London shares close higher as BSkyB surges
Somebody called offering a significantly higher sum, said Hudson, a 55-year-old manager at a publishing company, who in August swapped his home in Clapham, a London district favored by young bankers and lawyers, for Dorset, the farm-dotted county 125 miles (202 kilometers) southwest of London that was the setting for Thomas Hardys Tess of the DUrbervilles. It looks like we caught it just at the right time, he said. Country homes are coming back into fashion, after lagging behind urban locations such as Londons West End since the 2007 financial crisis when banks cut off mortgages. Prices for manor houses, farmhouses and cottages valued at more than 750,000 pounds climbed at the fastest rate in more than three years in the third quarter, Knight Frank LLP said in a report today, as Prime Minister David Cameron makes reviving the housing market central to his efforts to pull the economy out of recession. Its U.K. economic growth and broader housing-market confidence, said Liam Bailey , global head of residential research at the London-based property broker. The government last week introduced the second phase of its Help to Buy program, which offers mortgage guarantees that allow purchases with down payments as low as 5 percent. The first phase, which began in April, provided interest-free loans for buyers of newly built homes. Bigger Appetite The program has contributed to the most buoyant housing market since the financial crisis, even as two thirds of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg described it as bad policy. The governments measure will lead to a stronger market without causing a bubble, the EY Item Club, a London-based group sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP, said in a report today. Help to Buy has obviously been a catalyst that has encouraged people, Bailey said by phone.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets ready to answer questions from a Chatham House audience, on Oct. 11, 2013, in London. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) Reported by ABC News Gemma Perlin: LONDON Hillary Clinton, in London last Friday to pick up a prize in recognition of her significant and impressive contribution to international diplomacy, was busted by a London traffic cop for an illegally parked Mercedes. Despite the raised voices of Clintons bodyguards, the parking police remained unfazed and would not retract the ticket, reported the Daily Telegraph. Daniel Astaire, a councillor for the borough that Clinton parked in, told ABC News that Clinton would receive no special treatment. The former U.S. secretary of state was parked for nearly 45 minutes without paying. Im sure she will understand that we have to be fair to everyone, regardless of their status on the world stage. Clinton was fined $128, but if she pays the ticket within 14 days, it will be knocked down to $64. The American Embassy in London, which owes $12.5 million in its own parking fines, according to figures from Foreign Secretary William Hague,would not comment on Clintons parking ticket, explaining that she was now a private citizen. Hillary will know as a former diplomat, one must get all their facts together, look for evidence, make an appeal quickly and perceive, Barrie Segal, a U.K. parking ticket expert, told ABC News.If that fails, I am happy to give her mobile number and chat about it.
Five or ten years ago, a lot of companies were thinking about moving to places like Ireland or the Channel Islands, said Dan Schuster-Woldan, a partner at law firm Linklaters. Things have changed. There are now fewer companies going that route because the tax differential is lower. Tax Neutral Noble is one example. Chief Executive Officer David Williams said in July the move would be tax-neutral for the company — showing how U.K. tax changes have made the country comparable with Switzerland. The average Swiss corporate tax take is about 18 percent, and as high as 24.4 percent in some regions, according to accountancy firm KPMG. Other firms with U.S. roots have done the same. Aon Plc ( AON:US ), the worlds second-largest insurance broker, last year moved its headquarters from Chicago to London, saying it would give the company better access to emerging economies and the Lloyds of London insurance market. Taxes also played a role, with the company crediting a U.K. territorial tax system that would drive significant value to shareholders in a 2012 regulatory filing. In addition to slicing the corporate tax rate, the British government last year reduced the amount of tax owed on profits earned outside the country.
Busted by London Traffic Cop, Hillary Clinton Gets No Special Treatment
View gallery A man walks past the London Stock Exchange, in central London, on September 22, 2011 (AFP Photo/Facundo Arrizabalaga) London (AFP) – London shares edged higher on Thursday as BSkyB surged after the satellite television broadcaster’s results for its latest quarter. The benchmark FTSE 100 index added 4.57 points or 0.07 percent to close at 6,576.16 points. “Global markets were lifeless today as the much expected agreement between officials in the US to avoid a default failed to ignite much optimism in equities,” said Shavaz Dhalla, a financial trader at Spreadex.” “Furthermore, since most investors were expecting a deal to be reached, albeit earlier then yesterday, then there really isnat much of an excuse to be diving back into equities,” Dhalla said. However, BSkyB shares soared 7.06 percent to 940 pence as the company 39-percent owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp announced higher revenues and expressed confidence about the rest of the year. Profits after taxation fell almost 12 percent to A193 million, hit by heavy investment in new services and a more expensive broadcasting deal to screen English Premier League football matches. But revenues grew 7 percent to A1.843 billion in its first quarter to end-September, aided by swelling subscriber numbers. “While the consumer environment remains challenging, we are well placed as we execute a strong set of plans for the rest of the year,” said chief executive Jeremy Darroch. Terrestrial broadcaster ITV benefitted from BSkyB’s positive comments, putting on 2.63 percent to 195.10 pence. Brewer SABMiller climbed 4.18 percent to 3,167 pence and budget airline easyJet gained 3.83 percent to 1,328 pence. Engineering group Weir led the fallers, dropping 2.99 percent to 2,268 pence, while building supplies distributor CRH shed 2.59 percent to 1,539 pence and inspection and verification specialist Intertek lost 2.55 percent to 3,210 pence. On the currency markets, the pound strengthened to $1.6156 at 5:26 pm from $1.5900 on Wednesday evening and to 1.1825 euros from 1.1794 euros the night before. Investment & Company Information ‘If I Could, They Would Already Be in Jail,’ Sheriff Grady Judd said Good Morning America