Stock Markets

1 DOW 18,169.27
-53.76 (-0.30%)    
2 NASDAQ 5,283.40
-26.43 (-0.50%)    
Bonus crackdown plan 'dangerous' PDF Print E-mail
Sir George Mathewson
Sir George voiced concerns about the government's plans

Interfering with bankers' contracts is a "dangerous route to go down", a former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland has told the BBC.

Sir George Mathewson said that he thought the Financial Services Authority (FSA) already had enough powers to regulate bonuses.

The government plans to give the FSA the power to cancel any pay deals which appear to reward undue risk-taking.

But Sir George said he feared the move would interfere with the rule of law.


"Interfering with contracts that have been reached between willing participants is a somewhat dangerous route to go down," Sir George said.

"I also think the FSA has enough tools already in order to ensure bonus systems which could be said to threaten the [overall financial] system should not exist."

US health firms in European deals PDF Print E-mail
Bottle of pills
Both firms say they are boosting their medicine portfolios

US healthcare firms Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson have both announced European investments worth a combined 4.8bn euros ($7bn; £4.4bn).

Abbott is buying the drugs unit of Belgian pharmaceutical and chemical group Solvay for 4.5bn euros.

While Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is purchasing an 18% stake in Dutch biotech firm Crucell for 302m euros.

Abbott's shares ended up 2.5% following its announcement, while those in J&J finished the day up 1.1%.

More takeovers

J&J said it would now be working with Crucell to develop a new flu vaccine, while Abbott said it would be taking control of Solvay's cholesterol treatments.

The news comes on the same day that US photocopier giant Xerox said it was buying fellow American company Affiliated Computer Services (ACS).

The announcements suggest takeover activity is returning to the global business arena as the worldwide economy recovers.

Xerox is paying $6.4bn for ACS, a data management and business processing firm.SOURCE

Scrappage scheme to be extended PDF Print E-mail

Mandelson pledges support for car industry

The UK's car scrappage scheme is to be extended, Lord Mandelson has announced.

He said the scheme, which started in May and gives consumers £2,000 off a new car if they trade in one at least 10 years old, was running out of money.

The business secretary broke the news, called for by the car industry, in his speech to the Labour Party conference.

He said "we cannot do everything but that does not mean doing nothing" and said the scheme would be extended to cover 100,000 more cars and vans.

The £300m initiative had been due to end in February, or when the limit of 300,000 vehicles being scrapped was reached.

So far 227,750 orders have been placed through the scheme - which at a cost to the government of £1,000 per car means £227m has been spent. The extension means a total £400m will have been committed to the scheme, which will still end in February at the latest.

Other modifications to the scheme will see the age qualification changed by six months to any car registered before 29 February 2000, and cut the minimum age of vans being scrapped from 10 years to eight years.


Wolseley shares defy annual loss PDF Print E-mail
Plumb Centre, one of Wolseley's businesses

Shares in building materials group Wolseley have surged, despite the firm reporting an annual loss because of the continuing woes in the housing market.

The company reported a pre-tax loss for the year to 31 July of £766m ($1.2bn), compared with a profit of £399m in the same period last year.

But excluding several one-off charges, the company made more money than analysts had expected.

Its shares ended Monday trading up 11.2% or 146 pence to 1455p.

Wolseley made a trading profit of £447m, down 43% from a year ago, compared with analysts' estimates of about £416m.


The construction industry has been one of the hardest hit by the recession.

"Market conditions will remain challenging driven by tight credit conditions, high levels of foreclosures and rising unemployment," it said.

The company said that it would not pay a final dividend "in light of adverse market conditions".

In May, it said it had cut 14,000 jobs worldwide in order to cut costs, and in June its chief executive, Chip Hornsby, left the firm.

The company has also raised £1bn by issuing new shares in a rights issue this year.

Wolseley owns Plumb Center and Build Center in the UK.SOURCE

Page 10 of 10
logo footer   Designed by Trought - All Rights Reserved