BANCO SANTANDER is thought to digging deeper into its pockets in a bid to head off a damaging bidding war for Abbey National, says this morning's Daily Telegraph.
Worries about counter-bids from UK banks could spark a lengthy inquiry by the Competition Commission so Santander is now prepared to increase its offer towards £9bn to try and counter any possibility, suggests the Telegraph.
This is in part because the share price climbed to 578p on Friday, way above Santander’s offer priced at 552p.
THE GUARDIAN reports Lloyds TSB is now expected to make its move as has just appointed financial advisers, as the price is still substantially less than the £19bn it was prepared to pay three years ago.
THE ISLAMIC BANK of Britain has finally been given approval by the FSA to go ahead and provide British Muslims with financial products which obey their religious beliefs, continues the Guardian.
From next month, the Islamic Bank of Britain will operate in line with Islamic sharia principles, which stipulate money must be invested ethically and that the giving or receiving of interest is forbidden.
The bank will not invest in businesses deemed to be unethical - such as tobacco, alcohol and pornography - and is opposed to the idea that money can be simply traded for money.
The bank’s activities will also be watched by a supervisory committee of Islamic scholars.
THE TIMES adds it will open its first branch on Edgware Road in London next month, before opening further branches in Birmingham and Leicester, as well as telephone banking and eventually an internet banking service in 2005.
The firm is then expected to float the company on the AIM within three months of launch, says the Times.
AND AEGON UK is said to be close to acquiring a stake in another IFA firm, says this weekend’s Scotsman, after pulling out of talks to buy Bradford & Bingley’s Charcol, Aitchison & Colegrave.
Announcement of the deal is expected to be unveiled later this week, at the same time as Aegon’s results update.IFAonline
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