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Worldwide Stock Markets Under Pressure

There is concern and anguish on the face of many investors today as worldwide stock markets continue to head south amid signs that the US economy is under pressure and the rising value of the yen, which hit a 15 year high against the dollar and a nine year high against the euro, is beginning to impact upon Japanese exports.

Tony Blair Sets Up A Financial Services Operation

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is today back in the headlines with confirmation that he has set-up a Mayfair-based company which is authorised by the Financial Services Authority to "arrange deals in investments". While associates of Tony Blair have denied that there are plans to open up a UK banking operation, it was confirmed that various former associates and investment highfliers have been approached about joining the venture.

New Marks & Spencer Chairman Takes Pay Cut

While nothing has officially been confirmed by the company, it is believed that ex-investment banker Robert Swannell is set to take the helm at Marks & Spencer, leaving Sir Stuart Rose to retire gracefully. However, the indications are that the new chairman will join on a salary of £500,000 a year which does not compare favourably to Sir Stuart Rose's salary which was in the region of £875,000 a year.

Hedge Fund Investors Share Spoils From Dana Petroleum Takeover

It is estimated that hedge fund investors will today be sharing out an estimated £80 million profit, after the £1.7 billion takeover of oil group Dana Petroleum. It is believed that arbitrage investors, i.e. hedge fund investors, committed around £450 million to buy shares in the company after the announcement the group was in takeover talks. In what is becoming something of a self fulfilling prophecy, those holding the 30% of stock owned by the hedge fund investors will vote in favour of the takeover thereby essentially ensuring that the deal goes through.

Investment Bankers Caught Offguard By Takeover Flurry

Investment bankers in the UK are this week rearranging their holidays after a flurry of takeovers and mergers in the UK in what is becoming a record month for August. A number of prominent companies on the UK stock market are now involved in acquisitions which are worth upwards of £20 billion and there are significant fees to be had

Brokers Cautious On FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 index is down today amid concerns expressed by a number of brokers regarding the UK economic outlook and the level of the FTSE 100 at the moment. There is no doubt that the ever darkening economic clouds are now starting to impact on investor sentiment although there have been a number of brighter periods over the last few days. So which way will the FTSE go in the short to medium term?

US Authorities Under Attack Regarding Barclays Bank Fine

Federal prosecutors in the US are today under attack because of an agreement with Barclays Bank regarding so-called "covert transactions" with third parties on the US banned list. It is not the fact that the federal prosecutors have pressed ahead with the case against Barclays Bank but the fine, in the region of $300 million, is less than the $350 million which Lloyds Bank was fined last year for similar offences.

Are We Set For A Takeovers And Mergers Extravaganza?

There is growing speculation in financial circles that a number of companies are under the microscope with regards to potential takeovers and mergers. The latest company to come under the spotlight is Aviva which has strained its relationship with institutional shareholders by refusing to reveal a recent £5 billion approach from RSA for the company's general insurance operations. This is just the latest in a number of takeover rumours to hit the UK market with many believing we could be on the verge of a takeover and mergers and extravaganza.

Is Aviva A Potential Breakup Target?

The fallout from last week's announcement that Aviva had been approached by rival UK insurance company RSA about a potential buyout of the company's general insurance operations continues this week. A number of parties have now stepped forward to suggest they may be interested in parts of the Aviva operations should the company decided to sell off "non-core" assets. So is Aviva a potential takeover target?

Another Day Another Holiday Company Goes Under

UK-based holiday firm Flight Options has ceased trading today leaving tens of thousands of holidaymakers stranded or potentially out of pocket. The company operates flights to Greece, Egypt, Turkey and the Canary Islands and also took on a company by the name of Kiss Flights back in 2009. This is yet another indication of the difficult trading conditions in the UK holiday arena and increases the number of companies recently going out of business to three. So how will this impact UK holidaymakers?

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