Market Report: Sir Frank Chapman in the money but sell-off hits BG price - The Independent Market Report: Sir Frank Chapman in the money but sell-off hits BG price - The Independent

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Market Report: Sir Frank Chapman in the money but sell-off hits BG price - The Independent

Market Report: Sir Frank Chapman in the money but sell-off hits BG price - The Independent

The company was knocked back 59.5p to 1,224p following the revelation that its chief executive got rid of nearly 370,000 shares earlier in the week, selling them off at an average of 1,285p each. While by no means all of his stake – he still holds over 1.5 million shares – traders highlighted the lack of explanation for the sale, suggesting the reaction would have been better if the Square Mile had been given a reason.

Sir Frank, who is among the longest-serving Footsie bosses but plans to step down next year, will be wishing he had sold up a couple of months earlier. Back in March, before BG fell sharply along with the rest of the market, the stock reached 1,547p, meaning he could have earned himself nearly an extra £1m. Still, he may also point out that when he took the job back in 2000 the stock was less than a quarter of where it trades now.

BG was clearly in the mood for selling – it also announced it had struck a deal to get rid of its stake in two Philippines power plants for $360m (£231m). The group had agreed a sale of the business nearly two years ago which subsequently fell through.

It was not a good session for the oil companies in general as a sharp drop in the price of black gold weighed on the sector, with Tullow Oil dropping 49p to 1,427p and BP 8.55p lower at 398.3p.

It was the same story across the City as a torrent of bad news from the eurozone left the FTSE 100 93.86 points weaker at 5,297.28, while disappointing housing data from the States did not help. At the same time the heavyweight diggers were left deep in the red amid growing despondency over the likelihood of the Chinese government giving a major boost to the country's economy.

Another depressing factor was the fact a number of stocks were trading ex-dividend, including Marks & Spencer. The high street institution dipped 12.8p to 332.2p despite analysts from ING removing their "sell" advice, saying they welcomed the recent decision by M&S to cut back on its spending plans.

There were only six risers, with Severn Trent in the gold medal spot. The water utility – which has recently been boosted by takeover speculation – gushed up 42p to 1,706p after its full-year results beat the City's forecasts.

Arm Holdings edged 1p higher to 508.5p, with the chip designer helped by bullish comments late on Tuesday from customer Apple's boss Tim Cook on the tech giant's future plans.

Meanwhile, the decision by Dell to supply microservers using Arm's technology alongside those powered by chips from bitter rival Intel was being applauded by the Square Mile, with some suggesting this could result in extra annual sales of as much as $36m. At the same time, UBS's Gareth Jenkins was pointing out he believed further cash returns were likely from the chip designer.

Down on the FTSE 250, reports that a group of Indian ministers have recommended that coal blocks allocated to Essar Energy should get the green light saw the power giant spark up 25.5p to 141.8p. However, it was quick to say it believed the final decision would be taken by the Indian cabinet and that no official notification had been received yet.

Centamin was in demand. A revised development plan for its Sukari mine in Egypt saw the gold digger tick up 2.5p to 64.25p, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterating its "buy" advice.

While Booker's deal to buy wholesaler Makro saw the cash and carry firm jump 7.9p to 87p, it was not the only purchase to receive a positive reaction.

On Aim, the environmental support services company Silverdell saw its shares lifted by 1p to 11.12p after saying that its £15m acquisition of EDS Group would be "transformational".

In the wake of talk that Maxim Barsky is rejoining TNK-BP as an adviser, having resigned as deputy chief executive of the Anglo-Russian group last year, dealers were highlighting vague speculation recently that it could be a step on the way to him taking the top job.

This, they suggested, may not be too promising for driller Matra Petroleum (0.12p worse off at 2.42p) of whom Mr Barsky recently became boss, although others have talked down the possibility of him getting the top job at TNK-BP.

Swiss financial sector plans big cost cuts-study - Reuters UK

Thu May 31, 2012 10:41am BST

* Half of firms want to cut costs 5-10 pct

* 40 percent aiming for cuts of 10-20 pct

* Private banking particularly hard hit by asset loss

ZURICH, May 31 (Reuters) - The Swiss financial industry - particularly private banking - is planning radical restructuring to improve cost efficiency, a survey showed on Thursday.

Audit and advisory firm Ernst & Young said half of the financial institutions it surveyed wanted to cut costs by 5-10 percent, while 40 percent of firms were aiming for cuts of 10-20 percent and 4 percent were hoping to slash more than 20 percent.

The survey was carried out by an online questionnaire in February at 23 large banks and 10 insurance companies.

"These figures are a clear signal that we are on the brink of further transformation in the financial sector," Bernhard Boettinger of Ernst & Young said in a statement.

"A temporary economic recovery would not be enough to stop this process. The industry is undergoing radical change."

Ernst & Young said insurance companies cited fiercer competition for new customers and growing price pressure as the main drivers for restructuring, while banks pointed to the cost of new regulations and more rapid client turnover.

It said private banks were particularly hard hit as clients withdraw their assets or turn to products with lower returns.

The Swiss banking industry is seeing a big outflow of European assets after the country came under international pressure to clamp down on foreign tax evaders who have stashed their wealth in secret Swiss accounts.

The Swiss parliament gave the green light on Wednesday for pacts with Germany, Britain and Austria aimed at taxing their citizens' undeclared assets. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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  • Money proves to be stumbling block - Mohave Daily News
    FLAGSTAFF (AP) — American Indian tribes authorized to triple the amount of time tribal members can spend in jail say they’re challenged by a lack of funding.

