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Daily News Roundup: Tuesday, 27th March 2018

Posted: 27th March 2018


Cryan to be ousted by Deutsche Bank

Amid a growing boardroom row over its future, Deutsche Bank has begun a search to replace chief executive John Cryan less than two years into his tenure. Shares in the firm lost more than 10% of their value in the last week after it issued a profit warning days after a positive assessment in its annual report.

Credit card time-bomb of £30bn raises alarm

Figures have revealed that as much as £30bn is being spent on zero-interest credit cards, with James Daley of consumer group Fairer Finance commenting: “People who have built up debts on long zero-interest periods are going to find it incredibly painful when that ends and they start getting charged interests. There's a risk of a hard landing at the end of this with households finding themselves locked into paying high interest rates.”

UKFI chair says RBS sale could go ahead before settling multibillion-dollar fine

Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, James Leigh-Pemberton, chairman of UK Financial Investments, said he is confident of selling £3bn worth of RBS shares in the next financial year.

Starling Bank boss interviewed on fintech

The Telegraph's Harry de Quetteville interviews Starling Bank boss Anne Boden in connection with the emerging UK Fintech industry and the impact it could have on consumer banking.


Shore Capital profits surge

Shore Capital has announced that it almost doubled its profits in the last year after its asset management division performed well. The year to December saw profits rise to £4.6m, up from £2.4m in the previous year, with revenues up 6.3%. Asset management revenues increased to £12.9m, a 24% rise compared to 2016, while capital markets decreased by 3.9% to £27.2m.

3i Group sells Scandlines, completing debt refinance

Ferry operator Scandlines has been sold by 3i Group to infrastructure funds First State Investments and Hermes Investment Management, with 3i buying back a 35% stake. Scandlines’ equity value is €1.7bn (£1.49bn), according to 3i, which added that it made net cash proceeds of €347m from the deal.

Payments firm Small World sells for £90m

Equistone yesterday bought Small World Financial Services for approximately £90m from fellow private equity houses FPE Capital and MMC Ventures. Equistone's Andrew Backen commented: “Demand for cross-border payments is increasing due to macro-demographic trends, and Small World's high-quality customer proposition and scalable business model position it to achieve further organic and acquisitive growth”.


Pre-crisis bonus levels on Wall St with $31bn pool

With record fees from dealmaking and increased debt issuance, bonuses on Wall Street almost reached pre-crisis highs in 2017 at $31.4bn in total.


VW case ready to start

British motorists’ legal battle to win compensation from Volkswagen over the ‘dieselgate’ scandal will commence today. Lawyers who say they have signed up more than 50,000 VW owners between them have made a High Court application for a group litigation order as they try to start a class action against the carmaker. VW has insisted it did not break British laws and has called the instigation of legal proceedings “premature and unfounded.”

Uber’s international retreat goes on in Southeast Asia

Uber is to sell its Southeast Asian business to regional rival Grab, after also withdrawing from China and Russia in recent years. Uber will take a 27.5% stake in Grab and a seat on its board.


Financial services firms get Brexit relief, CBI says

Rain Newton-Smith, the Confederation of British Industry's chief economist, has said financial services firms now feel able "to put the pause button" on Brexit contingency plans after the transition arrangement was agreed. She told the BBC's Today programme that the CBI's latest survey had shown that, despite wavering confidence, growth had picked up, jobs were still being created amongst financial services firms, and profitability had strengthened.

Zurich can help secure City deal, says peer

The chair of a Lords committee scrutinising the impact of Brexit on the finance sector says London should team up with Zurich to push for a good deal for the City. Baroness Falkner told a City event the Swiss could prove a natural ally as Britain lobbies to maintain market access to the bloc.

FCA considers pension transfer payout ban

The FCA is considering banning financial advisers from taking incentives worth thousands of pounds when they persuade savers to move out of final-salary pension schemes. A two-month consultation paper announced yesterday by the regulator comes after a scathing report from a parliamentary committee, which warned that pension freedoms were being exploited by unscrupulous financial advisers. A ban on contingent charging was demanded by MPs last month.


GKN’s white-knight offer helps fend off Melrose

GKN’s American white-knight suitor Dana, which wants to buy the engineer’s car shaft business Driveline for $6.1bn (£4.4bn), pledged a £100m sweetener on Monday to potentially help sway shareholders to reject Melrose’s £8bn offer. Separately, the Standard's Jim Armitage challenges those blaming hedge funds for selling out GKN. "How do you think they got the shares in the first place?" he asks. Elsewhere, the FT's Lex column argues in favour of GKN shareholders accepting Melrose's bid.


Twitter moves to ban cryptocurrency adverts

Twitter will this week launch a new policy to prohibit the advertising of token sales/initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto wallet services. The move follows other social media platforms like Facebook and Google which have already banned cryptocurrency ads as tech groups respond to pressure to protect consumers.


Number of mortgage approvals for house purchase dips

The number of mortgage approvals being made to homebuyers dipped in February according to high street banks, as economists said 2018 was shaping up to be a difficult year for the housing market. Some 38,120 home loans got the go-ahead, compared with 40,031 in January, according to figures from trade association UK Finance.

Axel Springer moves in on estate agent Purplebricks

Axel Springer has bought a £125m stake in Purplebricks, as the online-only estate agent seeks to speed up its overseas expansion. Michael Bruce, Purplebricks chief executive, commented: “The strategic partnership with Axel Springer is groundbreaking and will propel Purplebricks further towards our strategic goals and global ambition.”

London house prices fall despite rises in rest of country

Nearly 50% of all London postcodes have seen house prices fall, new figures suggest, indicating the most widespread decline in values across the city since the financial crisis of 2008. Cities including Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester, however, are seeing house price growth of more than 7% a year.


JD Sports buys US sports firm Finish Line

JD Sports has bought Finish Line for £396m, with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley standing to make nearly £40m as part-owner of the US chain. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, commented: “It immediately offers a major presence in the US, a clear next-step to further increase our global scale.”


UK set to be left behind by European productivity revival

Britains productivity growth rate is expected to rise to 0.8% in 2018, although this is expected to lag behind the eurozone, where labour productivity growth is forecast to increase 1.1%.


IMF boss backs French calls for closer integration in eurozone

Christine Lagarde of the IMF has supported plans for a more economically integrated currency union. A speech and document from the organisation state that closer economic integration in the eurozone was a fundamental component of protecting the European Union from future global downturns.

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