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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Alliance Creative Group, Inc. (ACGX: OTC Link) | Quarterly Report

Category : Stocks

Wed, May 15, 2013 01:38 – Alliance Creative Group, Inc. (ACGX: OTC Link) released their Quarterly Report concerning ACGX Consolidated 1st Quarter 2013 Disclosure & Financial Statements – Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash-Flows and Stockholder Equity ending March 31, 2013. To read the complete report, please visit:

View original post here: Alliance Creative Group, Inc. (ACGX: OTC Link) | Quarterly Report

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VIDEO: Cyber gang ‘stole $45m’ from ATMs

Category : World News

A gang of cybercriminals stole $45m (£29m) by hacking into a database of prepaid debit cards and draining cash machines around the world, US prosecutors say.

View original post here: VIDEO: Cyber gang ‘stole $45m’ from ATMs

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Betfair lifts forecasts to help fend off unwanted CVC bid

Category : Business

Betting group says full year revenues and earnings beat expectations while cost savings rise

Online gaming group Betfair has issued an upbeat trading statement in an attempt to fend off an unwanted £920m bid from private equity group CVC Capital Partners.

Its shares added 16.5p to 861.5p. This is still below the 880p on offer from CVC, although some nonetheless believe the price will have to be raised to win the day.

Betfair said full year estimated earnings were likely to come in at around £73m, at the top end of its previous forecasts. Revenues had reached around £387m while it had £138m of cash on the balance sheet. It reported record new UK customers, and cut 500 staff as part of a restructuring.

Cost savings have been raised from £20m to £30m. But there was no mention of any cash return to investors, which some had been expecting.

Chief executive Breon Corcoran said the company’s new management team had successfully completed the shake-up ahead of schedule, and its new sportsbook was doing well in combination with its existing exchange business. Having bought Blue Square it is planning further targeted acquisitions. In a buy note Simon French at Panmure Gordon said:

The key thrust on strategy is that early indications are that the exchange and sportsbook products are more complimentary than originally envisaged and that “Exchange plus Sportsbook” can deliver a sustainable competitive advantage.

Some investors may be disappointed there is no commitment to return cash to shareholders but the group is looking to accelerate growth through international opportunities and balance sheet flexibility. [We] reiterate our buy recommendation and 1000p target price.

Nick Batram at Peel Hunt kept his hold recommendation but also welcomed the update:

As an initial defence, beating expectations and raising cost savings shouldn’t really surprise anyone, but it is nonetheless a good start for Betfair’s management.

There are three key positives from today’s announcement that suggest to us that CVC will have to significantly up its bid if it wants to secure Betfair. Firstly, while it is early days, the increased focus on the UK appears to be delivering strong customer acquisition numbers. Secondly, what might have been a back-foot defence now firmly looks like a business being positioned on the front foot. Finally, we are glad to see that returning cash to shareholders is not an option at this stage. In a rapidly evolving market and with the strategic opportunities open to Betfair, we believe the cash is better off being deployed in growing the company.

MBIA soars 45% on reports of BofA settlement

Category : Stocks

MBIA to get $1.6 billion in cash from Bank of America to settle dispute over who is responsible for losses on mortgage securities after housing bubble burst.

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VIDEO: Your Money: The big benefits shake up

Category : World News

In this week’s Your Money, Declan Curry looks at how changes to the benefits system will change household income and how you could get more for your money by lending cash directly to companies.

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Apple’s tax dodge

Category : Business, Stocks

Instead of tapping its own cash hoard for new buybacks and dividend hikes, Apple is borrowing money to avoid paying billions in repatriation taxes.

Read more here: Apple’s tax dodge

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Software AG (STWRY: OTCQX International Premier) | Software AG achieves double-digit growth in largest Business Line

Category : Stocks

Software AG Achieves Double-Digit Growth in Largest Business Line

  • BPE license revenue up 19 percent
  • Strategic growth initiatives show positive effects
  • LongJump acquisition bolsters cloud offering
  • Full-year forecast confirmed

Darmstadt, Germany,

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Quick house sale firms spark OFT investigation

Category : Business

Watchdog says such firms provide useful service for homeowners but are often used by consumers in vulnerable situations

Companies who offer desperate homeowners a quick sale are to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading, following concerns that their customers may be receiving tens of thousands of pounds less than their property is worth.

Quick house sale providers offer to buy a house or find a third party buyer very quickly, usually at a discount from the full market value. The sale is a cash sale, and the emphasis is on speed, with promises of completion in as little as five days in some cases. While most firms claim to offer fair or “realistic” prices and “no hidden fees”, consumers have reported cases where a price has been agreed, only to be dropped at the last minute, and being hit with high charges after a valuation has been accepted.

