Stock markets around the world are rapidly digesting fresh uncertainty in the Eurozone. Italy is staring down the barrel of an election tie – with Silvio Berlusconi on one side, an ex-communist on the other – and a professional comedian in the middle.
In lending news, the Telegraph’s Harry Wilson reports that the British Bankers’ Association has approved giving up its involvement in operating the Libor rate after a report recommended the trade body be stripped of its oversight role. The paper also looks at BBA’s lack-lustre lending and their excuse, a cold January. It’s a different story in the bridging industry, and the Telegraph quotes the response of the Chairman of short-term secured lender West One Loans, Duncan Kreeger – “weather is for wimps” (City Diary). Meanwhile, City AM reports the Chancellor has announced more direct intervention in the running of RBS – with direct involvement by the Treasury (rather than UKFI) in the strategic allocation of resources – as well as the company’s overall lending strategy.
The Sun says house builder Persimmon has revealed record order books, and annual profits up 54% to £225 million, with a particularly strong showing in the North of England.
Recruitment & Employment
Graham Hiscott, writing in the Daily Mirror says British Gas is planning to hire 1,000 young people over the next three years as part of a drive towards energy efficiency. The energy giant is expecting a public backlash when it announces annual profits tomorrow, believed to be around £600m, with parent company Centrica also making nearly £2.8bn.