Lloyds bank set to disinvest stake in esure
Lloyds bank has today revealed plans to sell off its 70% stake in esure at a price which is believed to be in excess of the current book value of £185 million. It is believed that Peter Woods, co-founder and chairman of esure, is to acquire the stake via a new holding company. Those who follow the insurance market may be aware that Peter Woods, originally famed because of his Direct Line insurance creation, set up the esure business with HBOS back in 2001.
However, since HBOS became part of the Lloyds bank group there has been friction between Peter Woods and the Lloyds bank management and the sale of the Lloyds bank stake was expected by many. Esure is a well-known insurance brand in the UK and is also the owner of the infamous Sheilas Wheels brand with its array of striking adverts on the TV.
The company specialises in various niche markets and has made an excellent name for itself with profits topping £38 million in 2008. Quite what Peter Woods has in store for the future remains to be seen but he appears relieved to be on the verge of taking total control of his "baby".
Worldwide banking sector hit by $4 trillion write-downs
Since the onset of the credit crunch and worldwide recession the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that some $4 trillion has been written off by banks around the world. While the news at this moment in time is one of increased confidence in worldwide economies there is no doubt that a write-down of this magnitude will take time to work through the system and time to rebuild. There may be...Read More
UK retail sales up
The British Retail Consortium today reported an increase of 2.8% in August sales compared to the same period last year. However, when you strip out new store openings the rise is a less flattering 1% and would seem to indicate that the UK economy is starting to cool. When you also take into account the fact that parents buying goods for their children going back to school will also have boosted th...Read More
Will Bernard Madoff be the last of the great fraudsters?
As Bernard Madoff contemplates 150 years behind bars in the US many people are wondering whether the U.S. regulators have finally purged the system of the big-time fraudsters. The Madoff fraud involved billions upon billions of US dollars and has seen many people literally lose their life savings and end up with nothing to show for their working lives. While the U.S. regulators were relieved that...Read More
Aviva quick to reassure the market about its finances
Insurance giant Aviva has been quick to reassure the stock market that its finances are in order and there is a more than sufficient cash buffer between its current asset and it liabilities. The move came as the group announced increased sales but took a hit on assets on the back of the recent stock market falls. While it is reassuring in some ways to see the group step forward with figures to c...Read More
Insurers call for end to floodplain building
Britain's insurance industry has warned that new housing developments must be built away from flood-risk areas if flood insurance is to remain widely available and competitively priced.The warning from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) comes after housing minister Yvette Cooper admitted that new developments would continue to be built in some areas prone to flooding, providing adequate pro...Read More