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".
Fitch expects UK house prices to fall by 20%
In a rather startling report, ratings agency Fitch has today issued a suggestion that UK house prices will fall by 20% once the current "false dawn" has worked through the system. While this is definitely the most downbeat report about the UK property sector for some time, there has been a feeling in some quarters that the UK property sector was not performing half as well as some would have you b...Read More
'Packaged account holders are often losing money'
Packaged accounts frequently offer worse value for money to savers than those which provide free banking, a price comparison site has claimed. Under the terms offered by packaged account providers, savers pay a monthly fee which typically entitles them to a higher rate of interest on their money as well as benefits such as free travel insurance and gifts. However, according to Sean Gardiner, chief...Read More
Even The Cider Is Going Flat At C&C
Dublin based cider and spirits company C&C Group has reported that half year profits for the group will be flat with cider sales in the UK and Ireland under pressure. The group is behind the Bulmers and Magners brands, both of which have been leading the cider sector higher for some time. So what now?
It seems that even the chance to drown your sorrows or forget about your woes fo...
Will the young of today ever climb onto the property ladder?
While on the face of it there would seem to be an increase in competition within the UK mortgage market there is also no doubt that first-time buyers are still significantly handicapped when applying for mortgage funding. Despite promises to the contrary, the amount of money required as a deposit on any property purchase is now well in excess of 20% and has increased significantly over the last fe...Read More
US unemployment hits 7.2%
News that over 524,000 US jobs were lost in December has pushed the US jobless rate to 7.2% which is a 16 year high. This brings the total number of jobs lost in the US in 2008 to a massive 2.6 million with many analysts expecting further bad news in the short and medium term. It is common knowledge that the US economy is plummeting but there had been hopes of a slowdown in the rate of unemploymen...Read More