Welcome to our financial news round up for the week ending 3rd February 2012. Even though we’re now well into 2012, looking at the FTSE100, we get a feeling of deja vu with its ups and downs being very similar to 2011’s volatility. News about Glencore and Xstrata’s possible merger gave it a boost to over 5,800 points.
On the home front, Grant Shapps announced his new idea about mortgages, the valuation of facebook took some people by surprise and Sir Fred Goodwin became simply Fred Goodwin.
Financial Services Authority takes action against UBS bank
UBS, the bank which suffered severe losses due to rogue trader Kweku Adoboli, is facing enforcement action being taken against it by the FSA as well as the Swiss financial regulator, FINMA.
Housing Minister unveils new build mortgage plan
Housing Minister Grant Shapps unveiled plans for helping kick start the housing market. Under the NewBuy Guarantee Scheme, 95% mortgages (available to people buying a new build house worth up to £500,00) will be underwritten by the builder and the taxpayer, with a guarantee to lenders that they will not lose out.
Facebook valued at $100billion
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he is selling shares in the social media site. Facebook, launched 8 years ago, in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) values the company as a whole at $100billion and it is believed the move will make paper millionaires of 1,000 current and former employees.
House prices fall in January
According to Nationwide, house prices in the first month of 2012 fell by 0.2%, and compared to this time last year, were down 0.6%. The building society predict that house prices will fall ‘modestly’ in the months ahead. The average price of a house in the UK is now £162,228.
Chairman of RBS defends Hester’s bonus
Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, defended the bonus that was to have been paid out to Stephen Hester, the bank’s CEO, which Hester declined to accept. Hampton spoke on Radio 4’s Today programme.