HSBC share price falls despite revealing lower-than-expected forex provision

first_imgShares in HSBC Holdings fell this morning after it revealed it has earmarked $378m (£236m) in provisions for the FCA’s probe into its involvement in the foreign exchange scandal, lower than the £400m expected. The provision is the smallest sum announced by a bank so far.  The group, which this morning posted pre-tax profits up just two per cent to $4.6bn for the third quarter, is one of several under investigation for manipulation of the foreign exchange markets.  Last week RBS and Barclays both revealed their estimated provisions: the former has put aside £400m while the latter said it was holding £500m.  Previously Citigroup and JPMorgan both said they had earmarked £600m for the probe.  HSBC Holdings has also set aside $710m to cover compensation for UK customers, mostly for mis-selling payment protection insurance (PPI) as well as a $550m settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency in the US, over mortgage securities mis-selling.   The bank also revealed that it had been summoned to appear before French magistrates to answer questions around whether its Swiss private bank had helped French citizens to evade tax.  “Although the outcome of the hearing, and any such investigation, is at this time uncertain, as matters progress it is possible that any fines, penalties or other terms imposed could be significant,” it said. HSBC Holdings’ share price fell as much as three per cent, but had rallied by-mid morning.  The lower-than-expected third quarter results may have also been responsible for spooking investors. Underlying pre-tax profits were down 12 per cent to $4.4bn, reflecting “net movements in significant terms”, though the UK and China were strong within its commercial banking arm.   As a result, for the nine months ending September 30, underlying profit before tax was down six per cent to $16.97bn.  Group chief executive Stuart Gulliver said: “The third quarter was a period of continued progress. Excluding significant items, we increased underlying profit before tax in all of our global businesses and maintained a strong balance sheet and a robust capital position. “Revenue continued to grow in commercial banking, dominated by growth in our home markets of Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Global Banking and Markets contributed a strong revenue performance with its differentiated business model. Global private banking has attracted net new money of $10bn in areas targeted for growth since the start of the year. The remodelling of retail banking and wealth management and global private banking remains ongoing. “Loan impairment charges are lower reflecting the current economic environment and the beneficial changes to our portfolio since 2011. “We continued to build essential infrastructure to deliver against our risk and compliance commitments and fulfil our regulatory obligations in the third quarter. Cost inflation in a number of our markets and a number of significant items also contributed additional costs. As a consequence, operating expenses are now higher than before. We are committed to achieving additional sustainable savings by further streamlining our processes and procedures. “Despite the rising regulatory expectations, I am confident that our business model remains sustainable and that we can deliver further value for our shareholders while meeting our obligations and protecting the future of HSBC.”  Share Monday 3 November 2014 4:10 am whatsapp whatsapp Catherine Neilan center_img HSBC share price falls despite revealing lower-than-expected forex provision Show Comments ▼ Tags: Forex rate-rigging scandallast_img read more

