City File: Cash incentive

ALL EYES will be on Rob Rowley, Reuters' finance director, on Tuesday to see whether he is going to give away any of the group's pounds 900m cash pile to shareholders. The rumour mill has gone quiet on the issue since Reuters first floated the idea in March, and there is a belief that the group may be waiting to see if November's Budget gives it an incentive to hand the cash back.

Then again, Reuters might spend the money. It is known to be keen on television, having bought a stake in ITN, and may be a suitor for an ITV company such as Central or LWT.

It all makes up for Reuters' half-year pre-tax profits being a boringly predictable pounds 223m, up 19 per cent. The shares trade at 20 times earnings, which seems toppy.

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