US home sales at lowest on record
SALES of new homes in the US dropped unexpectedly last month, reaching the lowest level on record. Bad weather, unemployment and foreclosures were blamed.
Sales fell 2.2pc month on month to 308,000, and have fallen every month since October 2009.
New arrest over insider trading
A SEVENTH person in the UK was arrested yesterday as part of an ongoing insider trading investigation. Six people were arrested on Tuesday. Four of those arrested are said to be employed by the hedge fund Moore Capital; investment bank Deutsche Bank; the BNP Paribas-owned broker, Exane; and stockbroker Novum Securities. All seven are expected to be released on bail after questioning.
Tax evader back as Samsung boss
QUESTIONS were raised yesterday about South Korea's attitude to white-collar crime after the former chairman of Samsung, a convicted tax evader, returned to the helm of the electronics firm. Lee Kun-hee was granted an official pardon after serving part of a suspended three-year jail term.
Bad bank merger for ailing lenders
THE TWO "bad banks" of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley are to be merged, under one holding company and management team. The banks' balance sheets will be kept separate. The merger is deemed to be more efficient for British taxpayers.
Fitch downgrades Portugal over debt
RATINGS agency Fitch has cut its rating for Portugal, citing concerns about the country's high levels of debt. Douglas Renwick of Fitch said a "sizeable fiscal shock" had reduced the country's credit-worthiness.
IBEC and ICTU reveal agreement
EMPLOYERS' group IBEC yesterday published the terms it had negotiated with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions for negotiations in the absence of a national pay agreement. "The protocol aims to ensure that disputes are dealt with in an orderly manner, without recourse to industrial unrest," said IBEC's Brendan McGinty.