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Archive for December, 2016

US economic growth revised even higher

December 22, 2016

The US economy grew even faster than thought in the July-to-September period, latest official figures indicate. The world’s largest economy grew at an annualised rate of 3.5% in the quarter, up from an earlier estimate of 3.2%, the Commerce Department said. It was the second time that the figure had been revised upwards, from an […]

State rescue looms for Monte dei Paschi

There has been further volatile trading in shares in Italy’s third largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which looks increasingly likely to be bailed out by the government. Shares fluctuated in response to media reports that said a state bailout plan would take two to three months. The bank’s shares fell by more than […]

Trench coat maker Aquascutum to be sold for £97m

Aquascutum, whose luxury raincoats have been worn by royalty and film stars, is being sold for $120m (£97m). Reports suggest Chinese buyers are acquiring the clothing retailer, which started in London in the 1850s. Its illustrious fans have included the Queen Mother, Margaret Thatcher and actors such as Cary Grant. But after the British firm […]

EU data retention ruling goes against UK government

December 21, 2016

The UK government says it is “disappointed” after the European Court of Justice said the “indiscriminate” collection of data was against EU law. EU judges said communications data could only be retained if it was used to fight serious crime. Its verdict came after a legal challenge to the UK government’s surveillance legislation. The challenge […]

Obama bans oil drilling ‘permanently’ in millions of acres of ocean

Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the “vast majority” of US-owned northern waters. Mr Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as “indefinitely off limits” to future leasing. The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr Obama leaves office […]

CBI calls for barrier-free trade with EU after Brexit

UK firms need to continue to have “barrier-free” access to European Union markets after Brexit, the CBI business lobby group has warned. It said UK companies should not be subjected to trade tariffs, with only “minimal” other barriers in place. In a report, it also called for a migration system that allowed firms to obtain […]

Government borrowing falls less than expected in November

Government borrowing fell in November to £12.6bn, down £0.6bn from November 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, the fall was less than analysts had been expecting. The monthly borrowing figure had been expected to shrink to £11.6bn, according to an economists’ poll. Borrowing for the financial year so far is down on […]

Italy seeks 20bn euros for banks as Monte dei Paschi flounders

December 20, 2016

The Italian government will seek parliamentary approval to borrow up to €20bn (£17bn) to support its fragile banking sector and potentially rescue Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The country’s third-largest bank needs to raise €5bn in fresh capital by the end of the month. If Monte dei Paschi cannot arrange a private sector bailout, a […]

Legal sector ‘at risk’ without Brexit guarantees

The UK’s large legal services sector warns it could be at risk if the government fails to secure guarantees for it after Brexit. A new report by lobby group TheCityUK says the £26bn sector will suffer if it loses “mutual enforcement” rules. These require EU member states to recognise and enforce each others’ law. It […]

Lloyds Bank buys MBNA credit card firm for £1.9bn

Lloyds is to buy credit card firm MBNA from Bank of America for £1.9bn, in the UK bank’s first acquisition since the 2008 financial crisis. Lloyds, which is nearly 7% state-owned, said MBNA would be a “good fit” with its own credit card business. MBNA, which holds assets of £7bn, would increase group revenues by […]

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