RUMOURS yesterday that a life office was selling shares blind in order to meet solvency rules was ju...
RUMOURS yesterday that a life office was selling shares blind in order to meet solvency rules was just one of the reasons the market fell below the 3,300 level in one of its biggest one-day losses of the past year, the FT says.
Meanwhile, Germany's stock market losses since the peak in 2000 hit 73%, the same amount lost in the great Crash of 1929, and indicative of the problems facing equity investors in London.
The stock market's dividend yield is now above gilts for the first time since 1957, the paper adds.
Yesterday the FSA wrote to some 250 life offices encouraging them to take up its offer of a waiver to the solvency rules if the regulator feels confident about their ability to withstand further stock market falls.
THE MARKET'S troubles are undoubtedly the result of poor economic management by chancelor Gordon Brown and the threat from backbenchers to the government because of the way it has handled the Iraq crisis, says The Daily Telegraph.
It says a major cause of yesterday's falls was the feeling among traders that "the machinations of the French, Germans and Russians at the United Nations" is leaving the UK government looking weak and divided from other G7 countries, precisely when economic cooperation may be needed to help boost growth.
"I believe it will take 20 years before equity prices surpass the peak seen in March 2000," the paper quotes Hugh Hendry, fund manager at Odey Asset Management.
THE SCOTSMAN carries some slightly less dramatic quotes of people mainly blaming the basic lack of buyers for the fall in prices, and predictions that until there are more buyers than sellers prices are likely to keep heading south.
"There's not mass panic, just waiting. Everybody's using the war as a justification for buying nothing," the paper quotes an un-named trader.
Stocks are cheap, the paper adds, but until confidence returns things are likely to stay grim.
BIG TROUBLE is brewing for AMP, which yesterday offered A$2.1m to former chief executive Paul Batchelor for terminating his contract early in September.
Batchelor wants A$20m, the FT says, and AMP is now daring him to sue for the remainder.
"If he believes he is entitled to any additional payments, he is free to take legal action," the paper quotes AMP chairman Peter Willcox.
The company lost close to A$1bn last year because of writedowns associated with business disasters such as Pearl in the UK, and its market value has slumped by A$15bn in the same period.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till