Parliament has threatened to re-open investigations into Equitable Life unless the Treasury Select C...
Parliament has threatened to re-open investigations into Equitable Life unless the Treasury Select Committee gets satisfactory answers to letters sent to the Treasury and Lord Penrose, who is heading up an investigation into the company on behalf of the Treasury.
The Daily Telegraph says that the select committee is becoming increasingly concerned over "slippage" to the timetable for publication of the Penrose inquire, which was the reason it suspended its own investigations in the first place.
News that Penrose is delaying publication for another six months is spurring on committee members who believe it cannot be fair to delay while Equitable Life teeters on the edge.
ABERDEEN ASSET Management is news north of the border, as The Scotsman predicts the troubled firm will announce a 20% fall in pre-tax profit to £40m when its results come out today.
The dividend is likely to be cut in half, although there are plenty of voices calling for it to be scrapped completely in view of the mess facing the company's split capital investment trust business.
One way out is to sell off its property business, and an announcement on this is also expected today, the paper adds.
ROYAL & SUN Alliance's loss is Berkshire Hathaway's gain according to today's FT, which reports that Warren Buffet is taking a 40% stake in the world's biggest airline insurance underwriter.
R&SA is getting out in order to "reduce the risk" to its balance sheet, but many predict 2003 will be a bumper year for airline insurers who have been able to sharply increase premiums without facing an equally sharp need to pay out against incidents.
INSURERS IN the US, including UK firms, are burning the midnight oil trying to work out how to deal with the increased costs associated with new legislation passed by Congress last week, which mandates cover for acts of terrorism. The Daily Telegraph says.
The new law is supposed to get rid of the problem of a growing number of construction projects being put on hold because of lack of suitable insurance policies.
The Telegraph says insurers also face the fact that the new law is retroactive, so that any contracts previously containing terrorism exclusion clauses must now be re-negotiated.
A MASSIVE stitch-up by France and German on the future of EU taxation is feared by Whitehall ahead of the publication next year of a convention on the future of Europe - headed by former French president Valerie Giscard d'Estaing.
The FT says French and German diplomats are thrashing out a new common position that would see power to set tax rates, especially corporate tax rates, reside in Brussels, not in national capitals.
A lot of businesses are currently attracted to lower rates offered by existing EU members such as Ireland, and waiting members such as Estonia.
TROUBLED INSURER Pearl is set to cut 1,000 jobs this week according to The Times, which says AMP's struggling UK businesses are going to push the Australian giant into the red this year due to writedown costs.
The company is also preparing to scale back its other UK ventures and slow down its long-term expansion plans for the market here, the paper says.
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