In brief: British bonds fall below German bund
British government bonds continued to yield a lower interest rate than German ones yesterday, after moving below German rates for the first time in a generation.
Five-year Uk gilts yielded 1.47pc, compared with 1.67pc for German bunds. Analysts said the ultra-low yields reflected a belief that government cost-cutting would bring down the UK's budget deficit, but that growth would be subdued as a result. German business sentiment hit a three-and-a-half year high this month.
Way cleared for BoSI to cease operating
A HIGH Court judge has cleared the way for Bank of Scotland Ireland (BoSI) to cease operating here. The bank, pending approval by the Scottish courts, is to be absorbed into Bank of Scotland plc. BoSI had incurred losses in commercial property loans here but had an excess of €1.3bn assets over liabilities in June last, the High Court heard. Some 36 of its 240 employees here are to be made redundant.
BSkyB's operating profits surge 25pc
OPERATING profit at BSkyB surged 25pc to £255m (€287m) in the first quarter of its financial year, as revenue at the group rose 15pc to £1.52bn (€1.7bn). BSkyB, which is betting on innovations such as its 3D platform and more high-definition channels to lure customers, said that it added 96,000 net new customers during the quarter to bring its subscriber base to just shy of 10 million households across the UK and Ireland.
Maloney among big Betfair winners
IRISH entrepreneur Barry Maloney is among the big winners after a £1.4bn (€1.57bn) IPO of Betfair netted more than €69m for his venture capital fund Balderton Capital. Former Esat boss Maloney founded Balderton Capital in 2000. The fund was among the early investors in Betfair, which floated on the London Stock Exchange on yesterday at £13 per share. Mr Maloney's firm will see a return of up to 15 times on its investment after making a number of investments in Betfair.
Quarter of brokers comply with rules
AN INSPECTION by the Central Bank has found that only a quarter of broker firms were fully compliant with rules covering the competence levels of staff. The bank said only five of 20 financial intermediary companies were following the provisions of minimum competency requirements introduced in 2007.