Charles Pretzlik: Money markets dominate again

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The main action today is in the money markets, where the Bank of England has acted to address liquidity in the interbank market by providing cash to ease the overnight rate without helping three-month borrowing costs. This falls deliberately short of what the Fed did by cutting the discount rate. This has done nothing to help bank shares. There is some useful commentary from Capital Economics running on FT Alphaville’s Markets Live blog.

We’re pursuing a number of corporate, market and economic angles but so far the OECD says the subprime crisis will hit world growth. But also get this: Wesfarmers in Australia has revised its bid for Coles to protect shareholders against the current volatility by offering something called price-protected shares. We need to have a close look at those. Also in Australia, NAB has had to take A$6bn of conduit-related loans on to its balance sheet.

For the latest developments, go to FT.com and to FT Alphaville (where amid some fantastic insight they also have a credit market quiz:– Name That Acronym). For all the background, go to ft.com/subprime.

It’s a bit of a sideshow today but there is some pretty decent UK corporate news today. Land Securities, whose shares trade at a massive discount to NAV, has confirmed the Telegraph’s story this morning that it is reviewing its business structure. It says the review is “well-progressed”. The idea has been around for a while (our own Jim Pickard picked up speculation about it a year ago) but today the shares are up 2 per cent. You can get a feel for chairman Paul Myners’ thinking from the interview he did with Jim in March.

We also have have strong interims from UK Coal and Interserve, plus a decent trading update from Berkeley Group. Carillion’s interims look good, too, as does Shore Capital.

Bloomsbury Publishing’s co-founder, Nigel Newton, is giving up the chairmanship to concentrate on being chief executive. Jeremy Wilson, vice-chairman of business banking at Barclays, has found some time amid the credit crunch to become non-exec chairman.

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