The Business: Friday April 4 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
George Osborne is under pressure to cut the top rate of tax again to 40p after data suggested the wealthy have paid more tax since he cut the 50p rate, says The Times. The total raised from top-rate taxpayers is forecast to increase by £9bn in 2013-14, the year in which it was reduced to 45p by the chancellor. However, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said economic growth and top earner delaying their bonuses until after the 50p rate was cut has played a significant part in the increase.
Shares in takeaway website Just Eat rose 5% on its debut day of trading on the London stock exchange, says The Independent. In the biggest UK technology listing in eight years, Just Eat is valued at more than £1.5bn – two thirds more than takeaway giant Domino’s Pizza. Just Eat priced its shares at 260p, the top end of its range, but investors added more to the plate: it was the most traded stock on the exchange, as its shares rose 14.6p to 274.6p.
Samsung is under attack for promoting a “selfie” photograph taken by Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz and president Barack Obama. The picture, taken by Ortiz using his Samsung handset, was re-tweeted by the phone maker to its 5.2m followers on Twitter. A White House spokesman said the president’s image should not be used for commercial gain and said White House lawyers are being consulted over the issue.
“I’m not sure we will get a lot of cards or letters to thank us.” Hinting that a rise in interest rates could take place before the next general election, Mark Carney recognises it will be an unpopular move on the whole.
The UK high street is showing “great resilience” as only one in five shops affected by the biggest retail collapses of the last five years remains vacant, says Deloitte. The leading accountancy firm said the high street is outperforming retail parks and shopping centres when it comes to reoccupying empty shops. It found that average vacancy rate for the high street is 20%, while for shopping centres it is 29% and retail parks 37%.
Tesco’s finance director is on the brink of resigning and could go as early as today, claims The Times. Friends say Laurie McIlwee plans to resign “having lost confidence” in the strategy of embattled chief executive Philip Clarke. McIlwee, a respected City figure, is credited with reducing borrowings since 2009. As pressure has increased on McIlwee over profit targets and communications, Clarke has refused to back him.
FTSE-100: down -0.15 to 6649.14
Dow Jones: down -0.00 to 16572.55
Dax: up +0.06 to 9628.82
Cac-40: up +0.42 to 4449.33
Nikkei: down -0.17 to 15046.32
Hang Seng: down -0.22 to 22516.37
US dollar: buys €0.72990 and £0.60300
Sterling: buys $1.65820 and €1.21030
Oil: $106.27 up +1.4