London, UK (PRWEB) February 17, 2010
The move by the Chinese authorities to increase reserve requirements for banks weighed not only on British banks but on the market as a whole on Friday afternoon and as a consequence, the FTSE 100 closed down 19.03 points or 0.4% at 5,142.45 reports shareprices.com, a free online resource providing share information on all FTSE 100, 250 and 350 London Stock Exchange listed companies.
Furthermore, the increasing cost of sovereign debt insurance, for the most part in Dubai, also did banking stocks little favours. Insuring £10 million worth of Dubai's sovereign debt against default for five years now costs $636,000 a year making Dubai the fourth riskiest sovereign in the world behind Argentina, Venezuela, Ukraine and Pakistan.
Lloyds Banking Group finished the day down 3.2% at 46.5p despite announcing the completion of a debt-for-equity swap and the sale of the whole of its car insurance business, Esure, to its founder Peter Wood. Mr. Wood already owned 30% of the business but joined forces with Penta Capital to obtain full control of the company in a deal worth £185 million.
Barclays, whose plans for bonus payments have been the source of speculation ahead of results to be announced next Tuesday, also closed down 2.4% at 262p. Barclays is widely expected to cut the proportion of its revenue devoted to pay and bonuses to its lowest level for a decade.
Defensive stocks have traditionally been one of the greatest performers on Friday afternoons. As such, National Grid finished the day up 2.6% to 640p after it was proposed as a hedge against inflation by Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch also upgraded GlaxoSmithKline to "neutral" from "sell" on Valuation grounds, lifting its share price 1.4% to 1,229p.
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