Two Bear Stearn hedge funds filed for bankruptcy protection, while investors in a third fund managed by the Wall Street bank were barred from withdrawing their money amid concerns that the credit crisis is spreading to other parts of the economy, The Independent reports.
The bankruptcy filings headlined a raft of horrendous news for the $1.5trn (£740bn) global hedge fund industry and fanned fears of a profound global market correction that could reverberate into sectors far beyond America's sub-prime mortgage market, where the problems began.
For the second time in a week, the FTSE 100 index suffered a major one-day fall, shedding 110 points, or 1.7% of its value. Last week, the benchmark index had its biggest one-day drop in four years.
HOUSE PRICES ROSE at a faster pace in July than June, the Halifax says this morning, but the underlying pace of growth in the market was easing, according to The Guardian.
It said house prices rose 0.7% last month, up from 0.4% the month before and 0.2% in May.
The latest rise took the annual rate of increase up to 11.2% from 10.7% in June.
But Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis said the fact that this was the fourth consecutive month in which prices had grown at less than 1% was proof of slowdown in response to five interest rate rises over the past year.
MANAGEMENT AT PRUDENTIAL seemed to have silenced their critics yesterday when Britain’s second-largest insurer reported a 41.1% jump in pre-tax profits for the six months to June 30, The Times reports.
Profits at the company rose from £1.4bn in the first half of last year to just over £2bn, including a 12% rise in new business profit to £534m.
Mark Tucker, the chief executive, had been pressed by the City since last March to justify his decision to reject a £17bn approach from Aviva, a rival, for the company and to overhaul the struggling UK operations rather than sell it.
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'Illusion of control'
Reasons to be cheerful
Total investment reaches £9m
Medium to long-term capital growth