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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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Moleskine shares close down on debut

Category : Business, World News

Shares in upmarket notebook-maker Moleskine closed lower on its first day of stock market trading in Milan, after the company’s flotation raised 488m euros.

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Esure float values insurer at £1.1bn

Category : Business, World News

Online insurance provider Esure announces details of its planned flotation on the stock market, valuing the company at about £1.1bn.

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Williams & Glyn’s bank to be resurrected after 30 years

Category : Business

Forced to dispose of 316 branches under state aid rules, RBS plans to float them under brand last seen in the 1980s

A bank that disappeared from the high street nearly 30 years ago – Williams & Glyn’s – is to be revived by Royal Bank of Scotland.

The bank has failed to secure a buyer for the 316 branches it must sell off under the terms of its £45bn taxpayer bailout. Now it intends to rename them under the old brand and float them on the stock market as a separate business.

Stephen Hester, RBS’s chief executive, said the branches could be “an attractive standalone bank”.

Williams & Glyn’s was created by RBS in 1969 to unite its English and Welsh branches. It brought together three RBS business – Williams Deacon’s Bank; Glyn, Mills & Co and the English and Welsh branches of National Bank. It was disbanded in 1985 and, while RBS has suggested the use of the brand in the past, Hester said its rebirth was now his “baseline” plan to dispose of the branches which the EU demanded be sold after the government rescue.

However, RBS will need to ask the EU to extend the November 2013 sale deadline – in a setback for the government, which is keen to inject new competition into high street banking.

The Financial Services Authority is intending to allow new banks to run on nearly half as much capital as established ones in effort to bolster competition, a plan which did not appear to be immediately popular with RBS.

The costly collapse of the sale of the branches to Santander last year has highlighted the difficulties in injecting competition into retail banking which is dominated by the “big four” players.

Lloyds Banking Group, required to spin off 632 branches by Europe, is expected to admit on Friday that it will miss a self-imposed deadline to sell them to the Co-op when it publishes its results for 2012.

That deal also involves the reappearance of an old banking name: TSB – the Trustee Savings Bank, which Lloyds took over in the 1990s. Lloyds is also working on a potential flotation of this business in case the Co-op deal falls through.

Hester said the possibility of uniting the two carved-out branch networks from the two bailed-out banks to make a bigger and stronger entity had been considered, informally but was likely to be too complicated to be practical.

It is possible that a private equity buyer could become an investor in the business before the flotation of the RBS branches, but Hester warned: “There aren’t a lot of buyers for UK banks right now”.

MegaFon megaphone is muted

Category : Business

Much more detail is needed on the flotation of the Russian telecoms firm in London

The London market has been disappointed too many times by arrivals from eastern Europe with dominant shareholders. So you might assume that MegaFon, a Russian company hoping to make a $14bn (£8.8bn) splash on the international stage by listing in London, would wish to dispel scepticism by telling all.

But the country’s second-largest telecoms operator, looking to place 15% of its shares, is keeping its megaphone under wraps. A listing prospectus exists, but ordinary mortals are not allowed to see a copy, at least not yet. Them’s the rules of an institutional placing apparently, and the lawyers are determined to stick to them.

OK, but surely the world should be allowed at this stage to see the details of the structure and arrangements through which Alisher Usmanov controls 50% of MegaFon. After all, it was that governance issue which caused the fuss with Goldman Sachs. The investment bank declined to work on the flotation.

The questions have now been resolved to the satisfaction of the Financial Services Authority, we are told. Various shareholding and voting agreements have been signed relating to AF Telecom (the direct holding vehicle), his partners in top-company USM Holdings and MegaFon itself. Jolly good, so put them on the MegaFon website – there’s really no need to confine them to the prospectus. Taking a “all in good time” line on that issue is laughable. Unfortunately, that is also MegaFon’s approach to appointing a second independent non-executive director. He or she will arrive “in due course”, according to the flotation announcement. The timing is back to front.

TeliaSonera, a respected Scandinavian telecoms group, will retain a 25% holding post-flotation and continue to appoint two directors to AF Telecom’s three. That’s some comfort, but the second independent director should still have been in place at the outset.

Such concerns will inevitably dent MegaFon’s investment attractions. On that front, it has a decent story to tell. The Russian telecoms market is growing at a good pace and MegaFon is one of the “big three” with 63

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Megafon details share float plans

Category : World News

Megafon, the mobile phone operator controlled by Russia’s richest man, is planning the biggest share flotation since Facebook listed in New York in May.

Read more here: Megafon details share float plans

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Man Utd reduces debt to £359.7m

Category : World News

Manchester United reduces its gross debt after the Glazer family used the proceeds of the club’s flotation to pay off £62.6m of bonds.

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Telefónica tests stock market with German O2 flotation

Category : Business

Germany’s biggest IPO in five years set to raise €1.5bn; success would show revived confidence in European economy

Telefónica, Europe’s largest telecoms company, is testing the appetite of European investors with the flotation of its German subsidiary O2.

