Times

Iron shipment growth propels Rio Tinto close to 5-year high

Brazil's state-owned petrol company, Petrobras, to seek approval for the listing of petrol station business

Derivatives contracts ruling goes against UBS

Activist hedge fund has Credit Suisse in its sights

The Daily Telegraph

Dutch giant Abellio to invest £1bn in UK train network: Theresa May will receive a much-needed Brexit boost as plans are unveiled for a £1bn investment in the West Midlands train network.

Legal & General to snap up pet insurer Buddies: Insurance giant Legal & General has agreed to buy pet insurer Buddies with the hope of cashing in on Britain’s love for cats and dogs.

Little-known metal palladium turns star performer as diesel declines: Palladium, a silvery metal used in catalytic converters for petrol cars, has become one of the star commodities of the year, hitting US$1,000 an ounce for the first time since 2001.

Millennium & Copthorne shareholder urges management to think again over ‘undervalued’ offer: A major shareholder in Millennium & Copthorne hotels has accused the firm’s independent Directors of settling for a knock-down price for the business after an offer to take it private emerged last week.

Capita staff to stage nine-day strike over pensions: Staff at Capita are planning to stage a nine-day strike over pension terms after talks between the company and the union broke down.

Ask and Zizzi owner’s sales rise on back of Deliveroo boost: The group behind the Zizzi and Ask Italian restaurant chains has posted a 12.5% rise in annual sales on the back of new openings and a boom in takeaway orders, despite warnings about the health of the casual dining sector.

The Guardian

‘No-deal’ Brexit likely to hit low-income families hardest: Leaving the European Union without a trade deal would likely result in a sharp increase in prices for food and other goods, costing the average UK household £260 and hitting low-income families hardest, according to new research.

Automation will affect one in five jobs across the UK, says study: Workers in the constituency of shadow Chancellor John McDonnell are at the highest risk of seeing their jobs automated in the looming workplace revolution that will affect at least one in five employees in all parliamentary seats, according to new research.

Airbus and Bombardier to partner in aircraft programme: European aircraft giant Airbus is buying a majority stake in Bombardier’s C Series programme.

World petrol demand ‘likely to peak by 2030 as electric car sales rise’: World petrol demand will peak within 13 years thanks to the impact of electric cars and more efficient engines, energy experts have predicted.

Young people are borrowing to cover basic living costs, warns City watchdog: The head of Britain’s financial regulator has warned that a growing number of young people are having to borrow to cover basic living costs.

The Weinstein Company in talks on possible sale: The Weinstein Company is in talks to sell to a private equity company in the wake of the sexual harassment and assault allegations against its co-Founder Harvey Weinstein.

Mike Ashley puts Newcastle United up for sale and seeks exit by Christmas: Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, has formally confirmed he is actively attempting to sell the club.

Monarch owner should help to fly tourists home, says Chris Grayling: The investment firm behind the collapsed Monarch airline should help repay the £60mln cost of the repatriation of its customers, the transport secretary has told MPs.

Daily Mail

Car loan slumps could leave Lloyds £12bn exposed, according to JPMorgan analysts: A car finance lending binge by Lloyds has left it dangerously exposed to a downturn in the market, experts warn. Britain’s banks collectively have £24bn of exposure to motor loans, and Lloyds has been the most enthusiastic adopter.

Italian restaurant chain owner serves up sales of £262.8mln in the last year: Azzurri, which owns the three brands as well as pizzeria Radio Alice, saw its sales jump 12.5% to £262.8mln in the year to July 2. Earnings increased 8.6% to £38mln.

Netflix boldly goes to record high as it adds 5.3mln viewers, thanks to shows such as Star Trek Discovery: Netflix shares hit a record high last night as it added 5.3 million sUBScribers globally. Revenues rose to £2.3bn in the third quarter after hit shows Stranger Things, Narcos and Orange is the New Black helped drive up sUBSription numbers.

Million-dollar celeb mobile phone firm Vertu plots a comeback despite going bust owing more than £42.6mln: Luxury smartphone maker Vertu is plotting a comeback despite going bust owing more than £42.6mln to 327 creditors and amid an investigation over transferred assets.

Now Apple and Amazon are trying to steal payments business from banks, warns Barclays boss: Amazon, Apple and other tech titans are seeking to steal payments business from banks, the boss of Barclays has said.

Accountancy firm Ernst and Young fined £1.8mln for botched audit of tech firm: Ernst & Young has been fined £1.8mln by Britain’s accounting watchdog for failures in its audit of a tech company.

Daily Express

Lloyds braced as £600mln damages trial set to start: Shareholders are gearing up for a long-awaited trial this week as they seek £600mln in damages from Lloyds Banking Group and five former Executives over claims they were misled during the acquisition of HBOS.

‘Pensions time-bomb’ for Britain’s middle-aged workers: Britain’s middle-aged workers are sleepwalking into retirement poverty, experts warned. Four in ten people aged 40 to 65 are unable to estimate their total pension savings at retirement.

Lidl plans to create 500 jobs at new warehouse in Peterborough: Lidl UK has unveiled plans for a new warehouse in Peterborough in a move that will create 500 jobs.

Businesses braced for £1.2bn tax hike as shock number of companies hauled to court: Businesses in England and Wales are bracing themselves for a £1.2bn tax hike next year, while a staggering number of companies are being dragged to court for failing to keep up with climbing payments.

UK universities ‘generate almost £100 billion a year for the economy’: Universities generate almost £100bn a year for the UK economy, according to a report. Higher education institutions also support nearly a million jobs, equivalent to about 3% of all UK employment, it says.

The Scottish Herald

Warning issued over scope of RBS redress scheme: The retired judge installed as the independent arbiter of Royal Bank of Scotland’s Global Restructuring Group compensation scheme is being warned that he will only be able to help a tiny fraction of the businesses that were wronged by the unit because the rules imposed on the scheme are so onerous.

City AM

The Law Society partners with Seedrs to support legal sector innovators: The Law Society seems to be trying to dispel the legal sector’s association with dusty tomes and robes, announcing that it has partnered with start-up investment platform Seedrs.

Lufthansa and easyJet flag interest in struggling Italian airline Alitalia: Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa put in an offer for parts of failing Italian operator Alitalia, while easyJet expressed an interest in acquiring parts of the ailing airline.

Law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner in talks to merge with US’s Bryan Cave: City law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) revealed this afternoon that it is in talks to merge with Missouri-headquartered Bryan Cave.

Indian fashion brand Koovs sews up deal with Simply Be for UK expansion: Indian e-tailer Koovs is making its first move into the UK market through a collaboration with clothing site Simply Be.

French ski resorts top alpine property price ranking as Swiss chalets sag: Chamonix leapfrogged Val d’Isere and Gstaad to take the top spot in a ranking of Alpine ski resort property prices.

London office sales smash through £13bn barrier after German investment boost: A surge in investment from German and UK property firms has pushed London office transactions past the £13bn barrier. 

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