Home News Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc denies it is to float properties portfolio on stock exchange
Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc denies it is to float properties portfolio on stock exchange
Thursday, 10 October 2013 08:41

News round up: RBS, Help to Buy, Royal Mail, Libyan Prime Minister, Office for Budget Responsibility and Federal Reserve.  

Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS) has dismissed claims it was planning to sell a portfolio of more than 1,300 UK residential properties.

The Guardian newspaper had reported that RBS would sell the assets, owned by its property arm, and was considering floating them on the stock exchange. The report said the properties were worth about £200m and are owned by the bank’s subsidiary West Register, which has about £3bn in assets.

But "there are no plans to sell off a portfolio of properties or to float it on the stock exchange," a spokesman for state-backed RBS told Reuters, ShareCast reports.

Help to Buy

The Government’s flagship Help to Buy mortgage subsidy scheme could make housing even less affordable, the International Monetary Fund has warned. By launching it when house prices are already rising across the country the plan, formally unveiled this week, ‘may lead to even higher housing prices’, the Fund said.

The Treasury scheme has come under widespread criticism that it could provoke another housing bubble, The Daily Mail writes.

Royal Mail

Hundreds of thousands of private investors will get the bare minimum of shares in tomorrow’s Royal Mail flotation as evidence mounted that the government has inadvertently created a stampede by selling it off too cheaply.

Another City stockbroker has risked its reputation by saying that it suspects the £3.3bn Royal Mail sell-off has been underpriced by more than 80%. Canaccord Genuity believes that Royal Mail should be valued at nearer £6bn (599p a share) compared with the 330p a share that ministers are likely to ask for when it starts trading, according to The Times.

Libyan Prime Minister

The Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been snatched by armed men in a dawn raid on his hotel in Tripoli, the country’s government confirmed this morning.

"The head of the transitional government, Ali Zeidan, was taken to an unknown destination for unknown reasons by a group" of men believed to be former rebels, the government said in a brief statement on its website. Mr Zeidan, 63, had been using the Corinthia Hotel, which is popular with diplomats and foreign officials, as his residence, The Times reports.

Office for Budget Responsibility

Flatlining investment by Britain's battered businesses was the main reason the independent Office for Budget Responsibility drastically overestimated the likely strength of the economic recovery, it conceded in its latest forecast review.

The OBR, set up by George Osborne to provide a check on Treasury number-crunching, said in its annual forecasting evaluation report that when it set out the expected path for the recovery in June 2010, shortly after the coalition came to power, it was projecting that business investment would bounce back strongly, as in previous recoveries, The Guardian writes.

Federal Reserve

Policy makers at the US Federal Reserve were split over the merits of slowing its $85bn-a-month asset purchases in September, highlighting the difficult task facing Janet Yellen as she prepares to take the chairmanship of the central bank.

Calling her "one of the nation’s foremost economists and policy makers", Barack Obama nominated Ms Yellen to the most powerful job in the world economy in a ceremony at the White House, just one hour after the release of the minutes, the Financial Times writes.


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