The shares are expected to begin trading on Tuesday in Frankfurt and will help gauge the confidence of stock markets about the state of the European economy.

“This is the biggest IPO in Germany for years and sellout interest in the approximately €1.5bn [£1.2bn] offering shows growing demand in the market for new share offerings,” said Daniel Winterfeldt, head of international capital markets for CMS Cameron McKenna, which is representing Telefónica. It is the biggest flotation in Europe since Spain’s Bankia raised €3.1bn in July last year.

Telefónica plans to use the money raised to cut its debt pile, which stands at around €57bn. This is necessary to keep its prized investment-grade rating. The company, which has brands all over the world, is struggling with its recession-hit home market of Spain. In the first half of the year net income shrank 34% to approximately €2.1bn.

Financial traders are confident the market will welcome the IPO, which will still leave Telefónica with a majority: a stake of around 23% will be listed. In Germany O2 faces competition from bigger rivals Deutsche Telekom, the KPN brand E-Plus and Vodafone.

If demand is strong, the flotation of O2 could encourage other candidates such as the Russian mobile phone operator MegaFon, notepad producer Moleskine and Poland’s state-owned real estate group PHN. Flotations have been rare in Europe this year with turmoil in the eurozone blamed for several cancelled IPOs, including that of German chemicals company Evonik.

Lion One Metals Ltd. (LOMLF: OTC Link) | Lion One Announces Metallurgical Test Work and Development Update for Tuvatu Gold Project, Fiji

Category : World News

LION ONE ANNOUNCES METALLURGICAL TEST WORK AND DEVELOPMENT UPDATE FOR TUVATU GOLD PROJECT, FIJI< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

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RBS unveils Direct Line insurance IPO

Category : Business

Preparations begin for one of the year’s largest flotations, which also includes Churchill and Green Flag motor rescue

Royal Bank of Scotland has kickstarted the flotation of its Direct Line insurance business and will earmark some of the shares for sale to private investors.

The sell-off – demanded by the EU in return for the £45bn taxpayer bailout of RBS – will be one of the largest flotations this year and is taking place at a time when stock markets are buoyed by central banks attempting to bolster economies by various forms of quantitative easing.

But hundreds of jobs are likely to be on the line as the insurer – which also owns Churchill, Privilege and the breakdown business Green Flag – aims to achieve targets to improve its profitability as a standalone company.

Paul Geddes, Direct Line’s chief executive, conceded that the need to save £100m by the end of 2014 would “sadly have consequences on the people we employ”. Some 891 job cuts from the 15,000-strong workforce were announced last week on top of a further 2,000 cut since 2010.

About a quarter of Direct Line is expected to be sold off initially to institutional investors, as well as to stockbrokers – led by Barclays Stockbrokers – who will help retail investors buy shares. This may disappoint those hoping for an advertising campaign similar to “Tell Sid” in the 1990s, but will allow some private investors to buy shares.

The details of management and employee bonus schemes will be outlined in a prospectus in the coming weeks although Geddes insisted there were would be no windfalls linked to the selloff itself.

RBS did not want to sell the insurance business, but must do so under terms set out by the EU when the bank was bailed out by taxpayers in 2008.

More than 50% must be sold by the end of 2013 and the entire group sold by the end of 2014. Stephen Hester, RBS chief executive, has indicated there could be tranches of sales.

The timing of the sale will prove crucial for its valuation, which is being estimated in a range as wide as £1.5bn to £4bn, and comes after another flotation of a German insurance company – Talanx – was pulled this week. This might depress the price RBS is able to achieve although Sandy Chen, banks analyst at Cenkos Securities, said: “We think that they can get the Direct Line IPO done before the QE rally fades. Any gains would likely be measured in the tens or hundreds of millions, though. As with the other banks, we expect that QE will boost banks shares for a little while, but we don’t think the longer-term investment outlook has improved.”

Geddes tried to distance Direct Line from Talanx. “80% of that business is reinsurance and life (insurance), so it’s a very different market,” he said. He also played down any rival offer from a private equity consortium which could scupper the flotation.

Direct Line has already handed £1bn to RBS this year – the first payment for a number of years – and is now promising a “progressive dividend policy” after its flotation.

Bruce van Saun, the finance director of RBS, which will ultimately decide on the timing of the flotation, said that even though the bank was a forced seller, Direct Line had a “strong future as a standalone insurance group”.

Taxpayers are currently sitting on a loss of about £20bn of their investment in RBS, whose shares rose 1.8% to 279p, well below the 500p average price at which the taxpayer bought them.

Credit Suisse analysts said the sale of Direct Line was “a further step down the road” for RBS, and that “investor attention may turn to the next elements such as exit of the government asset protection scheme”. Hester has said he wants RBS to exit the APS, which insures the bank’s most toxic loans, before the end of the year.

Ferguson denies Man Utd windfall

Category : World News

Sir Alex Ferguson denies speculation that he stands to benefit financially from Manchester United’s imminent share flotation in New York.

See original here: Ferguson denies Man Utd windfall

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