LONDON Feb 24
RBS LINES UP 5 BLN POUND SHARE SELLOFF
Royal Bank of Scotland is laying plans for a
multi-billion-pound share sale that could hand a pre-election
windfall to finance minister George Osborne. The taxpayer-backed
bank has told its executives to have the business primed and
ready to sell shares by the fourth quarter of 2014 - just months
before the likely polling day. At least 10 percent of the stock
is likely to be sold, repaying about 5 billion pounds ($7.6
billion) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that could help
patch up the nation's finances.
U.S. FUND FEASTS ON COUNTRYSIDE
An American fund is closing in on a deal to buy one of Britain's
leading house builders in the latest sign of a revival in the
battered sector. Oaktree Capital Management is near to
agreeing a takeover of Countryside Properties.
INTU WEIGHS CASH CALL TO FUND SPREE
The owner of Manchester's Trafford Centre, Intu Properties
, is considering tapping investors for hundreds of
millions of pounds to fund a planned expansion into Milton
ABERTIS PUTS UK AIRPORTS UP FOR SALE
Luton, Belfast and Cardiff airports are up for sale after the
Spanish group that owns them, Abertis, ordered a review
of its 1-billion-euro ($1.3 billion) transport division.
VODAFONE READIES SWOOP FOR YOIGO
Vodafone is preparing a takeover bid for a small Spanish
mobile operator, Yoigo, in an attempt to bolster its flagging
fortunes on the Iberian peninsula. Yoigo was put up for sale
last year by Nordic provider TeliaSonera but bids fell
short of its 1-billion-euro target.
ONLINE PAY PIONEER SKRILL IN 600 MLN POUND SALE
A British rival to PayPal, the online payments provider, is
gearing up for a sale that could raise up to 600 million pounds.
Skrill, which owns the Moneybookers brand, is expected to be put
on the block after six years under private equity ownership by
Investcorp, the Middle Eastern investment house.
RBS PLANS INVESTMENT BANK CUTS, TO HIKE SWAPS MIS-SELLING
The Royal Bank of Scotland is to reduce the size of its
investment bank by as much as 30 billion pounds and cut hundreds
more jobs as the taxpayer-backed lender attempts to head off
growing government pressure to close down the controversial
division. RBS is also set to announce a more than twenty-fold
increase in the size of its provision against mis-sold interest
rate swaps, potentially taking the size of its compensation fund
to more than 1 billion pounds from the present 50 million.
CENTRICA REVEALS ITS 14 BLN POUND BOOST TO UK ECONOMY
Centrica is to reveal that it contributes more than 14
billion pounds to the British economy in taxes, job creation
and contracts with small and medium-sized suppliers across the
country. The boast will appear in an economic impact report by
Oxford Economics, and Centrica hopes it will head off criticism
of the size of its profits, due out this week.
CHEMRING LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO LEAKED FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS
British defence group Chemring has launched an internal
investigation after sensitive financial information was leaked
from within one of its business divisions to another business.
BARCLAYS LOOKS FOR 7 BLN POUNDS IN EQUITY CO-COS TO BUILD UP
Barclays will unveil plans within the next few weeks to
strengthen its balance sheet by raising billions of pounds in
"contingent capital". The lender plans to seek shareholder
approval at its annual meeting on April 25 to issue as much as 7
billion pounds in so-called "Equity Co-Cos" which convert to
shares if the lender's capital ratio falls below a certain
BUMI CEO PUSHES FOR BAKRIES SPLIT
Nick von Schirnding, chief executive of Bumi, is to
lobby the Indonesian coal company's major institutional
shareholders in a bid to receive backing for its planned
separation from the Bumi family.
JOHN LEWIS 'HELD TALKS TO BUY RIVAL HOUSE OF FRASER'
John Lewis held talks with department store rival House
of Fraser about buying it last year but decided not to proceed,
sources have told the Financial Mail. The revelation comes amid
rumours that other retailers have looked at buying some or all
of the 63 stores.