Investment & Business News Headlines

When nine gurus become seven

When Gordon Brown made the Bank of England independent he still had one ace up his sleeve. He chooses the nine members who make up the Interest rate setting Monetary Policy Committee. Some say that even that should change, and that the selection should be down to an independent panel, – which of course begs the question, who would choose the members of the independent panel.

Up to now, the Bank of England has kept largely quiet on the issue. But tensions are mounting, or so it would appear.

The committee is...Read More

There’s gold in that Fed statement

Gold rose back above $600 an ounce yesterday, and oil stood at $73.60 on the New York Mercantile Exchange last night, the highest level for some time.

Considering that commodities are supposed to have crashed, and the great gold recovery is over, it’s not doing half bad.

In fact gold is now...Read More

Posted Jun 30, 2006

Home ownership versus renting- is the status quo changing?

Is renting becoming cheaper than buying?
Abbey have been comparing the cost of renting with buying a home for five
years: and the news is, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s cheaper to buy over
the 25 year course of a mortgage than rent. But that could be changing.
For the...Read More

Posted Jun 13, 2006

Share options prove attractive for floating companies

So how do you get paid? Do you receive cash? Does your company prefers the barter system and pay you in goats? If you’re the chief executive of a company about to float on the AIM market there’s a strong chance a goodly proportion of your remuneration comes in...Read More

Posted Jun 12, 2006

Goldman scoops ports prize

Yesterday, Aussie bank Macquarie and its consortium rolled over, leaving Goldman Sachs a clear run. Last week, the world’s largest securities firm offered £2.8bn for Associated British Ports, and it was just too much for the consortium from down under.

The British ports company owns 21 ports across the land, including...Read More

Posted Jun 30, 2006

Trade deficits deepen

Both the UK and US are exporting more – that’s the good news, but despite this the balance of trade deficit rose in April, on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the UK, the improving economic outlook in Europe led a 2.5% rise in exports across the channel. But despite this,...Read More

Posted Jun 12, 2006

Greenspan speaks up for hybrid cars

Alan Greenspan is in the news again – this time as an environmentalist

Yesterday, the former chairman of the Fed told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that: “Higher oil prices will inevitably move vehicle transportation to hybrids.”
But alas, Mr Greenspan has not nailed his colours to the anti global...Read More

Posted Jun 09, 2006

Rose in charity bonanza

When Philip Green and Stuart Rose were battling over Marks and Spencer, Mr Rose made a promise that some said was rash. At the time MS shares were languishing at around 350p, and Mr Green was offering 400p a share. In an effort to assure shareholders the company was worth...Read More

Posted Jun 09, 2006

Cable and Wireless has Bulldog put down

When Cable and Wireless first announced its Bulldog broadband service with what appeared to be blistering bandwidth speeds, for a short while it seemed as if the company was back.

With video on the net the next big application, we all need lots of bandwidth and Bulldog seemed to be...Read More

Posted Jun 09, 2006

Poker foursome reveals cards

Perhaps the secret to gambling is to ride your luck and bail out at the right time. And there’s no doubt that companies offering online poker have been seeing a lot of royal flushes of late. Take the market leader, PartyGaming. At the end of this month, the company would...Read More

Posted Jun 08, 2006

Interesting day for rates

The European Central Bank and Bank of England will each be holding their monthly meetings to set the rate of interest again today. The ECB is expected to up rates to 2.75%, – this will be the third hike in recent months, the rate being 2% last Autumn. It...Read More

Posted Jun 08, 2006

Good news from Japan: could force markets to rush for cover?

It’s funny how things happen. For years Japan was in disarray. Deflation, high unemployment, the economy of the rising sun seemed to be suffering from permanent sunset. And yet, despite the woe from the world’s number two economy, the global economy did all right.

Now at last things are changing. It...Read More

Posted Jun 30, 2006

Inflation expectations start to tell

In economics, sometimes it’s not what is actually happening that counts, it’s what you think is happening.

Take inflation. Six week ago we told how, according to the Bank of England, the typical UK consumer thinks inflation is 2.8%, whereas the CPI rate, as determined by the Office of National...Read More

Posted Jun 12, 2006

AOL price tag brings back memories of 1999

The press talked about AOL this weekend, and we thought: what an extraordinarily successful six weeks Carphone Warehouse has enjoyed.

AOL UK is up for sale. It boasts 1.3million broadband and 900,000 dialup customers. It is likely to be sold for around £600mn which is around £270 a customer....Read More

Posted Jun 12, 2006

Markets celebrate as the Fed offers the conundrum

Markets soared on a wing and a prayer yesterday, as the Dow put on over 200 points, enjoying its biggest daily rise for over a year, and yet the euphoria seemed to be a good deal more irrational than anything the dot com era could have thrown up.

A lot...Read More

Posted Jun 30, 2006

Price of oil to collapse says BP boss

Sometimes bubbles are a good thing. Take the price of raw material: a crash in the market involving a fall in prices to the level they were at two years ago, for example, would have the world celebrating save those who work in the industries concerned.

The current boom in...Read More

Posted Jun 12, 2006

The wooden horse is dead. BSkyB to offer Premiership Football on Freeview

Maybe football fans should be thanking the EU, or maybe this represents a dramatic change in BSkyB policy, but yesterday the company announced plans to slay the Trojan Horse that is TV coverage of Premiership Football, and offer the service over Freeview.

Football coverage has always been a key part of...Read More

Posted Jun 09, 2006

Don’t panic about markets, Mr Manwaring

Every time there’s a whiff of good news, markets panic. Meanwhile, the really worrying trends are practically ignored. We are gradually forming the view that we are in for a lot more turbulence in the months, maybe years ahead and that the recent sell off in shares is justified; it’s...Read More

Posted Jun 09, 2006

Peugeot sees £1mn ad strike

My how things have changed. There was a time when a dispute between management and unions would lead to a ‘downing of tools’. These days, it would appear the answer for the union leaders is a call to the advertising agency and a £1mn budget. At least that’s the weapon...Read More

Posted Jun 08, 2006

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