Apax buys Evry in a £380m deal

first_imgMonday 8 December 2014 8:37 pm whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Kate McCannKate McCann is a reporter at City A.M. She covers politics and insurance and can be contacted at [email protected] Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe Wrap’Drake & Josh’ Star Drake Bell Arrested in Ohio on Attempted ChildThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The WrapKatt Williams Explains Why He Believes There ‘Is No Cancel Culture’ inThe Wrap whatsappcenter_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTele Health DaveRemember Pierce Brosnan’s Wife? Take A Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like NowTele Health DaveMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramHero Wars This game will keep you up all night! Hero Wars MoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementIf Your Dog Eats Grass (Do This Every Day)Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsFungus EliminatorIf You Have Toenail Fungus Try This TonightFungus Eliminator Apax buys Evry in a £380m deal Tags: NULL Share PRIVATE equity funds advised by Apax Partners have agreed to buy Norwegian technology firm Evry in a deal valuing the shares at 4.27bn Norwegian kroner (£380m).Evry’s board of directors unanimously recommended the 16 crowns per share offer and Apax has already secured the acceptance for more than 70 per cent of the shares, it emerged yesterday. Evry, one of the largest IT companies in the Nordics, will continue to be headquartered in Norway and will maintain the integrity of its brand, the company said in a statement yesterday. Arve Johansen, chairman of the board at Evry, added: “The board believe that the offer safeguards the interests of all of Evry’s stakeholders and are confident that the Apax fund is a solid new owner for Evry. “The offer delivers a considerable cash premium to our shareholders and the board considers the offer price to recognise the strategic value of Evry.”Chief executive Terje Mjøs added that the Apax deal strengthens the appeal of the IT industry in Norway to external investors and will serve to accelerate and expand the business in years to come. The deal was prompted by falling oil prices across the world, which have had an impact on investments in the industry and a knock-on effect on the IT world. In the third quarter, net income dropped to 77m kroner from 152m previously.Apax, the London-based private-equity firm, used Bank of America Merrill Lynch and DNB as advisors on the deal, while Evry plumped for ABG Sundal Collier Holding. last_img read more

BP loses court appeal over 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill compensation claims

first_imgOil giant BP had its legal challenge of a settlement deal over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill turned down by the US Supreme Court yesterday.The company’s share price dropped by 1.7 per cent to 417.3p after the ruling.BP agreed to the deal in 2012 which looks to pay compensation to firms and individuals affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. But the company believes the agreement has been misinterpreted.“We nevertheless remain concerned that the program has made awards to claimants that suffered no injury from the spill – and that the lawyers for these claimants have unjustly profited as a result,” Geoff Morrell, BP America’s vice president of US communications and external affairs said in a statement.“On behalf of all our stakeholders, we will therefore continue to advocate for the investigation of suspicious or implausible claims and to fight fraud where it is uncovered.”The total settlement cost to BP now looks set to be much higher than the $7.8bn (£5bn) originally estimated by the firm.The agreement has no cap.“Today’s ruling is a huge victory for the Gulf, and should finally put to rest BP’s two-year attack on its own settlement,” the chief plaintiff attorneys Stephen Herman and James Roy said in a statement yesterday. whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Chris PapadopoullosChris Papadopoullos was City A.M.’s economics reporter until February 2016. He is an economist at OMFIF. BP loses court appeal over 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill compensation claims Tags: BP Company whatsapp Monday 8 December 2014 9:10 pm Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe Wrap’Drake & Josh’ Star Drake Bell Arrested in Ohio on Attempted ChildThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The WrapKatt Williams Explains Why He Believes There ‘Is No Cancel Culture’ inThe Wrap Sharelast_img read more

London house price boom loses steam as national prices pick up

first_img Share Express KCS Sunday 21 December 2014 11:49 pm More From Our Partners Florida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.org‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.org London house prices are moving at a rate more in line the rest of the UK, new data shows, while homeowners borrow more in the run up to Christmas.The average UK price was up 7.8 per cent year-on-year in November compared to 7.9 per cent in London, according to figures released today from Haart estate agents.It’s the first time in over a year in the survey that London house prices have not grown at double-digit rates. The London market is coming down quickly with a 1.9 per cent price drop from October to November, Haart’s figures show. Figures released today by property services firm LMS show homeowners remortgaged to borrow more in November. Equity withdrawal – the extra money borrowed against homes – climbed on the month, but dropped on the year.  “The average amount people have withdrawn from remortgaging has risen by 24 per cent as budgets are stretched ahead of Christmas and families require extra money to fund the cost associated with this,” said Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS.  “However, in a sign of economic improvement, this figure remains a fifth lower than in 2013 suggesting improved affordability since last year.” Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeHero WarsAdvertisement This game will keep you up all night!Hero WarsUndoMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekUndoNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementIf Your Dog Eats Grass (Do This Every Day)Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramUndoFungus EliminatorIf You Have Toenail Fungus Try This TonightFungus EliminatorUndoEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorUndozenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comUndoNoteableyKirstie Alley Is So Skinny Now And Looks Like A BarbieNoteableyUndocenter_img whatsapp London house price boom loses steam as national prices pick up Show Comments ▼ Tags: London house prices whatsapplast_img read more

