THE CONFEDERATION of British Industry is in emergency talks with the National Association of Pension...
THE CONFEDERATION of British Industry is in emergency talks with the National Association of Pension Funds and other pensions groups to avert a winter of discontent brought on by the demise of final salary schemes across many industries.
The FT says the move comes as trades unions threaten to strike over the issue of final salary schemes being shut, while the government continues to oppose including pensions in defined benefits under collective bargaining.
The CBI could see its members face a wave of strikes by employees who are members of big unions such as Amicus and Usdaw, the paper adds.
One solution being discussed is multi-employer contributions, whereby similar employers establish a single, common pension fund for all their employees.
FRIENDS PROVIDENT has abandoned its planned £800m bond sale, according to The Times, which says the market is rapidly withdrawing its support for debt issued by insurance companies.
Meetings with banks such as HSBC and Barclays have suggested there is not enough interest in the market to sell new FP bonds at a price that reflects its AA credit rating status.
Average yields on insurers' debt is running at twice or more the average of bond indices for AAA, AA, etc., debt, which means borrowing the money will cost insurers twice as much or more than it would other blue-chip companies at present.
LONDON'S COMMERCIAL PROPERTY market is in danger of going bust according to a new report into the sector by fund manager Olim, run by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott.
Olim says that banks, building societies and private investors are putting too much money into property because of ongoing poor yields from equities, but because so much money is flooding in risk is now outstripping potential reward.
Surveyors report a considerable amount of the £2.5bn invested in City and West End property so far this year has come from large family trusts and wealthy individuals from places such as Ireland and the Middle East.
INFLATION THREATENS according to reports that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, is not going to increase output despite the current high price per barrel of oil.
The Daily Telegraph says that the organisation blames this year's $8 per barrel increase in the price on speculation about war with Iraq rather than a fundamental increase in demand, and that when the threat of war is over, for whatever reason, the price will fall back.
The US, Europe, Japan and many other countries have criticised OPEC's decision.
BONUS PAYMENTS ARE to be cut by Standard Life according to a statement from the company yesterday reported in today's The Scotsman.
This brings to life fears expressed by industry watchers, including Ned Cazalet, who for some months now have been warning about the levels of reserves at the mutual.
The move will come "as a shock" The Scotsman says, particularly for those savers who last year fled to SL as problems grew at other companies.
The company raised £1bn through a bond issue three months ago, and despite stating that it will not sell off assets now, there are doubts cutting bonuses will be enough to ensure the sorts of reserves needed to underwrite new business.
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