The Business: Tuesday August 19 2014

Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

UK GENDER PAY GAP WIDENS

Female bosses continue to earn up to 35% less than their male counterparts, a new study has found. Research conducted by the The Chartered Management Institute shows that rather then diminishing, as many believe, gender inequalities have in fact increased in recent years. A CMI survey of 68,000 managers across the UK showed that there is now a £9,000 pay differential, equivalent to 23%, which widens as women get older, Sky News reports. The gap in pay means that "women would have to work until they were almost 80 to catch up with men's lifetime earnings," The Guardian says. 

BRITON PLEADS GUILTY TO LIBOR RIGGING

Rabobank trader Paul Robson has become the first Briton to plead guilty to playing a part in a "worldwide conspiracy" to fix the Libor interest rate, the Daily Telegraph reports. Robson, who worked at the Dutch bank's London office, admitted in a New York court to one count of bank fraud and wire fraud. The scam, devised to boost the profits of a handful of companies, is estimated to have cost the public trillions of pounds, affecting mortgage rates and pension payments across the globe.

UK NOW 'LOWEST-COST EU MANUFACTURER'

Wage stability and improvements in productivity have helped the UK "recover its mantle" as a global hub for manufacturing, the Daily Telegraph reports. A new study by Boston Consulting Group found that Britain is now one of the cheapest places to produce goods in Western Europe and can even rival competition posed by parts of Eastern Europe such as Poland and the Czech Republic. The finding are a "ringing endorsement" for UK manufacturing, the Telegraph suggests, and demonstrate that perceptions are changing in the global industries. 

TOBACCO PROFITS CONTINUE TO FALL

The "squeeze" on tobacco manufacturers profits continues, The Times says, with Imperial Tobacco, the British multinational behind brands such as Davidoff and Montecristo, reporting a fall in revenue of 1% to £4.75 billion in the nine months to June 30. The European market improved during the period, the Bristol-based tobacco manufacturer said, but Russia, which is currently locked in a trade war with the West, has suffered "significant deterioration". The market in the Middle East had also struggled with what the company described as a "turbulent situation".  

QUOTE OF THE DAY... MANUFACTURING COMES HOME

 "There is a growing realisation that, all other things being equal, it may be more effective to manufacture your goods close to your customers." Sukand Ramachandran of the Boston Consulting Group, comments on news that the UK is now one of the most competitive manufacturing economies in Europe.

PERSIMMON SEES PROFITS JUMP BY 57%

The British housebuilding company Persimmon has seen pre-tax profits rise by 57% in the first half of the year, Sky News reports. Sale completions in the six months to the end of June were up 28% and the average selling price had increased by 4.3% to £186,970. The results come during a time in which "there was a flurry of increased activity in the housing market," Sky News says.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0730 BST


FTSE-100: up +52.17 to 6741.25
Dow Jones: up +175.83 to 16838.74
Dax: up +152.73 to 9245.33
Cac-40: up +56.29 to 4230.65
Nikkei: up +0.06 to 15326.82
Hang Seng: down -12.67 to 24942.79
US dollar: buys €0.74870 and £0.59780
Sterling: buys $1.67190 and €1.25190
Oil: $96.88 up +0.5