Profits slip for Friends Provident
Life assurance firm Friends Provident has announced a three per cent drop in pre-tax profits which could impact upon its 2008 target.The firm saw profits slump from £524 million in 2005 to last year's £509 million, despite new business profit growth in the UK reaching close to 70 per cent.However due to the "challenging protection market" the London-based insurer operates in, the firm warned that it may struggle to meet the targets it set in October last year.Six months ago, the company announced a "demanding" 2008 target of £180-£200 million in new business profits, a goal it may not meet."Although we remain committed to achieving this target, the product mix and, in particular, the level of protection sales, which has been subdued in recent months, will be critical," said Philip Moore, the group chief executive."It is early days, and we are making progress towards our goal, but the prospects for a more challenging protection market, and the impact on our 2008 target, will not be fully understood until later in 2007."The announcement of last year's profit slide caused the firm's shares to dip by seven per cent on Tuesday morning.
Absolute return funds 'not faultless'
The volatile markets and negative returns should not put off investors in absolute returns funds, an investments expert has said.Dan Mannix, head of sales at RWC Partners, pointed out that any investment that was not totally risk-free had the potential to lose money some months.Exceptionally large falls on stock markets have been seen over recent weeks, with the FTSE 100 dropping by over 21 per ce...Read More
US heavyweights attempting to rush Congress
In a blatant attempt to ensure that Congress has no option but to pass the proposed US relief fund to buy up billions of dollars of 'bad assets' we have seen the likes of George Bush and Treasury heavyweight Henry Paulson fighting the fight through the media. The reported $700 billion package is being billed as the saviour of the US economy but there are concerns that Congress will drag its feet...Read More
UK base rates to remain at 0.5%
Ernst & Young recently issued a report in which it forecast that UK base rates would remain at 0.5% for one and a half years, and the UK recession could potentially last longer than many people think. The well respected economic think tank also believes there is a significant danger of a double dip recession during which high hopes for a quick rebound are foiled and the economy moves back into a d...Read More
Growth in mobile broadband hailed by Ofcom
Mobile broadband, which sees people gaining access to the internet through USB modems, data cards and "dongles", is increasing rapidly in popularity.This was the headline finding from regulator Ofcom's new report into the communications market in the UK.According to the body, sales of dongles have shot up from 69,000 to 133,000 per month over the course of this year alone.It is the growth of mobil...Read More
IMF expects 4.2% worldwide economic growth
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has today issued a new report regarding the worldwide economy with a suggestion that growth will be 4.2% for the current year. This is a significant upgrade on the earlier forecasts although there is a warning that the performance of individual economies would vary significantly across the board. As with the UK, the IMF has cited problems with government sp...Read More