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Bond ratings boom

The number of new Standard & Poor bond credit ratings soared 30 per cent in 1999, as more European companies and financial institutions looked to bond markets as a source of finance.

The increase of 327 new ratings brings the total number of credit ratings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to 1,800.

The credit ratings are essential for selling bonds to investors who are not familiar with the names of bonds.

But S&P is warning the increase in the number of ratings and an improvement in the European economy does not mean the reduction of risk. S&P western Europe managing director Francois Veverka says: “On the contrary, the risk profile will probably increase across the board.”


Carreras hits right note for ScotEq

Scottish Equitable owner Aegon UK is to sponsor a Scottish charity spectacular featuring world famous tenor Jose Carreras.The opera singer&#39s December 8 appearance, in the inaugural concert at the newly refurbished Usher Hall, Edinburgh, is aimed at raising money for Leukaemia. It will be the first time in nearly 20 years he has performed in […]

Old Mutual on acquisition trail

South African insurance giant Old Mutual says its still interested in bidding for fund manager Gartmore following its takeover of Gerrard.Old Mutual agreed to buy Greig Middleton for £525m earlier this week.Old Mutual group finance director Eric Anstee says: “Gerrard is a great step forward for us, but it doesn&#39t complete our ambitions in terms […]

Misselling brings actuary drought

The pensions misselling scandal has left a huge demand for actuaries forcing firms to go abroad to recruit staff, according to a recruitment agency.Its being claimed hundreds of part-qualified and qualified South African actuaries are being targeted to help cope with the problem.Demand for actuaries has surged since life offices have been forced to deal […]

Woolwich mortgage moves

The Woolwich is launching a range of two year fixed rate mortgages.The new range includes a 6.39 per cent facility under its Open Plan flexible mortgage, plus a re-mortgage with a fixed rate of 6.69 per cent for 2 years, plus a 6.84 per cent deal under the Switch and Save re-mortgage.Borrowers who want to […]


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