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Archive for July, 2016

Hinkley Point nuclear plant delay ‘bonkers’ says union

July 29, 2016

The government’s surprise announcement to delay a final decision on Hinkley Point has been described as “bonkers” by the GMB union and “chaos” by Labour. French firm EDF, which is financing most of the £18bn project in Somerset, approved the funding at a board meeting on Thursday. The government then said it was “only right” […]

Eurozone GDP growth halves as French economy stalls

Eurozone economic growth halved in the second quarter, but the 19-nation single currency area moved away from deflation. GDP rose by 0.3% between April and June, in line with expectations but below 0.6% growth in the first quarter. France, the eurozone’s second-largest economy, saw no growth after expanding by 0.7% in the first quarter. Eurozone […]

Barclays adds £400m to PPI payments as profits fall

Profits at Barclays fell by 21% in the first half of the year as the bank set aside a further £400m to compensate customers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). Profits for the six months to 30 June fell from £2.6bn last year to £2bn. The new charge for PPI means the mis-selling scandal has so […]

BP profits hit by lower oil price

July 26, 2016

Second-quarter profits at oil giant BP have almost halved from a year earlier as the company suffered from lower oil prices and weak refining margins. Underlying replacement cost profit for the quarter fell to $720m (£550m), down 44% from $1.3bn a year earlier. BP also said it had “drawn a line” under its liabilities from […]

BT avoids Openreach broadband break-up

BT’s Openreach division, which runs the UK’s broadband infrastructure, should become a distinct company within the BT group, according to regulator Ofcom. Campaigners said the changes could not come soon enough for the millions of people who have suffered “woeful levels of service from Openreach”. The media watchdog has resisted calls to split Openreach off […]

UK explores multi-billion pound free trade deal with China

Chancellor Philip Hammond has begun discussions with China on an ambitious free trade deal which could see greater access for major Chinese banks and businesses to the UK economy. The Chancellor told the BBC it was time to explore “new opportunities” across the world, including with China, one of the UK’s biggest inward investors. That […]

Vattenfall to invest £300m in Aberdeen offshore wind farm

July 21, 2016

Swedish energy firm Vattenfall has confirmed that it will press ahead with a £300m 11-turbine wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen. Onshore construction for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) is due to start later this year. Work offshore is due to commence in late 2017, with the project scheduled to generate its […]

UK borrowing falls to lowest level since 2008

The UK government borrowed £25.6bn in the three months to the end of June, £2.3bn less than it did during the same period last year, and the lowest level since 2008. However the total amount owed continued to rise, reaching £1,621bn. That amounts to 84% of the value generated by the UK economy – otherwise […]

Mortgage lending soars in June, says CML

The amount of money being borrowed by homeowners last month soared to its highest June level for eight years, according to estimates. Total loan advances reached £20.7bn, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. That was 16% higher than the previous month, and 3% more than in the same month last year. The number of […]

Green Deal energy loans had ‘abysmal’ take-up: MPs

July 20, 2016

The government’s energy efficiency loan scheme had an “abysmal” take-up rate because it had not been tested with consumers, MPs have said. The “Green Deal” ended last year after providing just £50m in 14,000 loans to households to boost energy efficiency. That was far less than the £1.1bn predicted by the government, with each loan […]

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