The Business: Friday July 11 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Taxpayers lost out on around £1bn from the sale of Royal Mail, claims a committee of MPs. The committee said the shares had been undervalued and property owned by the Royal Mail had been mispriced, leading to the colossal loss. Royal Mail shares were priced at 330p, but soared up to 618p per share, and now stand around 473p. The Department for Business said the MPs' report contained "factual errors and misunderstandings".
The Church of England has cut its investment in the payday lender Wonga, says the BBC. The controversial relationship had become embarrassing for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Justin Welby had promised last year to try and drive Wonga out of business by helping credit unions compete with it. However, it then emerged that the Church had indirectly staked about £75,000 in Wonga through an investment fund. Welby says he is “absolutely delighted” that the investment had ended.
Another day, another blow to Marks & Spencer. It has emerged that the finance director of the beleaguered chain has defected to Tesco. In an unexpected move, Alan Stewart will move to Tesco to work alongside chief executive Philip Clarke. The timing of the exit is particularly uncomfortable to M&S only last week reshuffled its board, handing Stewart responsibility for property. He had worked at the chain for four years.
Anxiety is spreading across Europe as Portugal falls into a fresh banking crisis, says the Daily Telegraph. The country’s regulator has suspended trading of Banco Espirito Santo after its share price crashed 17%, reviving worries about the health of Europe’s banks. In a second blow to confidence, the STOXX index of European lenders sank to its lowest this year following a bank run in Bulgaria and a profits shock for Austria's Erste Bank. The index is down 11% since last month.
The number of flights will double by 2033, with five jetliners are to be built every day for the next 20 years, predict experts at Boeing. Aircraft manufacturers are gearing up to handle 7bn passengers a year by 2033, say the analysts, by which time the annual number of internal flights in China will have overtaken the domestic US market. There are currently 20,910 flights in the sky, this will grow to 42,180 in 2033, predict the Boeing experts.
FTSE-100: down -0.68 to 6672.37
Dow Jones: down -0.42 to 16915.07
Dax: down down -1.52 to 9659.13
Cac-40: down -1.34 to 4301.26
Nikkei: down -0.69 to 15111.73
Hang Seng: down -0.32 to 23165.48
US dollar: buys €0.73530 and £0.58380
Sterling: buys $1.71280 and €1.25960
Oil: $108.61 up +0.30