Men don’t want mums to stay at home any more – they want childcare to be split evenly

first_img whatsapp We no longer live in a society where men expect women to stay at home and look after the children while they go out and earn the money. In fact, only 22 per cent of people in the UK still cling to this old fashioned view of gender roles, with even more men than women now desiring an even split of responsibilities – 56 per cent of men would like to share childcare, compared to 50 per cent of women.  The shift in attitudes was revealed by a survey carried out by the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and it indicates the change will become even more noticeable with the next generation – for men considering having children in the future, 83 per cent said they would like to share parental leave.  It also reveals how much young dads of the past wish they were given the opportunity to spend more time with their children – 75 per cent of current fathers said they would have liked to take parental leave it was made available to them at the time.  “Parenting is a shared endeavour and couples want more flexibility when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby,” said employment relations minister Jo Swinson. The findings come ahead of the introduction of a scheme being introduced by the government in April this year, called Shared Parental Leave. The new rules mean parents can split 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay between them in the baby’s first year. They also let parents suggest a flexible pattern of leave to their employer and allows for up to three separate blocks of leave, but employers can agree to more. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg commented: This Edwardian notion that women should stay at home while men go out and support the family has simply no place in this day and age. We need a modern Britain and a fair society that works for families, not against them.  We know that mums and dads want more flexibility and choice when it comes to juggling their home and work lives and we’re listening and taking action.    Sarah Spickernell Show Comments ▼ whatsapp Men don’t want mums to stay at home any more – they want childcare to be split evenly center_img Share Wednesday 14 January 2015 5:23 am Tags: NULLlast_img read more

War of words between Boots boss Stefano Pessina and Labour

first_imgAlliance Boots has been caught in a tit-for-tat row with Labour after boss Stefano Pessina accused the party of being anti-business. Pessina, who is executive chairman of Alliance Boots, which merged with US chemist Walgreens, attacked Labour’s policies for being “not helpful for business, not helpful for the country and in the end, it probably won’t be helpful for them”. In an interview, he went on to warn: “If they acted as they speak, it would be a catastrophe.”Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna hit back, saying: “It is important that the voice of business is heard during this General Election campaign, not least on Europe. But the British people and British businesses will draw their own conclusions when those who don’t live here, don’t pay tax in this country and lead firms that reportedly avoid making a fair contribution in what they pay purport to know what is in Britain’s best interests.”The row follows comments by Institute of Directors director-general Simon Walker last week that, under Miliband, the Labour party had lost “the hard-won respect of the City of London” because of plans for higher top rate income tax, a mansion tax and energy pricing.Last night Alliance Boots said Pessina’s comments had been “taken out of context”, adding: “Stefano Pessina was expressing his personal views only and is not campaigning against Ed Miliband or the Labour party.” The statement added: “Prior to completion of the merger with Walgreens in December 2014, the corporation tax paid by Alliance Boots was 40 per cent higher in 2013-14 than in the prior year, at £90m. Cash taxes paid were also over 50 per cent higher in 2013-14 than those paid in its last year as a publicly listed company. Overall, the total amount of tax paid in the UK, including business rates, national insurance and corporation tax, was around £550m in 2013-14.” Sunday 1 February 2015 11:25 pm whatsapp More From Our Partners Supermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFeds seized 18 devices from Rudy Giuliani and his employees in April raidnypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.com Tags: NULL Share Show Comments ▼ War of words between Boots boss Stefano Pessina and Labour Express KCS whatsapplast_img read more

