|Lloyds Banking Group plc engulfed by Libor-rigging scandal as US state demands evidence|
|Friday, 17 August 2012 08:31|
News round up: Lloyds Banking Group plc, Facebook Inc, Eurozone break-up, Gold demand, Asda, ISS.
Facebook shares plumbed new depths last night, as some of the investors who had backed the social network in its early days cashed out more of their holdings. Almost three months after the company's disastrous debut on the public markets, 271 million additional shares became eligible for sale yesterday, and a wave of selling pushed the stock down to almost half the float price.
Finland is preparing for the break-up of the eurozone, the country’s foreign minister warned today. The Nordic state is battening down the hatches for a full-blown currency crisis as tensions in the eurozone mount and has said it will not tolerate further bail-out creep or fiscal union by stealth.
Global demand for gold is seeing a significant slowdown as top consumers in India and China pare purchases amid weak economic growth, abruptly halting a consumption boom that started five years ago with the onset of the financial crisis. The consumption slowdown is driving prices downward, denting the profitability of gold miners such as Barrick Gold of Canada and New York-listed Newmont, and hurting top hedge funds managers such as John Paulson and George Soros.
Britain’s second-biggest supermarket group has launched a withering attack on rivals for propping up sales with “unsustainable” voucher promotions. Asda said that supermarkets were resorting to “gimmicks” in an attempt to confuse shoppers and were chasing short-term sales. The retailer, owned by Wal-Mart, reported a slowdown in underlying sales growth in the second quarter but posted improved first-half profits.
The family that owns Lego has spent millions of pounds on a stake in ISS, the Danish cleaning company that G4S tried and failed to buy for £5.2 billion last year. Kirkbi, the investment vehicle of the billionaire Kirk Kristiansen family, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will pay 3.72 billion Danish kroner (£392 million) to acquire 26 per cent of the business, reports The Times.
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