American bankers are on the verge of earning less from initial public offerings than those in Europe for the first time since the Second World War, reports The Times.
The historic earnings gap between the two markets is now barely perceptible: more than $1.1 billion (£555 million) in fees from IPOs in Europe so far this year, compared with about $1.4 billion from initial public offerings on American stock exchanges, research by Bloomberg has revealed.
In 2002, investment banks earned five times as much taking companies public in the United States as they did in Europe.
Bankers in Europe are profiting from a rush of flotations by Russian banks and natural resources companies from Central Asia. The deluge is almost certain to continue this year as companies line up to sell shares in buoyant equity markets.
Britain's biggest banks will this week tell debt management companies to accept a 40 per cent cut in their fees or face the prospect of lenders refusing to agree individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), reports The Independent.
The British Bankers' Association (BBA) is to meet representatives of the debt management industry at a summit in London on Thursday after months of rising anger over the cost of IVAs. Banks, credit card companies and other lenders plan to mount a united front on the arrangements, which enable borrowers who fall behind with debt repayments to escape full-scale bankruptcy.
A spokesman for the BBA said: "We have held a series of working parties working on proposals for a code of conduct for IVA providers and we now want to pull this work together."
Markets across Asia and Europe fell today after the Chinese government tripled the tax on share transactions, in an attempt to subdue its surging stock market, reports The Guardian.
The benchmark Shanghai composite index fell by nearly 7% in afternoon trading in China to 4,028. This sparked a decline in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng index lost 1.25%. Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.5%.
In London, the FTSE 100 opened more than 50 points lower at 6,556, a fall of 0.5%, while Germany's DAX index dropped 0.8% in morning trading.
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