City&FinanceBriefing Inbrief City watchdog waters down its bonus rulesThe City regulator today backed away from introducing strict rules to limit the scale of fat-cat bankers bonuses. Its new regime on pay and bonuses in financial firms is set to come under fire from politicians and the public who believe that bankers have been let off the hook for their role in the two-year financial crisis. The Financial Services Authority has dropped draft rules it issued earlier this year forcing banks to spread bonuses over several years and basing them on the whole banks performance rather than on an individuals or divisions performance. The climbdown followed extensive lobbying by many London-based banks who argued that any draconian regime could damage the capitals position as one of the worlds top three financial centres. hector Sants, chief executive of the FSA, today said that he believed that bonuses had been a contributory factor but certainly not the principal cause of the financial crisis. he rejected any idea that it was the regu- lators job to police what some people see as i m mo r a l l a r g e f at - c at p ayo u t s t o individuals. BY Nick goodwaY Tui profits as tourists snap up Mexico deals BRITISH tourists are flocking back to Mexico to take advantage of knock- down prices after the swine flu outbreak. Tui Travel, the package tour group behind First Choice, said today that bookings to the Central American country were up 27% in July on the previous year. Hotel owners in Mexico have slashed their prices to encourage travellers to return, meaning that Tui has maintained margins but that the cost of a holiday there has fallen. Tui resumed flights to the country at the end of May. But the group also said that it has taken a 7-million hit from the swine flu outbreak because of the brief suspension of trips to Mexico. Tui refunded customers who did not want to switch to another destination. Some customers remained nervous about travelling there in June, meaning there was pent-up demand in July. As a result, Tui said it remains on track to meet forecasts for the year as most people refuse to ditch their week in the sun, despite the recession. More and more travellers are booking at the last minute, however, a trend chief executive Peter Long expects to continue. Some people have already organised their summer break for next year, with Long saying initial demand has been encouraging and that bookings are in line with the previous year. Insight is offloaded by Lloyds LLoydS Banking Group today struck a deal to sell off its Insight Investment Management arm to Bank of New york Mellon for 235 million as part of a shake-up of its asset management operations. Lloyds will keep 42 billion of Insight funds drawn from its halifax and Bank of Scotland bancassurance businesses from, for example, its own branches and its Clerical Medical intermediary division. The rest, 80 billion, will move to New york. Australia Dollars 1.8664 Canada Dollars 1.7094 Denmark Kroner 8.2418 Eurozone Euro 1.1105 Hong Kong Dollars 12.1200 Japan Yen 151.9400 New Zealand Dollars 2.2679 South Africa Rand 12.5100 Sweden Kronor 11.4400 Switzerland Francs 1.7008 UAE Dirham 5.6785 United States Dollars 1.5735 TourIsT raTes DOWN 17.07 at 4654.27 fTse 100 dow jones nIkkeI -$ DOWN 96.50 at 9241.45 DOWN 150.46 at 10,435.00 DOWN 0.30 at $1.6448 >>for all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. not all stocks are available Balfour Beattys profits surge l Balfour Beatty has announced pre-tax profits of 108 million for the first six months of the year, an increase of 14%. The results, slightly better than forecast, pushed up the share price from 28.1p to 347.7p. Balfour, which is building the 2012 olympics aquatics Centre, has benefited from the Governments increased public sector spending. Off the hook? The FSA backed away from a strict clampdown China drops its rio spy charges l The Chinese government partially cooled its high-profile row with rio Tinto today by dropping the central claim that four arrested rio employees were stealing state secrets. however, they still face lesser charges of stealing commercial secrets and bribery. rio has denied its employees spied on Chinese steel mills to try to rig the price of iron ore. nestl is looking to speed growth l NesTl, the maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nescaf coffee, posted a 3.5% rise in sales in the first six months and said it expects faster growth in the second half. The worlds largest food group, based in switzerland, saw net profit fall 2% to swfr5.1 billion (2.86 billion) as the strong swiss franc hit sales, but it flagged up the uK as one of its biggest-growing markets. London divis plunge by 13% l DiviDeNDs paid by london- listed firms this year are down 13% on last year payouts at 52 billion. according to share listing firm Capita registrars 70 more companies failed to pay out any dividend up to July this year than last and Paul Taylor at Capita, said: it appears there is little chance of any improvement until next year. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html