` London Listed Oil Group Reliant on Funds from one of Russia’s Largest Banks Drawn into Takeover Controversy’

#AceFinanceNews – BRITAIN – April 26 – Vince Cable the Business Secretary, has been drawn into a row about the controversial takeover of a London-listed oil group that is reliant on funds from one of Russia’s largest banks.

Sky News has seen a letter sent by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to Mr Cable warning him that the Stanlow refinery, which produces 15% of the UK’s transport fuel, is being used as collateral in a bid for Essar Energy.

Robert Hingley, an ABI director, said in the letter to Mr Cable that Essar Global, the vehicle of the billionaire Ruia brothers who want to buy the company, had failed to provide any indication of its plans for the Stanlow site in north-west England.

By highlighting the Russian provenance of the financing for the offer, the ABI’s intervention will escalate tensions over the cut-price bid by Essar Global for the 22% of Essar Energy shares it does not already own.
The Ruias listed Essar Energy in London by selling shares less than four years ago priced at six times the price they are now offering.

The cut-price offer has sparked fury from big City institutions, including Standard Life Investments, which in February described it as “cynical opportunism” and “a calculated attempt to deprive minority shareholders of the substantial future upside in Essar Energy’s valuation”.

Under stock exchange rules, because the Ruias already control a majority of the shares, they can declare their offer unconditional even if no other shareholders accept their bid.

Doing so would enable them to de-list the company without a vote, which would either force investors to accept just 70 pence -a-share or to remain shareholders in a more highly-indebted and unlisted company where they possess no influence.

The ABI special committee, which represents major City shareholders including Standard Life and Henderson, has urged Essar Global to commit to a de-listing only if a majority of the independent investors accept its offer.

The Financial Conduct Authority is changing its rules relating to de-listings but has irritated the ABI by not applying that rule-change to takeover situations.

Ace Related News:
1. April 26 – Sky News – http://tinyurl.com/l567o5u

#AFN2014

#abi, #britain, #financial-conduct-authority, #russian, #standard-life

` Home-Buyers Face Tough Questions on Affordability Today Including Affordability of Mortgage with Interest Rates at 7 Percent’

#AceFinanceNews – BRITAIN – April 26 – Home-buyers will face more scrutiny by mortgage lenders under new regulations which take effect today.

The industry-wide changes affect home buyers and people looking to re-mortgage and they will mean that lenders have to take a much stronger interest in people’s spending habits and how their life plans could affect their ability to meet their repayments.

Mortgage applicants will need to sit through longer interviews, and provide more evidence that they can afford a home loan before being offered one.

Each lender will have their own interpretation of the new rules, but in general people are likely to be asked for more detail about regular outgoings such as childcare, food, household bills, loans, credit cards and leisure activities.

The changes also mean lenders will have to test whether home-buyers will be able to afford their mortgage payments if interest rates rise sharply, to 7% or above.

The Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules aim to ensure there is no return to any irresponsible lending practices of the past, but there are some concerns that it could slow down the housing market.

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy for the Building Societies Association, said: “The Mortgage Market Review was introduced in order to ensure that a common sense approach to mortgage lending is applied by all lenders and that people are not borrowing more than they can afford to pay.

“A number of building societies implemented the process early and have been lending this way, without problems, for a number of weeks.”

Ace Related News:

  1. Sky News – April 26 – http://tinyurl.com/otrwsz4
  2. Guardian – April 26 – http://tinyurl.com/mq8cwux

#AFN2014

#britain, #mortgage-market-review-mmr

#AceFinanceNews WASHINGTON April 26 Reuters For the fifth…

#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON – April 26 – (Reuters) – For the fifth Saturday this year, the White House used the president’s weekly address to exhort Republicans to support an increase in the minimum wage, a key part of President Barack Obama’s voter-friendly economic agenda aimed at keeping Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate.

#AFN2014

#democrats, #republican, #us, #us-president-barack-obama, #washington, #white-house