Jobs data, China growth and Luxembourg vs London: Today's top City headlines

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Police have arrested the London boss of housebuilder Barratt Developments over an alleged cash-for-contracts scandal. Alastair Baird, 52, a near-30-year veteran of the business, was detained alongside an unnamed former Barratt employee.

Traders bet that the Bank of England will back away from another interest rate cut as figures showed the UK jobs market weathering the Brexit storm.

China’s GDP grew 6.7% in the third quarter keeping Beijing on track for its full-year growth target.

Senior figures tied to RBS may be called to give evidence in the High Court next year over allegations they knew Libor was rigged in the run-up to the global financial crisis.

The head of financial development for Luxembourg said a string of overseas banks and fund managers had explored moving London staff to the tiny country since the Brexit vote.

Travis Perkins, Britain’s biggest builders’ merchant, has shocked the City as it shut 30 branches, put 600 jobs at risk and warned on profits.

Foxtons has warned that sales have collapsed by a third in the past three months as the London property market flounders in its post-referendum malaise.

Insurers felt “a sense of relief” today after the government pulled the plug on a controversial plan to create a market for pensioners to sell their annuities.

Making its goodies on home turf will help Hotel Chocolat ride out the pound’s plunge, its co-founder said today as he revealed better-than-expected full-year figures.

Morgan Stanley’s quarterly profit and revenue beat expectations thanks to a jump in bond trading following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

A US settlement over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal has moved closer to clearing a final hurdle, with a federal judge signalling his approval for VW’s buyback and compensation plan, Reuters reported.

Business focus: How luxury London housebuilders are battling Brexit blues

When you think of a moving-in present, chances are a house plant or wine glasses spring to mind. But some of London’s luxury house developers are showering homebuyers with drastically more extravagant gifts in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Comment highlights:

Anthony Hilton raises doubts about the success of Theresa May’s potential trade deals with India.

“Even today in that vast subcontinent, a lot of people do not have much to spend.”

We’ve been let down on Lloyds, argues Jim Armitage.

“Why keep state money tied up in an investment going nowhere at a company that wants to be freed from the government’s hand?”

Meet the man with one of the best contacts books in London. Gideon Spanier sheds light on Tim Allan’s successful formula.

“He has sheikhs and oligarchs as well as ministers and media moguls on speed dial. Despite all his talk about content, contacts still matter.”

Market update:

A disappointing trading update from Dettol-to-Durex group Reckitt Benckiser and Travis Perkins’ profit warning dragged the FTSE 100 13.75 points lower to 6986.31.

Going up: Anglo American, Barclays, Cluff Natural Resources

Going down: Reckitt Benckiser, Motorpoint, GW Pharmaceuticals 

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October 19, 2016 |
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