City&FinanceBriefing 40 Friday, 18 September 2009 London Lite Inbrief Lloyds may pull out of toxic assets scheme Lloyds Banking Group today said it has not ruled out withdrawing from the Governments insurance scheme for toxic assets (GAPS). It rushed out a statement to the Stock Exchange in the wake of reports that the Financial Service Authority had said Lloyds -- which announced its ill-fated takeover of HBOS a year ago today -- would fail the regulators stress test if it withdrew altogether. Lloyds chief executive Eric Daniels would prefer to raise fresh capital through a 15 billion-plus rights issue. But the FSA does not believe that would be enough to bolster its balance sheet ratios to high enough levels. The bank said: Lloyds is continuing its discussions with HM Treasury with respect to its possible participation in GAPS. However, in light of improving economic conditions and the results of Lloyds detailed reviews of its loan portfolios and their expected performance, Lloyds and HM Treasury are discussing possible changes to the commercial terms on which Lloyds might enter into GAPS from those announced in March 2009, including the possibility of reducing the amount of assets covered by the scheme. Lloyds agreed in March to cover 260 billion of its riskiest assets under the scheme at a cost of 15.6 billion but in the six months since then, Daniels has been locked in discussions to cut Lloyds participation. Babcocks nuclear option THE Government today sold the UK Atomic Energy Authority. (UKAEA) to Babcock International for just 50 million. The deal sees Babcock, which runs the Royal Naval dockyards at Devonport and Rosyth, extend its interests in the nuclear industry. The UKAEA has nuclear decommissioning contracts at Dounreay, Harwell and Winfrith, and gives its new owner an entre into the UKs 70 billion atomic clean- up business. Australia Dollars 1.7876 Canada Dollars 1.6717 Denmark Kroner 7.9405 Eurozone Euro 1.0702 Hong Kong Dollars 12.1600 Japan Yen 143.0800 New Zealand Dollars 2.1546 South Africa Rand 11.2700 Sweden Kronor 10.8100 Switzerland Francs 1.6239 UAE Dirham 5.6963 United States Dollars 1.5783 TourisT raTes DOWN 8.64 at 5155.31 fTse 100 dow jones nikkei -$ DOWN 7.79 at 9783.92 DOWN 73.26 at 10,370.54 DOWN 1.56c at $1.6298 >>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. not all stocks are available British Land gets ready to spend l British Land finally sold half its stake in City of London office complex Broadgate today -- giving it the firepower to embark on a 1 billion spending spree. the landlord and developer sold a 50% stake in Broadgate to private equity group Blackstone for 77 million in cash. it also off-loaded half the 1.98 billion debt associated with Broadgate to Blackstone. rover woman moves on LdV l the Chinese businesswoman at the centre of the MG rover scandal is close to securing a deal to buy the remains of failed van maker LDV. Dr Qu Li, who had an affair with Nick stephenson, one of the Phoenix Four who bought MG rover and were heavily criticised for the millions they took out before it collapsed, is in talks with LDVs administrators. arms maker hit by us problems l CheMriNG has admitted that Kilgore, its business that makes pyrotechnic decoys to prevent the shooting down of Us helicopters in Afghanistan and iraq, is having problems. in a trading statement covering the four months to the end of september, Chemring said: trading at Kilgore continues to be affected by delays in the placement of contracts by the Us Air Force. kesa seeks new finance boss l eLeCtriCALs group Kesa is looking for a new numbers man to replace simon herrick. the finance director is quitting to pursue other business interests, according to a statement to the stock exchange. herrick, who has been in the role since 2005, will leave in the coming months. Kesa owns Comet in the UK. AN autumn drought of flats and houses has sent London property prices soaring, creating a dangerous mid-recession boom and raising fears of a new crash. Agents say they are dismayed by the failure of the usual rush of September sellers, leaving frustrated buyers chasing a tiny pool of homes. In some parts of London prices have already risen to levels beyond the highs of two years ago. Across the capital they have bounced by around 10 to 15 per cent from last winters lows. Ivor Dickinson, managing director of central and west London agency Douglas & Gordon, said: We had 500 properties to sell last August and in the peak months it was probably around 800. Now we have 230. Mr Dickinson blamed the extra paperwork associated with Home Information Packs and lengthy Property Information Questionnaires for deterring casual sellers. He warned the Government the current market was a disaster waiting to happen. Marketing executive Dan Young, 50, secured an asking price offer for his 1 million home in Pimlico four months ago but has been unable to find anywhere to move to. He said: Its like the market of the living dead. Housing drought sparks crash fear LISA HIGGINSON has had enough of London life and wants to move to the country, but the turbulent economic climate has stopped her putting her Docklands flat on the market. Ms Higginson, 27, said she hopes her three- bedroom flat in Limehouse will fetch 600,000. But instead of going to an estate agent shes waiting for the market to pick up. BY JONATHAN PRYNN Wary: Docklands flat owner Lisa Higginson wants to move 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.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html