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[14 Aug 2012 | No Comment | ]

A balance of 24pc more surveyors reported falling rather than rising prices last month, the most negative reading since June 2011, the RICS said.
London, which has had strong interest from overseas buyers, is the only region where more surveyors reported price rises than falls.
The West and East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside were the areas where surveyors were the most likely to report house prices falling.
The start of the school holidays meant activity in the market tailed off further, with the number of new sellers coming to market declining for …

Business »

[7 Aug 2012 | No Comment | ]

New York’s top financial regulator has claimed that “flagrantly deceptive actions” by the British bank left the US “vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes”.
In a devastating 27-page order Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, claims that Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) “operated as a rogue institution” – and that the bank’s group directors in London were complicit.
In October 2006, the head of the bank’s American operations “sent a panicked message to the group executive director in London” saying that the bank’s …

Business, Science & Technology »

[7 Aug 2012 | No Comment | ]

The Advertising Standards Board ruled that posts on Smirnoff’s Facebook page are effectively advertising, regardless of whether they were made by the company or a member of the public, and should therefore comply with advertising laws.
The judgment has already caused widespread concern in Australia and threatens to undermine Facebook’s advertising on a worldwide basis, as posts made by users in any country can appear on companies’ Facebook pages.
Advertisers will have to factor the cost of vetting user comments into their plans for advertising on Facebook, whilst constant policing could also …

Business »

[7 Aug 2012 | No Comment | ]

“We must make it clear to Mr Monti that we Germans will not shut down our democracy to pay Italian debts,” said Alexander Dobrindt, secretary-general of Bavaria’s Social Christians (CSU).
Bundestag president Norbert Lammert said parliament’s integrity cannot be subordinated to the ups and downs of the markets. Free Democrat (FDP) leaders said Italy’s unelected prime minister is playing with political fire by trying to circumvent democratic legitimacy.
The dispute comes as relations between Germany and Italy touch the lowest ebb since the Second World War, with Il Giornale publishing a front-page …

Business »

[5 Aug 2012 | No Comment | ]

World stocks rallied, U.S. oil jumped nearly 5 percent and the euro surged on Friday on news U.S. employers increased hiring in July by the most in five months and on renewed optimism that Europe was closer to action on its debt crisis.
Investors took a second look at Thursday’s statement by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and concluded that help was on the way, even though it would take more time than many hoped.
The U.S. jobs report showed stronger-than-expected hiring but also a rise in the unemployment rate to …