Morning Papers: Sipp complaints almost double

The second phase of the scheme, which opened early in October last year, guarantees a portion of mortgage losses for lenders that offer mortgages up to 95 per cent loan to value.

Recent data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed that property sales are at a six-year high and the respected Halifax House Price Index showed an 8.5 per cent increase in April.

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Co-op members support reform

The Co-operative Group’s interim chief executive has warned that it will take five years to stabilise the mutual even after members “voted unanimously to support wholesale reform of its failed governance structure”, the Telegraph reports.

Richard Pennycook confirmed the Co-op will prepare “sweeping governance reforms” after its members approved new principles to help the troubled mutual recover from its £2.5bn loss last year and the near-collapse of its banking arm.

The unanimous vote came after a scathing critique of the Co-op’s governance by Lord Myners, the former City minister who resigned as its senior independent director last month after just four months in the role

AstraZeneca rejects final £69bn offer

AstraZeneca has this morning rejected an improved £69bn takeover offer from Pfizer, “a bid which the US drugmaker declared to be its final offer for its its UK rival”, the Financial Times reports.

In a statement issued today (19 May), AstraZeneca said the £55 a share a bid, raised from £50 two weeks ago, undervalued the company and its “attractive prospects”.

Unless shareholders can convince AstraZeneca to reopen talks, “the rejection puts into jeopardy a deal that would be the largest foreign takeover of a UK company”.

According to the FT, AstraZeneca’s shares fell 13 per cent to £41.60 in opening trade in London.

Deutsche Bank launches €8bn rights issue

Deutsche Bank plans to raise €8bn (£6.5bn) as the Frankfurt-based bank attempts to mitigate fears over its capital strength, the Financial Times reports.

The bank is raising €6.3bn (£5.1bn) in a rights issue and a further €1.75bn (£1.4bn) directly from Paramount Services Holdings, the investment fund of the Qatari royal family.

“The extra capital is set to raise the lender’s common equity tier one ratio – a crucial measure of regulatory strength – from 9.5 per cent to 11.8 per cent”, the FT said.