Banks, Financial

Banking app targets millennials who want help budgeting

Graduate debt, rent and high living costs have made it hard for millennials to save for a house, a pension or even a holiday. For Ollie Purdue, a 23-year-old law graduate, this was reason enough to launch Loot, a banking app targeted at tech-dependent 20-somethings who want help to manage their money and avoid falling […]

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Eurozone inflation climbs to highest since April 2014

A welcome dose of good news before next week’s big European Central Bank meeting. Year on year inflation in the eurozone has climbed to its best rate since April 2014 this month, accelerating to 0.6 per cent from 0.5 per cent on the back of the rising cost of services and the fading effect of […]

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Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin hit by restructuring costs

Profits at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin were hit by restructuring costs as the company continued to shift its focus towards portfolio management. The FTSE 250 company reported pre-tax profits of £50.1m in the year to September 30, down 17.9 per cent from £61m the previous year. Finance director Andrew Westenberger said its 2015 figure was […]

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Travis Perkins and Polymetal to lose out in FTSE 100 reshuffle

Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins and mining company Polymetal face relegation from the FTSE 100 after their recent performances were hit by political events. The share price of Travis Perkins has dropped 29 per cent since the UK voted to leave the EU in June, as economic uncertainty has sparked concerns among some investors about the […]

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RBS share drop accelerates on stress test flop

Stressed. Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland have accelerated their losses this morning, falling over 4.5 per cent after the state-backed lender came in bottom of the heap in the Bank of England’s latest stress tests. RBS failed the toughest ever stress tests carried out by the BoE, with results this morning showing the lender’s […]

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Categorized | Financial

Kuwait eyes $5bn investment for UK

Posted on June 30, 2013

The Kuwait Investment Authority is seeking to invest as much as $5bn directly over the next three to five years in infrastructure assets mostly in the UK, echoing a similar move by Qatar, as sovereign wealth funds look for ways to boost returns amid low interest rates.

The pledge, which highlights the fund’s positive view on UK investment conditions, comes just weeks after a failed £5.3bn takeover offer for British water utility Severn Trent by the KIA and partners Borealis of Canada and Britain’s Universities Superannuation Scheme.

    The UK utility, whose board rejected three bids from the consortium saying it did not properly value the company, fits the profile of assets the Middle Eastern fund is eyeing – existing, highly regulated, cash generative infrastructure projects rather than new ones, KIA managing director Bader al-Saad told the Financial Times in London in his first interview with a foreign newspaper.

    “We are looking at brownfield projects because of the cash flow streams and to diversify our portfolio, as we don’t think there is any money to make in fixed income, because of the zero interest rates,” Mr Saad said. “Development is a different ball game, we are not developers. We are providers of long-term capital.”

    The KIA, which on Friday celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of its London arm, the Kuwait Investment Office, is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with more than $400bn of assets under management, according to estimates.

    After more than doubling its asset base organically and returning 9.5 per cent annually over the past 10 years, the KIA is now ready to take on more risks than mostly investing in funds run by other managers. After expanding its reach to emerging markets and all types of assets, a direct exposure in current infrastructure is a relatively cautious step to achieve that goal.

    It is building a team of six investment professionals, which will ultimately double, to look at those projects under the helm of Osama al-Ayoub, a former Goldman Sachs banker who heads the KIO.

    They will look at “companies that work in industries with a strong regulatory environment – water, power distribution and generation,” Mr Ayoub said, praising the UK for offering the best ecosystem for investors. He added that he is waiting for the outcome of a study by the UK government into ways to reduce development risks in new projects.

    Mr Ayoub also said the KIO, which has developed a reputation as a conservative and friendly investor, will always stay clear of hostile bids and will look to partner with other investors, citing the Severn Trent attempt. He declined to comment however on whether the KIO may approach the water company again.

    ““It’s a chapter and we’ve closed it,” he said.