News

Retail sales rose at their fastest rate in nine years in December, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday. However, some City analysts immediately cast doubt on the reliability of the figures.

BNP beats forecasts with 34 per cent fall in earnings

BNP Paribas, the bank that signalled the severity of the financial turmoil nearly a year ago, rode out the crisis in the second quarter with profit ahead of expectations.

Price cuts help Morrisons to outshine rivals

Morrisons has delivered price cuts on 2,000 items this month to lure cash-strapped customers into stores, as it showed rivals a clean set of heels with barnstorming sales for the 13 weeks to 4 May.

Bank deputy governor Gieve urges early interest rate cut

Another cut in UK interest rates edged closer yesterday after it emerged that the deputy governor of the Bank of England Sir John Gieve has moved into the camp calling for reductions.

Crédit Agricole rules out major purchases after sub-prime losses

Crédit Agricole has ruled itself out of "significant acquisitions" after the credit crunch sent it slumping to its first quarterly loss since listing in 2001. The French bank did not close the door completely on a move for Société Générale, however, saying it would "not remain indifferent" should the beleaguered group be approached by a rival.

Banks lined up to share SocGen spoils

Investment banks are jostling for position in the potential bidding war for Société Gé*érale, which became vulnerable to an approach after last week's rogue trading scandal.

Rio deal drives up Europe shares ahead of US jobs

European shares rose today, led by mining shares after a Chinese aluminium company said it had bought a stake in bid target Rio Tinto and by banks ahead of key US jobs data later in the session.

BNP Paribas hints it may bid for embattled rival SocGen

BNP Paribas yesterday gave its first hint that it may bid for Société Générale since its arch rival became vulnerable to takeovers in the wake of last week's rogue trading scandal.

Bouton wins unanimous vote to stay at SocGen

Daniel Bouton, the chairman and chief executive of Société Gé*érale, won a reprieve yesterday after the board of the beleaguered bank voted unanimously to keep him at the helm. This came as the bank announced it had set up an independent task force to investigate last week's €5bn (£3.7bn) trading scandal.

BNP Paribas tops list of banks that could table bid

It didn't take long for the speculation to begin. Just hours after Société Gé*érale revealed it had been victimised by a rogue trader who lost the bank an astonishing €4.9bn (£3.7bn) on fraudulent trades, market watchers began speculating on who might swoop on the stricken bank.

Danone consortium in pounds 1.26bn bid to swallow United Biscuits

THE FRENCH contender in the race to buy United Biscuits last night mounted a surprise 11th-hour offer for the underperforming Jaffa Cake maker.

Nabisco consortium raises offer in pounds 1.2bn United Biscuits bid battle

A US consortium yesterday looked close to winning the tug of war over United Biscuits, the struggling UK snack maker, after it raised its offer for the company to "at least" 254p a share, topping its initial agreed offer of 245p.
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