The Business: Wednesday July 30 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Two tape recordings have emerged offering an insight into secret tax plans of the Conservatives and Labour. Sky News has revealed a recording of Labour’s Andy Burnham, in which he says he would consider a 15% levy on estates to pay for social care. The Mirror, meanwhile, has published a recording of Minister for Government Policy, Oliver Letwin, in which he suggests a flat rate of income tax could be on the agenda in the future.
Barclays' second quarter pre-tax profits have dropped 10% after investment bank revenue fell. The lender posted a pre-tax profit of £3.84bn, reports the BBC. Takings were hit by an 18% fall in income at its investment banking business. Barclays announced earlier this year that it would cut 7,000 investment bank jobs, as part of 19,000 roles to be axed. It also set out plans to set up a "bad bank" to sell or run down £115bn of non-core operations.
The Bank of England will unveil a plan which could see corrupt bankers return bonuses up to seven years after being awarded them, reports the BBC. Losses and poor risk management are among the misconduct that could trigger clawbacks, under new rules to be announced today. The changes to the BoE’s remuneration code would force bankers to hand back their bonuses even if they had spent them, according to the Financial Times.
BSkyB’s offer for Sky Deutschland has been rejected by the former son-in-law of Rupert Murdoch. Crispin Odey believes BSkyB's plan to create Sky Europe offers a nil premium for shareholders. One of Britain’s most successful fund managers, Odey said that he “does not intend to tender shares in this proposed offer". He is Sky Deutschland’s second biggest shareholder, after 21st Century Fox, with a stake of around 8%.
“However fearful the City may be at the prospect of an antagonistic government, Labour will control the purse strings. Therefore it is essential that meaningful conversations on working together should take place, whether they be in the ivory towers or at the coal face.” Market commentator David Buik says the City would welcome an open chat with Labour.
Twitter shares surged 30% after a significant rise in user numbers, reports the Daily Telegraph. The value of the social network soared by more than $7bn (£4.1bn) after its second-quarter results revealed that monthly active user figures increased by nearly a quarter to 271m. Although the new total still leaves Twitter behind behemoths such as Facebook, it is enough to restore investor faith that Twitter has a long future ahead of it.
FTSE-100: up +0.29 to 6807.75
Dow Jones: down -0.42 to 16912.11
Dax: up +0.58 to 9653.63
Cac-40: up +0.48 to 4365.58
Nikkei: up +0.16 15642.38
Hang Seng: up +0.87 to 24854.50
US dollar: buys €0.74590 and £0.59030
Sterling: buys $1.69430 and €1.26370
Oil: $107.57 down -0.0