FSA action to beef up the financial stability of Standard Life forced the company to sell some £7.5bn worth of equities a year ago that would have brought a profit of £800m to with-profits policyholders because of stock market gains, The Scotsman writes.
The calculation excludes dividend reinvestments, and is based on the reduction in equities as a proportion of the with-profits fund to the current 35% from the previous 59%.
”Ironically, investors who stayed with a straightforward UK equity fund over the last year would be showing a big gain. Even if they opted for a standard FTSE100 tracker fund, they would now be showing a gain of some 10 per cent, or upwards of 13 per cent with dividend income re-invested,” the paper adds.
Unfortunately, with the company looking to demutualise it is hardly in a position to launch any legal action against the FSA over the enforced asset allocation that cost its customers so dearly, The Scotsman says, although this might not stop policyholder groups from doing so.
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK has pledged to remain in the UK despite ongoing issues, such as a predicted earnings fall in that market this year, the FT writes.
This means Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks will remain in the NAB stable for now, with the company citing opportunities for smaller banks given the scale of the entire UK market.
NAB withdrew from the Irish market recently through a £967m deal involving Denmark’s Danske bank, but is here expected to increase its high street branch presence.
A ROW OVER SPLITS has erupted between institutional and retail holders of zero dividend preference shares in the Edinburgh High Income split capital investment trust, which is to be merged with Income and Value once it reaches term on 31 May.
The Daily Telegraph says retail shareholders object to the planned merger because it pushes the maturity date on zeros into the next fiscal year.
The action again raises questions over all splits, the paper says, because they are mostly bought precisely because of the investor’s ability to predict when payouts will occur in relation to capital gains tax allowances.
OFFICE RENTS IN LONDON have soared by 16% in the past year, sending the cost of doing business there up significantly, reports The Times
That rate of rental price growth was more than twice the second biggest climber in the EU, Brussels, which recorded a rise of 7.3%, according to figures from property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle.
The amount of office space taken up in London last year – more than 1m square meters – was the highest since 2001, the paper adds.IFAonline
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