Pearl Assurance, the closed-life business, has been given the green light to buy a further 3.5% holding in Resolution Group as it prepares to launch a bid for its rival, reports The Telegraph.
Pearl said yesterday the Financial Services Authority had approved its purchase of a 16.5% stake in Resolution Group, which it made from April to July, and would allow it to lift its holding in the company to 20% should it wish to.
“Pearl confirms that the FSA has duly given this approval,” Pearl said, adding that it was also permitted “to become a controller of between 10% and 20% of Resolution's share capital”.
News that Pearl, in which pizza-to-pubs entrepreneur Hugh Osmond's private capital group has a substantial stake, could purchase more shares, helped lift Resolution 13½ to 633½p on mounting speculation that Pearl will launch an offer for its rival.
GORDON BROWN CALLED on the City yesterday to publish more information about the risky financial instruments that lie behind the credit crunch, The Times reports.
As a second British bank revealed its exposure to the US sub-prime crisis, the Prime Minister said that he would support international calls for greater transparency.
His remarks came as the German Finance Minister said that he believed the turmoil in interbank lending would force Britain to toughen its approach to hedge funds.
Peer Steinbrück, who has put his hopes of regulating hedge funds high on the agenda of Germany’s G8 presidency, said: “I could envisage that the initially rather hesitant attitude of the USA and Great Britain could still change before our next meeting, in the light of the current crisis.”
A FREEZE ON corporate lending following the US housing slump has pushed takeover activity to a two-year low in Europe and the US, according to figures yesterday, according to The Guardian.
Major deals were down by two thirds in August on the same month last year leaving a £210bn backlog of debt-heavy buyouts, many of them sponsored by private equity firms, waiting for support from leading banks.
Only one deal in August was worth more than £2.5bn compared to 27 in May, according to a monthly snapshot by data provider Thomson Financial.
HOUSING IN BRITAIN has rarely been less affordable than it is today, according to the latest intelligence from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, The Independent reports.
A combination of still-rising property prices, rising interest rates and taxes, and higher household bills have conspired to push more and more people out of range of a home of their own.
The Rics reported that property is now more than three times less affordable for first-time buyers than it was in 1996, when getting on to the property ladder was the easiest in recent decades.
A first-time-buyer couple with a combined annual take-home pay of £25,899 would now have to save up the equivalent of 96% of their annual post-tax earnings, or £25,600, to pay for a deposit and stamp duty on the typical home.
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