Best of the Brokers for 02 March 2015

first_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity Weekzenherald.com20 Rules Genghis Khan’s Army Had To Live Byzenherald.comDiscovery29+ Fascinating U.S. Navy WarshipsDiscoveryMagellan TimesThis Is Why The Roy Rogers Museum Has Been Closed For GoodMagellan TimesHistory 10[Gallery] The 25 Worst Casting Choices of All-TimeHistory 10ComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyFlight 10Secret Car Features Most Don’t Realize Their Car Is HidingFlight 10TheFashionBallPrince Harry Admits Meghan Markle May Not Be The OneTheFashionBall whatsapp Tags: NULL Express KCS Show Comments ▼ whatsapp Sunday 1 March 2015 10:24 pmcenter_img Best of the Brokers for 02 March 2015 More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.com To appear in Best of the Brokers, email your research to [email protected] WILSON EUROPE REAL ESTATEDeutsche Bank analysts have downgraded the company’s stock to a “hold” rating after slashing its target price from 1,240p to 1,170p. The investment trust delivered a lower than expected net asset value for the end of 2014, driving Deutsche’s price reduction. CAPITANumis kept its “buy” rating on the service outsourcing group after its full year results, reiterating a target price of 1,365p on the stock. The firm said the increase in Capita’s bidding pipeline – from £4.1bn to £5.1bn – was “the most encouraging element” from the results.IBERDROLAAnalysts at UBS have a “buy” rating on the stock with a target price of €6.00 after the energy giant unveiled expansion into the US. They cited “attractive, organically, asset driven growth” and “low risk and well diversified portfolio” as prime reasons for the rating. Sharelast_img read more

Danny Alexander sparks backlash after presenting alternative Lib Dem budget

first_img whatsapp Thursday 19 March 2015 9:55 pm Danny Alexander sparked a furious backlash from Labour and the Conservatives yesterday after presenting a so-called alternative budget just a day after being a key figure in the real thing.Appearing outside the Treasury with a yellow budget box, the chief secretary to the Treasury then laid out alternative spending plans, based on a department document, and outlined new laws on tax evasion in the House of Commons. Alexander’s appearance was not seen by many of his fellow Lib Dem MPs, though, many of whom did not turn up to show their support. Nick Clegg, the party leader, even departed during the statement. Few Lib Dem MPs turned up to support Alexander Labour and Tory MPs who were there were highly critical. Labour’s shadow chief secretary Chris Leslie branded the statement “a farce”. Backbench Tory MP Adam Afriyie said it was “the Westminster bubble at its absolute worst.” A Lib Dem spokesman responded: “It’s nonsense. Danny doing such a statement reflects one of the realities of coalition government. When the parties in coalition have very different views it’s only sensible that they are reflected by the mechanism of government. The fact is that the whole political establishment is still struggling to adapt to the new political landscape.”  Show Comments ▼ Share whatsapp Danny Alexander sparks backlash after presenting alternative Lib Dem budget by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity Weekzenherald.com20 Rules Genghis Khan’s Army Had To Live Byzenherald.comNoteableyKirstie Alley Is So Skinny Now And Looks Like A BarbieNoteableyMagellan TimesThis Is Why The Roy Rogers Museum Has Been Closed For GoodMagellan TimesComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyMoneyWise.com15 States Where Americans Don’t Want To Live AnymoreMoneyWise.comTheFashionBallPrince Harry Admits Meghan Markle May Not Be The OneTheFashionBallSenior Living | Search AdsNew Senior Apartments Coming to Scottsdale (Take A Look at The Prices)Senior Living | Search Ads Express KCS Tags: Budget 2016last_img read more

