FIRMS INVOLVED IN the split capital investment trust scandal have been told by the FSA that their bank accounts may be frozen as the regulator seeks to impose a resolution to the issue.
The Scotsman writes that Exeter Fund Mangers, one of the 21 firms embroiled in the FSA’s investigation, has been told it cannot distribute to its shareholders the £310m it received from the sale of its unit trusts to New Star Asset Management last year.
The FSA has refused to confirm whether a similar letter has been sent to Aberdeen Asset Management, another firm that sold unit trusts in the wake of the scandal, although it is known that AAM chief executive Martin Gilbert had a meeting with FSA chief executive John Tiner last Friday, the paper adds.
A note from the auditors of BFS, another splits provider, in its most recent accounts notes “that there remains ‘fundamental uncertainty’ over the future of the firm, because of the potential impact of the splits inquiry on the company,” The Scotsman writes.
THE GOVERNMENT LOOKS set to force homeowners who leave properties unoccupied for longer periods to put them on the rental market, the FT reports.
About half the more than 700,000 empty properties in the UK are left so for more than six months, while some are left unoccupied for up to 30 years, the paper writes.
Under the new rules, councils would be given automatic right to take over the running of properties without owners’ consent, if owners without good reason refused offers of grants to repair and rent out the properties. Ownership would revert once repair costs were paid by the owners, the paper adds.
UK FIRMS ARE shunning listings in New York because of the cost of obtaining insurance covering documents such as prospectuses, as well as statements by directors, The Daily Telegraph writes.
A recent example is re-insurance broker Benfield Group, which decided against a US listing last year because of the additional insurance costs involved, and the more litigious nature of US shareholders.
The cost of such insurance is now twice as high for a US listing, including American Depositary Receipts, ADRs, the Telegraph says.IFAonline
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