    The increase in tribal courts’ sentencing authority from one year to three years for a single crime came two years ago under the federal Tribal Law and Order Act. But a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday showed that none of the 109 tribes who responded to a survey about the sentencing increase were taking advantage of it.

    Nearly all of those tribes said they need more money and technical help from the federal government to provide public defenders, establish or update criminal codes, and have sufficiently trained judges as the law requires.

    The report shows 36 of the tribes surveyed are working toward the new authority. Another 34 tribes were unsure whether they would go in that direction, while 31 said they had no plans to do so, the report said. The enhanced sentencing isn’t mandatory for tribes.

    Troy Eid, chairman of the Indian Law and Order Commission born out of the Tribal Law and Order Act, said tribes across the country are exploring the authority but it will take time to get all the elements in place if that’s the path they choose.

    “My impression is that within the next year, you’ll start to see some tribes actually implementing the system,” he said. “Tribes are being super careful. No tribe wants to get this issue wrong; it has to be legally correct.”

    The GAO cautioned the report isn’t representative of all tribes. Congressional investigators identified 171 of the 566 federally recognized tribes that received federal funding for tribal courts to include in the survey, but not all of them responded.

    Tribal leaders have said a year in jail for any crime under tribal law, including homicide, hasn’t served as much of a deterrent on reservations. Members of the Navajo Nation Council have been debating whether the enhanced sentencing provision would help send a message that tribal officials are serious about combatting crime.

    “The bad guys are saying they could get away with anything on the rez, which now pretty much is true,” said Edmund Yazzie, chairman of the Navajo Nation Council’s Law and Order Committee, and a former sheriff’s deputy. “But now the committee is trying to take another look at it.”

    Seventy of the tribes surveyed said they had at least half the requirements in place to hand down lengthier sentences, but some are choosing not to because of associated costs, like probation. One unnamed tribe said it has had an effective criminal and civil justice system for 40 years without the requirement of a law-trained judge, and that hiring one from outside the community would be unreasonable.

    The Hopi Tribe in Arizona set aside funds from its own budget to hire law-trained judges and a prosecutor last year to meet the requirements of the tribal law and order act, said tribal Chairman Le Roy Shingoitewa. The tribal council is expected to vote on an updated criminal code next month that Shingoitewa says could help ensure that victims get justice.

    “Now we have some teeth in enforcing our laws. Previous to this, all we did is slap the hands of perpetrators,” he said.

    Tribes receive funding, training and other assistance through the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Department of Justice, but it’s not always enough.

    The BIA said it has provided more than 60 recording devices to tribes to help them meet another requirement that they maintain a record of criminal proceedings. The agency said it has plans to give 15 more to tribes that request them and also has asked for $1 million more in funding for tribal courts in its 2013 budget justification.

    The GAO recommended that the federal government clarify to tribes the funding sources available to help them pursue the enhanced sentencing.

    Mato Standing High, attorney general of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, said the tribe is fortunate in that it has the financial resources to meet many of the requirements under the Tribal Law and Order Act. The only thing missing is an updated tribal code that would reflect a new class of crimes, like rape, arson or homicide, with lengthier sentences, he said.

    The tribe hasn’t decided officially whether to move forward with the enhanced sentencing authority, he said, but is considering how to classify crimes after comparing them to state and federal crimes and penalties.

    “Tribes really need to see it as an opportunity to exercise sovereignty and have more local control,” Standing High said. “That’s the goal of it, and I understand also that it takes a lot of resources that a lot of tribes don’t have.”

    Money matters - Nottingham Evening Post

    THIS week in Money Matters we look at county court judgements. The first thing to point out is that if you always pay back what you owe when you are supposed to pay it back then you will probably never even get close to one of these.

    The problems arise when you are unable to repay a debt and start to miss payments totally or you refuse to pay a debt even though funding repayment of that debt is not an issue.

    Where there is a dispute in the first instance the debtor will receive a county court claim issued saying you owe a third party money. Anyone you owe money to can take a county court action against you to try and reclaim the money. If you ever receive a claim form you must take action and return the admission form back to the courts within 16 days of the date of the postmark. That means immediately in real terms – failure to do so means you will get a "forwith judgement" from the Court, this means that you will be asked to repay the whole debt back straight away and will not be able to apply for a "redetermination".

    A redetermination is the ability to repay the debt back in instalments, so you do not want to lose this option.If you dispute the ownership or level of the debt you need to submit a "defence form" or "acknowledgement of service".

    The court will either then issue an order to repay the debt at a certain payment over a certain period of time. This is a county court Judgement or call a hearing if there has been an "acknowledgement of service". If you cannot afford to repay what the court has put in the judgement you can pay for a redetermination hearing where you can state your case and go back through your income and essential expenditure.Quality debt management companies as well as the Citizens Advice Bureau will help you prepare your figures. If the original judgement was made without an hearing you must be granted an hearing and then you will be asked to state your case within the Court or an appointed third party (this can be anyone of standing) can represent you in Court. If you fail to keep up with the payments issued in the CCJ the Court can take action to force you to pay. This is when a bailiff (not a debt collector , they have no powers in essence) could get a warrant from the court to seize goods from your property to repay that debt.

    CCJs are highly likely to stop you gaining any form of credit for a period of up to six years so they are very important.

    In fact so important that next week we will look at how you go about getting a CCJ removed from your record.

    Don't forget if you want to ask any of the AMS team a question you can do so by texting MONEY to 66777.

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