It was an extremely busy day yesterday in the financial services industry, judging by the number ...
It was an extremely busy day yesterday in the financial services industry, judging by the number of key stories in the national newspapers.
NASDAQ is plotting its next attempt to make waves in Europe, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The move comes after the electronic US stock market, best known for internet and technology shares, sold a slug of its European arm to 10 large banks and fund managers.
The company bought a 58pc stake in Easdaq, the struggling Brussels-based stock exchange, in March and has now sold a 10pc stake in Nasdaq Europe. A second round of funding will follow later this year.
Nasdaq would not say who the investors were or how much they paid, but more news is expected within three weeks. The announcement is said to have dealt a blow to any possible alliance with the London Stock Exchange, according to the Telegraph.
BT has again taken a battering in this morning's press. The company has asked its private shareholders, who are represented in almost one in 13 UK households, to stump up more than £1 billion to help the group get its finances in order.
The average private investor holding in BT is 480 shares, worth £2,534 at yesterday's closing price of 528p per share. Under the rights issue, someone with 480 shares will be given the "right" to take up 144 more shares, on the formula of three new shares for every 10 already held.
Predictions of a slump in Britain's manufacturing sector are reported in The Guardian.
Official figures showed the sector shrank by 0.7% in the first quarter of the year. The fall in output was the sharpest quarter-on-quarter decline recorded since February 1999, according to figures published by the office for national statistics. The mobile phone industry and textiles and clothing firms were among the hardest hit.
In insurance news, the FT reports that American General, US life assurer, is expected to announce it has broken its agreement to merge with Prudential of the UK and will instead accept a higher offer from AIG, the world's most valuable insurer.
GE Capital, the financial arm of US conglomerate General Electric, and the UK arm of Aegon, the Netherlands-based insurer, have both expressed an interest in buying the British life assurance business of Royal & Sun Alliance, which could be worth about £1.8bn.
Speculation of another take over bid, this time involving National Australia Bank and the acquisition of Britain's Bradford and Bingley, is reported in The Guardian.
Barclays Stockbrokers has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £40,000 costs after an investigation by the Securities and Futures Authority found that the firm failed to maintain client accounts adequately over a two-year period.
The fine relates to the reconciliation of client accounts between July 1996 and November 1998, when five of the UK's building societies floated on the stockmarket, the Times reports.
Commerzbank, Germany's third largest bank, yesterday also reported a 50 per cent fall in first-quarter profits, while Bank of Ireland profits soared by more than 18 per cent last year, reports The Times.
The same paper picks up on a story that more than one third of the top 150 European Internet companies made a profit during the final quarter of last year, according to the latest survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Fletcher Advisory, the consultancy firms.
All the papers also covered the significant tax cuts promised in the Conservative Party's manifesto launched yesterday (full details of the Conservative manifesto to follow on IFAonline).
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
Q2 net sales dropped almost 50%
‘Important to have an anchor’
Lack of innovation for solutions