New Headlines – Friday 9th August

Property

Lending to landlords had surged to a near five year high with £5bn of buy to let mortgages advanced in the second quarter of the year. This represents a rise of 21% compared with the previous year and The announcement that the low base rate is likely to continue until 2016 is forcing savers to look for more profitable investments, in particular property rentals. The news comes as LSL figures published today show house prices have risen by 2.6% over the past year. However, it is not all bad news for first time buyers as e.surv figures show a 56% rise in high LTV lending over the past year.

Personal Finance

The baby boomer generation is reaching pension age at record rates according to the ONS. It represents a major cash outflow for the government with pension payments rising by nearly £18bn since the first baby boomer women drew their pensions at the age of 60 in 2005. Over 65s are one of the richest demographic groups and over 50s accounted for nearly half of all household spending in 2012.

Recruitment

More women should be appointed to work at the Bank of England according to Mark Carney. The Governor of the Bank has told George Osborne the lack of women in senior roles is “anomalous.” There are currently just two women in the top ranks of the bank, and the MPC has had no women serving on it for three years. It comes after Carney agreed to put Jane Austen on the new £10 note at the start of July.

Corporate

Tesco’s retreat from overseas expansion continues as it merged its Chinese operation with the state owned rival. It’s 131 store network in China is to be amalgamated with Vanguard, following the closing of its Japanese and American businesses. Last year, growth in China fell 1 per cent compared with the previous year – noted as an ominous sign in such an investment hungry country by Marcus Leroux in the Times. Chief Executive Phillip Clarke is expected to focus more on the UK business, revamping stores in its home market following the move.

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