Business news in brief

The Japanese government has announced a 380bn (pounds 1.9bn) rescue package designed to kick-start the country's moribund property market, though analysts said the package did not represent a complete solution to the property bad debts on Japanese banks books, which are estimated to be worth up to 30,000bn. The key part of the reforms is the easing of rules that will allow property held as collateral to be turned into securities to be sold to investors.

Hammerson is thought to have rejected the idea of a hostile bid for property industry rival MEPC after the two companies abandoned merger talks. Both companies suffered heavily from the effects of the recession on the commercial property industry and MEPC has struggled to recover as quickly as Hammerson has under new chief executive Ron Spinney. The impetus for the talks is thought to have come from MEPC's leading shareholders, including PDFM.

Estate agents are at their most optimistic for three years, according to a survey by Birmingham Midshires building society. Four out of five believe the market is gathering pace. Though house prices have steadied in the last six months, they are 10 per cent higher than this time last year. Agents predict a further 6 per cent rise over the next year. Three- and four-bedroom homes are the most popular. One-bedroom properties are hardest to sell.

The chief executive of Tesco Personal Finance, the financial services joint venture between Tesco and the Royal Bank of Scotland, is to be Derek Sach, former managing director of 3i Group. Rowley Ager, a director of Tesco, is to be chairman.

The first quarter of 1997 was the quietest for stock market flotations for several years, according to a survey by KPMG Corporate Finance. Flotations were up from 16 to 20 but generated only pounds 246m, compared with over pounds 2bn in the the same period last year. KPMG said uncertainty over the election was partly to blame.

British Airways has clinched a five-year deal with Ryder to outsource its Ground Fleet Services vehicle management and maintenance work at Heathrow and Gatwick. Most of GFS's staff will move to Ryder and the remainder will take early retirement, voluntary redundancy or other BA jobs.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory