The Business: Tuesday May 27 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Lloyds Bank has announced it will float 25% of shares in its stand-alone chain TSB on the stock market. The flotation is expected next month on the London Stock Exchange, following a mid-month publication of a prospectus. Ordinary investors will be able to buy shares in the flotation. It is taking place to meet European Commission competition rules regarding state aid. Lloyds was bailed out by the UK taxpayer in 2008.
The government raised a record £23.9bn in extra tax this year as a result of an HM Revenue and Customs crackdown. HMRC said it had acquired the money through its investigations. The record figure is almost £1bn higher than the target set by George Osborne in his autumn statement. HMRC said more than £8bn came from large business, £1bn from criminals and £2.7bn from tackling avoidance schemes in courts.
Pfizer has walked away from the bidding for British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca as a deadline expired for it to lodge a formal bid. The US firm had offered £55-a-share for AstraZeneca last weekend, valuing it at £69bn. However, the offer was rejected by its prospective merger partner. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Pfizer’s boss has slammed the “overly complicated” takeover code.
Online advertisements for Mercedes were seen more often by fraudster robots than humans, says the Financial Times. The allegation will raise concerns about fraud in the fast-growing online advertising market, which expanded 15% last year to $120bn. The Mercedes-Benz ads were accidentally placed on to fraudulent websites by Rocket Fuel, a Nasdaq-listed ad technology company that went public with a market capitalisation of nearly $1bn last year.
“It represents the voice of the large, often silent, majority of Britain’s business community who want fundamental changes to the terms of EU membership, backed up with a referendum.” In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, business leaders praise the Advisory Council of Business for Britain.
Sales of extra virgin olive oil have fallen amid price surges, says the Daily Mail. As the average price of branded olive oil rises by up to 16.4% to £5.19 a litre, supermarket shoppers have lost interest in the product, according to new research. Sales of branded volumes of the middle-class favourite have slumped 11.7%, says The Grocer magazine study.
FTSE-100: down -0.7 to 6815.75
Dow Jones: up +0.38 to 16606.27
Dax: up +1.28 to 9892.82
Cac-40: up +0.75 to 4526.93
Nikkei: up +0.61 to 14691.01
Hang Seng: down -0.17 to 22925.29
US dollar: buys €0.73250 and £0.59310
Sterling: buys $1.68610 and €1.23490
Oil: $110.32 down -0.0