Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Housing Slowdown Sparks Jitters in the Banks Sector; SARAH MARKS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Housing Slowdown Sparks Jitters in the Banks Sector; SARAH MARKS

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH MARKS

THE undeniable slowdown in the UK housing market sent a bone-tinglingshiver through the banking sector today as fears that the great property-fulledconsumer boom is finally coming to an end.

Big mortgage lenders like Northern Rock were the worst-hit as hard evidence ofthe first fall in house prices for two years was revealed by the August RICSsurvey. Northern was 2712p off at 64412p, Alliance &Leicester fell 36p to92712p and Royal Bank of Scotlandwas down 9p at 53212p while Barclays fell 912pto 59812p.

Not only did the number of new buyers fall for the ninth month in a row, butthe drop was steeper than at anytime since August 2004. BNP Paribas economistAlan Clarke says mortgage approvals are going to have to decline.

With banking stocks being squeezed and record oil prices, the FTSE struggled tomake headway and the blue-chip index was 16.2 points down at 6290.0.

The major oil producers were up as investors calculated spiralling fuel priceswould force customers to pay more, rather than squash demand.

Shell rose 12p to 2026p while BP was 2p higher at 56912p.

Hopes that Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) might fall happy victim to Carlsberg arerapidly disintegrating following dismissive words from one of the top bods atthe Danish brewer.

Finance officer and deputy chief executive Jorn Jensen has told investors inNew York that he has not yet seen a solid business case for a full combinationwith S&N. Shares in the brewer sank 6p to 60812p.

Merrill Lynch has downgraded S&N to neutral, concluding that a bid "is unlikelyto be imminent".

SABMiller, which yesterday was fingered as a bidder for Irish cider outfit C&C,was down a further 8p today at 1320p.

Cable & Wireless put on an impressive show, up 7.1p at 173. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.