Retail investors are likely to be able to join in the next sale of the government's stake in Lloyds, the Chancellor said yesterday. Flush from the success of the government's inaugural sale of some of its shares
for 3.2bn pounds, George Osborne said: "I will consider all options for later sales of our shareholding in Lloyds, including a retail offering to the public." The sale of 4.28bn pounds of the government's shares in about three hours on Monday evening at 75p each was 2.8 times covered by demand, market sources said. Temasek, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, was the single largest subscriber, buying just under 200m pounds of shares, The Times says.
Residential prices soared in China's biggest cities in August, raising the possibility that the government will take fresh measures to cool the red-hot market. Prices for new homes in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen - the country's three largest cities - surged 18-19% year-on-year, accelerating from previous months. Nationwide, new homes prices increased 8.3% year-on-year, up from 7.5% in July, the Financial Times writes.
Four major institutions, including Standard Life, are considering suing Royal Bank of Scotland over its £12bn cash call in 2008, it was confirmed at a court hearing yesterday. The Scotsman revealed earlier this month that international corporate litigation firm Quinn Emanuel had been privately hired by Standard Life Investments and Legal & General Investments Management as they weigh up whether to launch legal action against RBS for allegedly misleading investors in the bumper rights issue. the other two institutions are Prudential and the University Superannuation Fund, the newspaper explains.
Average house prices in England surpassed their all-time peak of January 2008 to a new record high in July in a further sign the property market is heating up, official figures showed today. Home values rose 3.3% over a year ago but 2.5% of that gain was driven by the property market in London and the South East. In the capital properties were worth nearly 10% (9.7%) more in July than a year earlier. The surge prompted one economist to forecast house prices would grow by seven per cent next year and added to fears that Government efforts to boost mortgage lending are creating a housing bubble, according to The Daily Mail.
A plea went out to petrol retailers today not to profiteer from a plunge in wholesale costs and to ease pressure on motorists by cutting prices at the pumps. The RAC said a litre of unleaded petrol was now 6p cheaper on the wholesale market than at the end of August, while diesel was down by 2p a litre, giving petrol stations the power to lower prices on the forecourt, The Daily Mail reports.
Jack Lew, the US Treasury secretary, said on Tuesday that the administration would not negotiate over congressional approval to lift US borrowings, drawing a line in the sand ahead of high-stakes budget talks with Republicans in coming weeks. Yet after a fortnight in which President Barack Obama has zigzagged between diplomacy and military action on Syria, and backed away from nominating Lawrence Summers to head the Federal Reserve, Republicans plan to test the president's resolve, The Financial Times writes.