PRUDENTIAL and Lloyds TSB are said to be "miles apart" over the price for Scottish Widows after the ...
PRUDENTIAL and Lloyds TSB are said to be "miles apart" over the price for Scottish Widows after the two companies held informal discussions over the potential sale of the Lloyds TSB's life insurance arm, writes the Telegraph.
It was the Scotsman newspaper which yesterday broke the story, but City sources say that several different groups have been approached over a possible deal, albeit discussions with Pru have so far been the most serious.
But chances of a deal being done anytime soon are "vanishingly small", writes the paper, as Pru could not reach a price acceptable to Lloyds, which is thought to have wanted at least £5bn.
Both companies yesterday refused to make any comments.
WHILE THE two firms are fighting their battle, Chancellor Gordon Brown suffers another blow as investment in British businesses dropped by £300m in the last quarter.
Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics show that total business investment in the three months to the end of June plunged to the lowest level for five years, writes the Scotsman.
This comes as investment was down 1,1% on the first quarter to just £26.75bn - a 11% plunge compared to the peak in late 2000. Worst was manufacturing investment that dropped 10% in three months.
The chancellor will hardly be happy with this result as he has built his public finances on the presumption that total investment will grow 4.5% in 2003 - an impossible expectation says economists in light of latest figures.
IN THE MEANTIME consumer groups fear that pensioners are not being given proper advice when it comes to equity-release plans, the Times reports.
This comes after figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that the amount of money borrowed through such schemes more than doubled in the first six months of the year.
Nearly 12,000 plans were sold between January and June, compared to 5,900 last time the survey was made.
CML's result also shows that total borrowing by elderly people through equity release schemes stands at £2.3bn.
This massive jump in popularity has made groups such as the National Consumer Council and the Consumers' Association ring the bell of fear that many elderly are not being given adequate advice regarding the nature of an equity-release mortgage.
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