The front page of the FT today includes a report on the timetable for a Euro referendum drawn by the...
The front page of the FT today includes a report on the timetable for a Euro referendum drawn by the prime minister, Tony Blair, and chancellor, Gordon Brown yesterday. The prime minister and the chancellor have agreed that they want to hold a referendum next year if economic conditions are right.
Senior allies say that the prospects are currently in favour. If the autumn 2002 referendum goes through , euro notes will be introduced as early as January 2002. Mr Blair has, however, mentioned that if the economics are not right he will not be deterred by hostile opinion polls.
The referendum dates favoured in Downing Street is autumn 2002 with second choice spring 2003.
Ministers have refused to extend the Financial Services Authority's investigation into Equitable Life to cover the period between closing to new business last December and cutting the value of its pensions this month, the FT writes.
Opposition MPs were against the decision as they wanted to know what actions did the regulator take to assess the risk to policyholders after Equitable Life stopped taking new business.
Prudential sought to dispel fears that it would have to raise cash to fund its fast-growing Asian businesses by confidently increasing its interim dividend by 6.1%, reports the Times. The company's debts stood at about 1.5 billion and it would be able to borrow up to £500 million more without compromising its AAA rating.
Sir Richard Branson announced the sale of his 16 Megastore record shops in France to Lagardère, writes the Guardian. The £103 million deal hands the Virgin to the French media group, which will now brand its existing 21 Extrapole multimedia stores under the Virgin banner.
Branson said that, in the light of a recession approaching, he is expanding his core brands worldwide and would use the cash to develop his Virgin Mobile phone brand and the Megastore concept worldwide.
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