The OFT has launched a market study into the industry, writing to more than 50 quick house sale firms asking for information on their business models and calling for consumers who have used these services to tell it about their experiences.Cavendish Elithorn, the OFT’s senior director for goods and consumer, said: “Businesses offering quick house sales may provide a useful service for homeowners who need to unlock cash in a hurry.

“However, they are often used by consumers in vulnerable situations and therefore we are concerned about the risk of consumers being misled and losing out on large sums of money.”

Activity by these firms has increased in recent years, against a backdrop of falling property sales and a growing numbers of people struggling to repay their mortgages – by the end of 2012, more than 150,000 households had fallen behind on mortgage repayments.

In their website marketing some companies appear to be targeting people in danger of repossession, offering a quick sale before the lender can act. Many seem to be focussing on areas where the housing market is very slow or repossession rates are high.

Consumers who have used these schemes can contact the OFT at by 16 May 2013.

Next staff to share boss’s bonus

Category : Business, World News

Staff at retailer Next are to get a cash bonus after the company’s boss asked for a £2.4m share windfall to be distributed among employees.

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MPs demand inquiry into HBOS directors’ ‘bonuses for going bust’

Category : Business

£914,000 cash – attributed to ‘change of control’ at bank – paid out to directors following bailout

MPs have called for an inquiry into why former HBOS bosses were given almost £1m in “bonuses for going bust”.

Seven HBOS directors collected cash bonuses of £914,000 in “change of control” payments when the bank was rescued by Lloyds and bailed out with £20bn of taxpayers’ money in 2008.

John Mann, a member of the Treasury select committee, told the Guardian the payments were scandalous and said there “could not be a more blatant reward for failure”.

He added: “This is taxpayers’ money being used to pay bonuses to bankers that brought down their own bank and cost thousands of ordinary workers their jobs. These are bonuses for going bust.”

Mann said the former bosses of the failed bank should pay the money back immediately and called for an inquiry to investigate why they were paid the cash.

“The money needs to be repaid, and if it’s not, these people need to be drummed out of the financial services sector entirely,” he said. “This is emerging as a full-blown scandal and warrants a full inquiry by the select committee. We need to know what due diligence was done.”

Pat McFadden, a member of the parliamentary commission on banking and one of the authors of its scathing report published last week, said: “These guys are incredible. This sounds like amazing rewards for failure.

“The banking commission report showed the bank was pursuing an ultimately disastrous strategy that should result in them taking responsibility, not getting extra rewards.”

McFadden also called for an investigation into the payments, which he described as “a reward for being taken over by us – the taxpayers”. He said: “It’s our money. We bailed them out for their failure – and they got bonuses for it.”

On top of the cash bonuses, the seven directors received 8,600 share bonuses at an undisclosed price band. The bonuses were paid on top of salary, pension contributions, awards in lieu of pension and redundancy payments.

Andy Hornby, the chief executive of HBOS at the time of its near collapse and takeover by Lloyds, collected £251,000 cash and 2,051 shares as a result of the change of control.

The others cashing in were Peter Cummings, the head of corporate lending who was fined £500,000 by the Financial Services Authority; Mike Ellis, former finance director; Philip Gore-Randall, former chief operating officer; Colin Matthew, who led the expansion into Ireland and Australia that cost the bank £14.5bn; Jo Dawson, former risk director; and Dan Watkins, her successor.

HBOS’s 2008 annual report said the payments were awarded “in accordance with contractual entitlements”. It said HBOS’s remuneration committee excluded “payments in relation to the 2008 financial year [the year HBOS failed]“, but allowed the directors to benefit from awards due to them for other years.

It said: “[When] these arrangements were settled, Lloyds did not own HBOS. All decisions with respect to the redundancy or severance terms applicable to departing HBOS senior executives, including pensions, were made by the HBOS remuneration committee or board of HBOS, prior to the acquisition by Lloyds.”

A spokesman for Lloyds was unable to state why the bosses received the money, or if any have decided to pay the cash back. Hornby, now chief executive of bookmakers Coral, declined to comment.

The revelation of the change of control bonuses comes as pressure mounts on HBOS’s former bosses to pay back millions of pounds of pension contributions collected from the bank after the parliament report blamed “a colossal failure of management” for the bank’s near-collapse.

Sir James Crosby, the boss of HBOS until 2006 and the man described by the parliamentary commission on banking standards as the “architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster”, has said he will give up his knighthood and 30% of his £580,000-a-year HBOS pension.

David Cameron’s spokesman said it was “a matter for their consciences and judgment” whether HBOS’s other former bosses follow his example.

Matthew is collecting a HBOS pension worth £416,000-a-year. Cummings is on a £344,000 pension.