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Daily News Roundup: Tuesday 6th March 2018

Posted: 6th March 2018


Ex-Deutsche Bank trader fined for attempting to rig Libor

The Financial Conduct Authority has banned and fined former Deutsche Bank trader Guillaume Adolph £180,000 for attempting to manipulate the Libor rate to benefit his own trading positions. Mark Steward, the FCA's director of enforcement, said he had “improperly influenced” several of Deutsche Bank's Libor submissions which in turn “threatened the integrity of important benchmarks”.

Loan warning over true costs

Research by online broker Trussle suggests that chasing the lowest mortgage rates could cost up to £650 when fees and charges are taken into account. Ishaan Malhi of Trussle believes home loans should be displayed in terms of “true cost” to the consumer rather than in order of cheapest rates. “Borrowers shouldn’t be blinded by cheap rates,” he commented.

L&G expands mortgage pilot

Legal & General is expanding the pilot of a mortgage allowing equity-rich elderly people to stay in their homes for longer in good living conditions. L&G’s property refurbishment lifetime mortgage is secured against the customer's home and used to fund essential repairs and refurbishment that will bring the property up to the Government's decent homes standards.

Rise in mobile and wearable payments

Data from Barclaycard shows that mobile and wearable payments are rapidly increasing, with the amount spent increasing by 365% and 129% respectively in just 12 months. Barclaycard said contactless payments across credit and debit cards saw continued momentum in 2017, with an overall 79% jump in spend.

Bank of England to increase Islamic finance support

The Bank of England is to roll out a sharia-compliant liquidity tool to a wider range of financial institutions to boost demand. The Bank has been working on a fund-based deposit model that would help lenders, beyond Islamic banks, meet regulatory requirements for liquid asset buffers.


NorthEdge tripled investment in Apple reseller

Jigsaw24, the UK's “largest Apple reseller”, grew sales by more than 120% under private equity owner NorthEdge's five-year hold, reaching £125m of sales in the year to May 2017. The business, which also provides IT and consultancy services, has now been sold by NorthEdge to fellow private equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners.

Blackstone founder America’s best-paid boss

Stephen Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone, is on course to be America's best-paid boss this year after receiving £570m.


Shadow banking grows to more than $45tn assets globally

The “shadow banking” industry has grown to over $45tn, according to the Financial Stability Board, after the inclusion of detailed data from China and Luxembourg for the first time.

Amazon in talks to offer bank accounts

Amazon is reportedly in talks with JPMorgan Chase about a partnership that would offer the e-commerce group’s customers bank accounts with America’s biggest bank.

Qatar Central Bank mulls three-way merger

Qatar Central Bank is understood to be evaluating legal, financial and technical information related to a three-way bank merger that is expected to create the country's second largest lender.

Ukraine to keep forex sales requirements at 50%

Ukraine has said it will maintain for now a requirement for firms to sell 50% of their foreign currency income due to delays in loans expected from the IMF and lower than forecast forex reserves.

Swiss central bank earned SFr2.02bn from negative rates in 2017

Switzerland's central bank has announced that it earned SFr2.02bn ($2.16bn) from negative interest rates it charged commercial banks during 2017.

Goldman creates new commodities finance team

Goldman Sachs is creating a new commodities finance team that will move staff from the securities division into the investment banking division.

Italian banks hit by election result

The FTSE Italia All-Share Banks index dropped 2.6% yesterday, after an election result that saw the country's anti-establishment parties make significant gains.


Car sales down again

New UK car registrations were down 2.8% in February from a year earlier, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which said sales totalled 80,805 last month. Demand for diesels fell by 23.5%, while sales of petrol cars rose 14.4%. Sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose 7.2% year-on-year, driven by some new, smaller models coming on the market.


Airbus to stockpile parts ahead of Brexit

Airbus, one of the largest UK manufacturing employers, has warned it may have to stockpile parts to operate smoothly once the UK leaves the EU. Katherine Bennett, senior vice-president for Airbus UK, explained: “We spend £5bn a year on the UK supply chain... it is really important the parts don't get held up in warehouses.”


PM prompts housebuilders to “do their duty”

The Prime Minister has launched a draft policy on planning laws to try to ease Britain's housing shortage - urging homebuilders to build new houses faster to meet demand. Speaking at the National Planning Conference in London, Theresa May scolded property developers - saying their bonus structures “prioritise profit over the construction of affordable homes”

Bovis boss snaps up shares

Bovis chief executive Greg Fitzgerald has bought nearly £95,000 of shares in the housebuilder. Mr Fitzgerald has bought 8,253 shares at £11.44 each, adding to the £2m he bought in June 2017.


Open banking 'great news' for fintech

Mark Curran, director of payments and open banking at CYBG, champions open banking as “great news” for fintechs and other technology firms. “Data is the fuel that will power their technology engines and open banking could be the tipping point they have been promising their investors and potential customers,” he says. “As sceptics become believers and excitement about the possibilities begins to outweigh security concerns, there will be room for all of us in the latest banking revolution,” he concludes.

Hermes reveals gender pay gap

Hermes Investment Management has become one of the first companies in the financial services sector to publish its gender pay gap. The fund manager said that among full-time employees, the mean gender pay gap is 30.2% and the median gap is 24.4%. The difference between the mean bonus paid to male and female relevant employees is 63.1%.

AXA buy is latest insurance mega-deal

AXA has moved to buy Bermuda-based XL Group for $15.3bn. AXA said the move would result in property and casualty insurance rising to half of AXA's earnings, up from 39% at present.

Global investors shun UK stock market

A survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch has revealed that the UK stock market is the most unpopular asset class in the world among big international investors.


GVC to buy leading Georgian betting group

GVC Holdings is to acquire Crystalbet as part of the online betting group’s shift in strategy towards regulated gambling markets. Separately, Alex Gersh, CFO of Paddy Power Betfair, is to step down from the role once his successor is appointed. Mr Gersh’s departure follows that of Cormac Barry, head of the company's Australian business, in January and marketing boss Johnny Devitt last month.


Trinity Mirror changes name

Daily Mirror publisher Trinity Mirror is to change its name to Reach after completing a deal to buy the Daily Express, which owns the Express and Daily Star among others, for £126.7m. The name change comes as the company reported a 12.6% drop in group revenues to £623m last year.


Punch Taverns co-founder backs Interserve

Alan McIntosh, the Punch Taverns co-founder behind Emerald Investment Partners, has spent tens of millions of pounds buying Interserve's debt to back a refinancing of the outsourcing firm.


Retail sales edge up in February

Figures from the British Retail Consortium show retail sales increased 0.6% in February on a like-for-like basis, compared with the same time last year, when they decreased by 0.4%. Total sales rose by 1.6% in February, up on growth of 0.4% last year. The grocery sector continued to perform well, with like-for-like food sales in the three months to February rising by 2.8% and total sales gaining 4%. This is the highest growth since October 2012.

Tesco completes £4bn Booker takeover

Tesco has completed the £4bn takeover of wholesale group Booker, the companies announced on Monday, through a scheme of arrangement that received court approval on Friday. Last Wednesday, the deal was backed by both groups of shareholders, having been given the regulatory green light in December.


Strong services figures put rate hike 'in play'

The services sector is now the fastest growing part of the UK economy, according to IHS Markit's PMI, which said the rise was down to stronger job creation across the service economy and new business rising to its highest since May 2017.

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