Barclays has been dealt a serious blow in its campaign to clinch a £96 billion merger with ABN Amro, when a Dutch judge froze a pivotal "poison pill" side deal, reports The Times.
The rival approach for the Dutch bank by a Royal Bank of Scotland-led consortium was boosted after the Dutch commercial court temporarily blocked ABN’s planned $21 billion sale of LaSalle, its US offshoot, to Bank of America.
RBS and its consortium partners, Banco Santander and Fortis, were last night debating whether to take advantage of the favourable judgment to launch an immediate bid for ABN and/or LaSalle. It is thought that Sir Fred Goodwin, the RBS chief executive, could meet ABN’s chairman, Arthur Martinez, as early as today.
ABN shares rose 2 per cent to €36.60 after the ruling on speculation that the consortium would bid €39 a share or €72 billion (£49 billion) in cash and RBS shares within days, trumping the €64 billion all-paper offer from Barclays. The Barclays deal is conditional on the LaSalle sale going through.
CONSUMERS ARE BEING tricked into buying expensive payment protection insurance (PPI) when taking out a personal loan over the phone or on the internet, reports The Guardian.
Consumer group Which? said people are at risk of unknowingly purchasing unnecessary or unsuitable insurance as a result of some providers adding PPI as a matter of course during the sales process.
Researchers applying for a loan with a number of firms found that more than half the quotes received by telephone automatically included PPI, while online sales revealed similar outcomes.
THE HIGHEST INFLATION for a decade is hitting the economy's dominant services sector, a survey revealed yesterday, reports The Independent.
The latest snapshot of the sector from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) - which covers everything from accountancy to hairdressing, but excludes retailing - showed the weakest growth for seven months in April. However, the Bank of England, which is widely expected to raise interest rates next week, will be encouraged by news that price pressures in the sector eased to their weakest this year.
The survey's headline business activity index registered 57.2, down from 57.6 in March and the lowest reading since September. It was, however, still well above the 50 "no change" level. While growth remained strong in the IT and business services sectors, rates of expansion were weaker in hotels and restaurants and personal services.
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