|Reiterated buy ratings for HSBC Holdings plc and J Sainsbury plc on Q1 results|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012 08:28|
News round up: HSBC, Sainsbury, Strike, Rank Group, Aviva and the Bank of England.
Tens of thousands of public sector workers are due to go on strike and march the streets on Thursday as they escalate their bitter dispute over pensions, pay and jobs. Up to 400,000 workers including off-duty police officers, immigration staff and lecturers are set be involved in a wave of demonstrations throughout the country.
Rank Group is poised to agree the acquisition of Gala Casinos for about £200m — only six weeks after previous talks fell apart with each side blaming the other. The Times understands that, despite the acrimonious breakdown of the discussions, Rank and Gala Coral Group quickly returned to the negotiating table. Analysts said there had been two main sticking points first time around — Gala Casinos’ pension liability and property-related issues over casinos no longer owned by Gala.
Andrew Moss missed out on bonuses worth £2.4m after his unceremonious exit as Aviva’s chief executive, it emerged last night. Mr Moss, who resigned from the insurer with a payout worth £1.5m, was denied deferred shares from two bonus schemes by Aviva’s remuneration committee. As a result of his resignation, Mr Moss was deemed by the committee not to be a “good leaver” and it exercised its right to withhold the share payments. The committee’s decision appeared last night to have headed off an investor revolt over the terms of Mr Moss’s departure, The Times reports.
Bank of England
The Bank of England is expected to call time on the latest round of quantitative easing on Thursday following signs that inflation is proving more "sticky" than expected. The second round of QE has been completed and on Thursday the Bank has to decide whether to extend it again or to leave the total £325bn program unchanged. Most economists reckon the Bank will keep its powder dry after inflation surprisingly rose in March to 3.5%, making it less likely that the consumer price index will drop back to the 2% target this year.
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