Fever-Tree toasts fizzing first set of results since its float

first_img whatsapp Fever-Tree toasts fizzing first set of results since its float UPMARKET drinks firm Fever-Tree raised its glass yesterday to a 49 per cent jump in revenue in its debut set of results since floating on the London stock market in November.The 10-year old business reported sales of £24.7m, which in turn lifted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) by 48 per cent to £10m. “The really encouraging thing was the growth across all four of our regions despite being a relatively young business,” Fever-Tree’s c-founder and deputy chairman Charles Rolls told City A.M.Fever-Tree was founded in 2005, initially to create a tonic water to match the UK’s artisan gin revival. It supplies premium mixers such as Sicilian lemonade and ginger beer for all alcohols to retailers as well as hotels, restaurants and bars. Rolls said ginger beer sales rocketed thanks to the popularity of the Moscow Mule cocktail, helping overall sales in its second largest market grow by 59 per cent. Sales in the UK, still its biggest market, were up an impressive 60 per cent while Europe sales rose by 35 per cent. The group expanded into eight new territories last year including India, bringing tonic water back to where it was invented. It is now present in 50 territories, with 70 per cent of sales made outside the UK. whatsapp Share Express KCS Show Comments ▼center_img Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofNew England Patriots’ Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’SportsnautHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofHomemade Tomato Soup: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofBaked Sesame Salmon: Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof Monday 23 March 2015 9:52 pm Tags: NULL by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity Weekzenherald.com20 Rules Genghis Khan’s Army Had To Live Byzenherald.comNoteableyKirstie Alley Is So Skinny Now And Looks Like A BarbieNoteableyMoguldom NationFather Of 2 Sues Los Angeles Hospital After Wife Dies During ChildbirthMoguldom NationMagellan TimesThis Is Why The Roy Rogers Museum Has Been Closed For GoodMagellan TimesWorldemandCanal Drained For First Time And They Find ThisWorldemandComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyDefinitionThe Most Famous Movie Filmed In Every U.S. StateDefinitionlast_img read more

Three reasons new car sales had their best month since 1999

first_img whatsapp Share whatsapp Wednesday 8 April 2015 11:52 am Three reasons new car sales had their best month since 1999 center_img Tags: NULL Show Comments ▼ Jessica Morris Car dealerships across the country have been partying like it’s 1999.They sold 492,774 new cars last month, which represents a six per cent increase from the same time last year, data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers has shown. It was the best March on record, as well as the best monthly performance since the biannual change in number plates was introduced in 1999. The growth was even more impressive given car sales have already put in an excellent performance this year. They rose by 12 per cent in the year to February, and this came after they had roared to ten-year high of 2,476,435 in 2014.But like Prince sang – “parties aren’t meant to last” – and economists have said the trend is unlikely to continue for the rest of the year. “It is unrealistic to expect car sales to keep achieving strong growth rates through 2015 given that they are now at such an elevated level,” Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS, said.Here’s what drove March’s stellar figure:1. New “15” registration plate:Consumers were tempted by the new ’15 registration plates which became available for the first time in March. Before the twice yearly change was introduced about 16 years ago, new plates were only available once a year in September, and this was routinely the best month for car sales.2. As well as confident consumers:The SMMT said customers were taking advantage of “attractive finance packages underpinned by low interest rates”. This means dealerships are using record low interest rates – the base rate is currently at 0.5 per cent – and giving customers desirable deals when they take out a loan to pay for a new car.But behind this is the fact that the UK economy is simply doing better, as “noflation” makes consumers richer, and a general pick-up gives people the confidence to take out new loans.”Consumers’ purchasing power has recently seen marked improvement and this should continue over the coming months due to extremely low consumer price inflation and strengthening earnings growth, while employment is likely to keep on rising,” Archer said.”Furthermore, interest rates are unlikely to rise until around the turn of the year.”3. Not forgetting the fleet sector:Companies renewing their staff car pools pushed new car sales in the fleet sector up 11.6 per cent annually.”The SMMT have noted that many fleet car buyers have a three-year replacement cycle so many of the cars purchased at the start of the upturn three years ago are now due for replacement,” Archer said. last_img read more