The Business: Thursday July 3 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
‘Singletons’ are being priced out of the London property market with homes in the capital now costing nine times their salary, says the Daily Telegraph. According to data from Nationwide, this is the highest ever salary-to-value ratio seen in the UK for this category of potential home owner. London property prices have crashed through the affordability barrier for many young professionals. The capital’s growth rate is more than double that seen across the rest of the UK.
Share price rigging on the London stock exchange is rife, claim MPs. Regulators are under renewed pressure to start an investigation into the suspected manipulation of the closing prices of ordinary shares traded in London in the wake of the Westminster claims. Chair of the Treasury select committee Andrew Tyrie said his fellow committee members are “amazed” that no one at the Financial Conduct Authority seems to have probed the issue.
Builders are hiring staff at the fastest rate in nearly two decades to keep up with Britain’s booming demand, says the Daily Mail. A new report into the health of the construction industry from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply showed employment in the sector rose at rates not seen since the survey was launched in April 1997 – the month before Tony Blair took office. There was a surge in housebuilding and commercial development.
Facebook has acquired a tech start-up that helps companies place more relevant ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps. The fee Facebook paid for LiveRail has not been revealed but some reports indicate that the social network giant paid between $400m and $500m (£233m and £291m) for the firm. Among LiveRail’s services is a real-time bidding platform for marketers looking to place ads on online videos.
“But actually I look back and think there's even more we could have done to fix some of the economic problems and I want to go on therefore taking decisions that will help create jobs. If anything, it's like I wish we'd done even more.” Chancellor George Osborne says he wishes he had made even more "big decisions".
A costly US venture has hit the publisher of The Guardian hard, reports The Times. Guardian News & Media is set to post an underlying operating loss of below £20m for the year to March, compared with £27m the previous year. Its expensive foray into the American news market is being blamed. The stateside operation is under scrutiny after it was attacked as a “disaster” by media commentator Michael Wolff in GQ magazine last month.
FTSE-100: up +0.20 to 6816.37
Dow Jones: up +0.12 to 16976.24
Dax: up +0.09 to 9911.27
Cac-40: down -0.37 to 4444.72
Nikkei: down -0.19 to 15340.05
Hang Seng: down -0.03 to 23542.71
US dollar: buys €0.73260 and £0.58290
Sterling: buys $1.71520 and €1.25640
Oil: $110.99 down -1.2