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Last Week's Financial Review in 5 Minutes

Ref: 186

Date: Mon 05/Aug/2013, 09:30

Ross McEwan, the New Zealander in charge of Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail division, was promoted to group chief executive, succeeding Stephen Hester. His appointment was announced as RBS revealed pre-tax profits of £1.4bn.

Rival lender Lloyds Banking Group announced profits of £2.1bn, and hinted that it could soon restore dividend payments. Shares in the taxpayer-backed bank traded above the price at which the government acquired its stake.

Barclays announced plans to raise £7.8bn in a bid to meet stringent new rules on capital ratios among British banks. The bulk of the fundraising will be via a rights issue. The lender’s underlying pre-tax profits fell to £3.6bn.

Centrica expanded its American business with the $1bn (£650m) acquisition of the energy marketing arm of Hess, the New Jersey-based electricity and gas supplier.

Bauer Media, owner of radio stations including Kiss and Magic, announced that it would add to its portfolio with the purchase of Absolute Radio, the rebranded Virgin Radio.

Tyrrells, the maker of posh English crisps, was acquired by Investcorp, the Bahrain-based private equity firm, in a £100m deal.

Elan, the Irish Pharmaceuticals company, was bought by America’s Perrigo for $8.6bn (£5.6bn).

ITV announced a sharp rise in half-year profits to £270m, thanks in part to overseas sales of hit programmes such as Mr Selfridge.

Ivan Menezes, the new chief executive of Diageo, presented his first set of financial results since taking the reins. He announced profits of just over £3bn, broadly flat on last year.

SJ Berwin, the City law firm, announced plans to merge with its Asian rival King and Wood Mallesons.

Alan Brown is to step down as chief executive of Rentokil Initial, the support services company. He will be succeeded by Andy Ransom, who runs the company’s “west region” which includes America, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe.

Vodafone signed a partnership deal in Brazil, taking its brand into the South American country for the first time.

Fabrice Tourre, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was found liable for fraud in a complex mortgage-linked deal that cost investors $1bn. The civil action had been brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Thomas Cook, the tour operator, showed further signs of its recovery, announcing a £1m profit for the third quarter, compared with a £46m loss a year ago. The Bank of England kept the cost of borrowing on hold at 0.5%.


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