The Business: Wednesday March 5 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Mark Carney may tighten rules so reckless bank chiefs can be stripped of bonuses even after they have cashed them in, says the Daily Mail. The Bank of England governor is acting following recommendations from the banking commission of MPs and peers. The news was welcomed by campaigners. Deborah Hargreaves from the High Pay Centre said: “Clawbacks for vested bonuses are a good idea. This will hurt bankers in their wallets if things go wrong.”
Markets have continued to rally as tensions in the Ukraine eased, reports the BBC. After Russian president Vladimir Putin said the Crimea situation did not require military action, markets in Asia, the US and Europe all climbed. In the US, the S&P 500 closed at a new record high, before the Asia’s Nikkei index closed up by 1.2%. European markets also closed higher, with the FTSE 100 index up 1.6% and the CAC-40 in France rising 2.3% to 4,389.
Five years of low interest rates have cost savers £117bn, says The Times. As the fifth anniversary of record low interest rates arrived, savers groups accused the Bank of England of the largest and most undemocratic redistribution of wealth in generations. Simon Rose of Save Our Savers said: “Low interest rates have not only savaged the nation’s savings, they have also exacerbated our dependency on debt.”
“It’s ironic. Many high streets have been around for 700 years. They survived Hitler’s bombs but the Government’s lack of action is doing more damage than Hitler ever managed.” Business select committee chair Adrian Bailey makes a colourful intervention in the business rates debate.
Barclays boss Antony Jenkins says he increased bonus payments to senior executives to avoid a “death spiral”. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said he was forced to increase bonuses by £200m in 2013 after hundreds of key staff left the investment bank in America. He described the increase as the “hardest decision” he has taken as chief executive, but added that, despite widespread outrage, it was “the right thing to do”.
Liverpool Football Club says it is heading in the right commercial direction despite losing almost £50m in 2012-13. For trading until 31 May 2013, the club made a loss after tax of £49.8m. But managing director Ian Ayre said: “With a hugely supportive ownership group, we have taken a measured approach to bring back financial stability to this great club by ensuring it is properly structured on and off the pitch.”
FTSE-100: up +1.72 to 6823.77
Dow Jones: up +1.41 to 16395.88
Dax: up +2.46 to 9589.15
Cac-40: up +2.45 to 4395.90
Nikkei: up +1.20 to 14897.63
Hang Seng: down -0.30 to 22589.29
US dollar: buys €0.72830 and £0.59970
Sterling: buys $1.66730 and €1.21450
Oil: $109.18 down -1.8