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The Independent (U.K.) 

British Gas owner hits out at Ofgem as energy row rumbles on

The growing row over future energy company profits was further inflamed today by the owner of British Gas.

Robert Tchenguiz gets £1.5 million in damages after botched SFO investigation

The Serious Fraud Office has agreed to pay property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz £1.5 million in damages in one of the most embarrassing episodes to hit the agency following a botched investigation.

Newsagents turning to local postal deliveries to make ends meet

Faced with competition from supermarkets and falling newspaper sales, British newsagents are delivering the post to replenish their income.

Credit Suisse dragged into 'dark pool' probe

Credit Suisse today became the latest bank dragged into the escalating “dark pool” trading scandal.

Lloyds first-half profits plunge as cost of PPI compensation tops £10bn

Lloyds Banking Group revealed today profits fell more than 50 per cent in the first-half as it announced the bill for compensating payment protection insurance customers has smashed through the £10 billion barrier.

Adidas shares tumble as sportswear giant warns over Russian sanctions

Shares in Adidas fell more than 10 per cent in early trading after the sportswear group warned worsening conditions in Russia could hit profits.

Argentina defaults as 11th hour talks with hedge funds collapse

Argentina has defaulted on its debt for the second time in 13 years after it failed to reach an agreement with creditors demanding full repayment of some of the nation's bonds on Wednesday.

Centrica hits out at regulator as profits dive on warm weather

Centrica, the owner of British Gas,lashed out at regulator Ofgem today after it revealed pre-tax profits fell by 40 per cent to £890 million in the first half.

BBA warns new crackdown on bankers could damage London

Bankers reaped the whirlwind yesterday as the Bank of England told the industry’s masters of the universe that they could lose their bonuses for up to seven years after they have been agreed, if they are found responsible for misconduct or their decisions go bad.

ITV plays down John Malone drama as its profits jump 40 per cent to £250m

ITV has insisted it can prosper as an independent company despite increasing takeover speculation after it reported a 40 per cent jump in half-year profits.

Property boom lifts builders and retailers

The UK’s rapidly recovering construction and property market paid dividends for a clutch of UK companies yesterday as housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, property website Rightmove and builders’ merchant Travis Perkins delivered strong first-half figures.

Ben Chu: Applus floating into trouble

Outlook Shares in Applus slumped around 17 per cent this week, only two months after the services group floated in Spain. The online travel company eDreams has dropped 55 per cent since going public in April.

Ben Chu: Only structural reform will clean up our unsound banking system

Outlook John Maynard Keynes nailed it 83 years ago. As the great economist wrote: “A sound banker, alas, is not one who foresees danger and avoids it but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him.”

Gucci’s profit hit by fashion for exclusivity

Kering’s plan to turn Gucci around as an ultra-luxury brand has hit first-half sales and profit at the designer.

US GDP expands 4% in second quarter

The US announced better than expected 4 per cent growth in the second quarter yesterday, combined with five successive months of stronger job creation, confirming the belief of many that the American economy can maintain its recovery.

Market Report: AstraZeneca strengthen with purchase of asthma drug

AstraZeneca is trying to make good on its promise to investors that it’s better off alone.

Hamish McRae: US Inc is pretty chipper, but there will be a correction to the stock market before too long

The American economy is on the move again. The ground lost in the first quarter, when dreadful weather helped push it into retreat, has been more than recovered. The first quarter was not as bad as previously thought and the second much better than expected. The question now is whether the US locomotive continues to pull the rest of the world along the next stage of the recovery.

Energy firms accused of profiteering after profit margins predicted to double next year

The Big Six energy firms will double their profit margins in the next year increasing accusations that they are profiteering while millions of households are struggling to be able to afford to heat their homes.

Russian stocks edge higher despite Western sanctions

Russian stocks laughed off the latest round on Western sanctions on the Kremlin over the crash of the Malaysia Airlines in Ukraine following a three-day sell-off.

SSE 'disappointed' at Ofgem over price controls

Energy giant SSE lashed out at regulators saying it was “disappointed” by plans from the industry watchdog that promise to cut £12 a year from customers’ bills.

Barclays dragged down by investment bank arm

Barclays has revealed profits were dragged down by its investment bank as well as another £900 million provision to cover PPI compensation, as cost cuts left the bank’s staff numbers at their lowest since 2007.

Bankers face jail time under new Bank of England rules

The Bank of England has confirmed plans to introduce new curbs for bankers' bonuses following a week marred by financial scandals in the City.

HSBC closes bank accounts belonging to Muslim clients in the UK

HSBC has closed a number of bank accounts belonging to Muslim clients, including one of London's largest mosques, because they fall outside the bank's "risk appetite".

James Moore: Impressive Next leads the fashion pack

Outlook They say youth will have its day. Next adhered to that principle when it appointed Simon – now Lord – Wolfson as chief executive at the tender age of 33, a decision that has worked out rather well for the company.

BP warns investors to be braced for new sanctions against Russia

BP raised the alarm with its shareholders yesterday, warning that further international sanctions on Russia could “adversely affect” the company.

More banks drawn into ‘dark pool’ investigation

Scandal engulfed the banking sector again yesterday as the Swiss bank UBS and Deutsche Bank admitted that they had been dragged alongside Barclays into an escalating inquiry into predatory high-frequency traders in so-called “dark pool” stock exchanges.

Bramson targets Electra with demand for boardroom seats

The private-equity group Electra has repelled an attack by the activist investor Ed Bramson, who wants to join the company’s board and launch a review of its strategy.

Sun shines on Next as it hikes profit forecasts

Next put its rival Marks & Spencer in the shade yesterday as its chief executive Simon Wolfson delivered yet another hike in profit forecasts for the FTSE 100 fashion giant.

James Moore: Who can predict what will emerge from swamp?

Outlook It isn’t a great surprise that the results filed by Deutsche Bank and UBS are awash with legal and regulatory costs and provisions.

James Moore: Andrew Higginson faces a tough time transforming Morrisons

Outlook They’re playing musical chairs in supermarket boardrooms again, and all the seats are hot ones.


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