Nasdaq signalled an end to its ambitions to take over the London Stock Exchange yesterday in a move widely seen as a precursor to a raised bid for OMX, the Nordic exchange that it is vying for with Dubai, The Times reports.
The American exchange, which failed to buy the LSE in March after a bitter takeover battle, said that it would sell its 31 per cent stake and use the £800m proceeds to buy back debt and shares. The move comes amid a wave of consolidation as exchange operators face increased competition, particularly in Europe, and follows Nasdaq’s agreed $3.7bn (£1.9bn) bid for OMX in May.
Nasdaq hopes that the share buyback will raise its share price and bolster its part-share bid for OMX in the face of a higher $4bn cash offer for the Nordic exchange from Borse Dubai.
MORTGAGE LENDING SOARED to a record high in July, despite a squeeze in the sub-prime end of the market. The Council of Mortgage Lenders said yesterday that borrowers were rushing to remortgage in a climate of rising interest rates, according to The Independent.
However, at least seven British sub-prime lenders have raised their interest rates or withdrawn products, according to Money Marketing magazine. Victoria Mortgages, GMAC-RFC, Unity Homeloans, Infinity Mortgages, Mortgages plc, Preferred and DB Mortgages (a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank) are affected. The "sub-prime" sector in the UK accounts for about 10% of home loans; its American counterpart has become infamously associated with the global financial crisis.
In Britain's mainstream home loans market, things seem much rosier, for now at least. The Council of Mortgage Lenders announced yesterday that gross mortgage lending reached a new record for the month of July, at £34.4bn, down by 1% on June, but 13% higher than in the same month last year.
TURMOIL ON THE WORLD'S financial markets threatens the long-term health of the public finances and requires a tougher approach to public spending from the government, a leading City firm warned last night, The Guardian reports.
Despite news of record tax receipts in July, John Hawksworth, chief economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said a slowdown in the City would choke off an important source of revenue for the Treasury at a time when the new chancellor, Alistair Darling, is finalising his pre-budget report and comprehensive spending review, due in autumn.
Official figures released yesterday showed the state finances had their best July on record, with the government in the black by £6.5bn. July, one of the four big months in the financial calendar for the collection of corporation tax, tends to be a surplus month. Last year's net borrowing repayment was £6.4bn.
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