City&FinanceBriefing 34 Thursday, 30 July 2009 London Lite Premier Direct Current Account: Limit of one current account from our Premier range per person. Applicants may not apply for a Premier account which they currently hold or have held in the past 3 months. Applicants must be a UK resident. (Channel Island and Isle of Man residents are excluded). Account opening depends on your circumstances. Offer subject to availability. 5.84% gross/6.00% AER (fixed) for 1 year. After 1 year we pay 1.00% gross AER (variable) on balances up to 2,500. Balances over 2,500 earn 0.10% gross/AER (variable). 500 monthly funding required or fees may be applied. Credit transfer from other Alliance & Leicester accounts will not count towards the monthly credit. Interest paid daily and added to account monthly. E-mail address compulsory. AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and shows what the interest rate would be if we paid interest and added it to your account each year. The gross rate is the interest rate we pay before income tax is taken off. For details of our fees and interest rates, visit alliance-leicester.co.uk or pick up a leaflet at any branch. Telephone calls are recorded and may be monitored for security, quality control and training purposes. Alliance & Leicester plc. Registered office: Carlton Park, Narborough, Leicester LE19 0AL. Company number 3263713. Registered in England. Alliance & Leicester plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Our FSA register number is 189099. CA3209/LS 06/09 Visit branch, click alliance-leicester.co.uk or call 0800 678 1724 A current account with high interest Alliance & Leicester is now part of the Santander Group, which has more than 150 years experience in banking, and more branches worldwide than any other international bank. %AER(fixed)6For 1 year (1% AER variable after 1 year) on balances up to 2,500. 0.10% AER (variable) on balances over 2,500. Minimum age 21. 500 monthly funding (or fees may apply). Internet access required. Premier Direct Current Account Inbrief S&N shrugs off swine flu fears l ARTIFICIAL hip maker Smith & Nephew today shrugged off concerns it would be hit by swine flu. Analysts have warned that S&N could be hit as hospitals postpone non-urgent operations to free up beds but it said: We are not expecting it to have any impact. Pre-tax profits jumped 14% for the first six months of the year to $322 million (196 million). Australia Dollars 1.8951 Canada Dollars 1.6947 Denmark Kroner 8.1952 Eurozone Euro 1.1041 Hong Kong Dollars 12.0300 Japan Yen 146.5900 New Zealand Dollars 2.3251 South Africa Rand 12.1100 Sweden Kronor 11.7900 Switzerland Francs 1.6783 UAE Dirham 5.6380 United States Dollars 1.5622 TouriST raTeS UP 26.20 at 4573.73 fTSe 100 dow joNeS Nikkei -$ DOWN 26.00 at 9070.72 UP 51.97 at 10,165.21 UP 1.12 at $1.6491 Houseshortage has Londons prices climbingOn the up: Buying a home in the capital is returning to its old expensive levels according to new figures BY hugo duncan London homeowners got a double boost today with two surveys pointing to a sharp recovery in prices. nationwide said prices rose 1.3% this month and predicted an acute shortage of houses could send prices soaring again in the next few years. It said they could even end the year higher than they started, a prospect that seemed unthinkable just a few months ago. Estate agency Knight Frank said prices of homes in the capital worth more than 1 million went up 1.5% this month, a fourth consecutive rise. It said demand from overseas buyers and a shortage of supply was continu- ing to push up prices. The revival has been led by Kensington and Chelsea where prices are now 6% higher than in March. nationwide warned that the seeds of the next housing boom are already being sown because so few homes are being built during the recession. only 100,000 homes will be built this year -- the lowest number for at least two decades -- and the lender said rates will remain low for several years because of the severity of the construction crisis. With the Government expecting the number of households to grow by 250,000 a year through immigration and people living longer, it looks set to lead to a drastic shortage. Martin Gahbauer, chief economist at nationwide, said: As it is likely to take time for the economy and housing construction to recover to pre-crisis levels, the potential exists for a considerable housing shortfall to develop over the next few years. The rise in the average UK house price this month took it to 158,871 and followed a 1% rise in June. Prices are now 6.2% lower than last year. BaT results are still smoking l CIGARETTES giant British American Tobacco (BAT) today proved smokers have not curbed their nicotine habit despite the slump. The company saw profits rise to 2.11 billion in the six months to 30 June from 1.72 billion for the same period a year earlier. BAT has upped its half- year dividend by more than a quarter to 27.9p. Nationalexpress ditchesdividend l MoRE bad news for investors in transport giant National Express today when the company dumped its interim dividend to cut debt. National Express posted a 42% slump in pre-tax profit to 55.7 million for the six months to June. It blamed the decline on a 20 million trading loss on the East Coast rail franchise that it is handing back to the Government. Suffering Shell plummets 70% l oIL giant Royal Dutch Shell today reported a 70% slump in profits and warned the global economy was a long way from recovery. Second-quarter profits crashed from $7.9 billion (4.8 billion) last year to $2.34 billion this year as the recession dragged down oil prices. Chief executive Peter Voser said: We are not banking on a quick recovery. >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit thisismoney.co.uk * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. 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