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Merrill Lynch no longer bullish on America

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15 September 2008 It has been eclipsed by news of the Lehman Brothers collapse, but the sale of Merrill Lynch to the Bank of America for the knockdown price of $50 billion is no less extraordinary. The transaction was born out of Merrill CEO John Thain’s realisation that he could …

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This blog is One and other stuff

In Blog by Ian Fraser2 Comments

7 July 2008 Dear Reader, This blog is now one year old. It’s been enormous fun writing the 58 entries to date — just over one a week — over the past 12 months and thank you for all the feedback received so far. Since I started this exercise on …

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The bankers’ new clothes

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 27 April 2008 RBS’s refunding move is the first step in UK banks waking up from their self-delusion to the reality of the credit crunch  BRITISH BANKS, LIKE THE EMPEROR WHO WAS SO easily duped by his tailors, were suffering from chronic self-delusion …

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Life after ‘war and peace’

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By Ian Fraser Published: Scottish Business Insider Date: August 2007 A hectic timetable preceded the life assurer’s planned flotation involving teams of advisers working flat out on the mind-numbing process which was by no means a foregone conclusion. MALCOLM Wood’s last night before Standard Life hit the London stock market …

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Goodwin ponders £1bn RBS share buyback

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 10 December 2006 BANKING: TRADING UPDATE Analyst predicts 25 per cent hike in dividends as bank shelves acquisition strategy for organic growth ROYAL Bank of Scotland is expected to deliver a further 25 per cent hike in dividends and a further £1 billion …

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Goodwin’s turning point

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 27 November 2005 BANK CONSOLIDATION: ACQUISITION DRIVE FALTERS Sir Fred Goodwin turned the Royal Bank of Scotland into a global institution with an aggressive takeover policy matched by a strident rationalisation strategy . . . he bought big and cut deep. Now, with …

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Merrill says RBS should be sold

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 20 March 2005 SHAREHOLDERS in the Royal Bank of Scotland should consider various options for enhancing the value of their shares, such as selling the Edinburgh group to Citigroup, a break-up including flotations of Coutts and Citizens, or a leveraged buy-out. Analysts at …

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In pursuit of success on a silver platter

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 3 October 2004 Despite a drive by high street banks to corner the market in financial advice to the rich, independents still rule. By Ian Fraser IT seems like a no-brainer. Private banking, meaning looking after the banking and investment needs of Britain’s …

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Merrill: £430m IF ‘should be shut’

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 14 September 2003 Edinburgh-based Intelligent Finance is a “luxury” that HBOS can ill-afford, according to one of the UK’s leading banking analysts. John-Paul Crutchley, analyst at Merrill Lynch, argues the offset bank should be shut down and integrated with the bank’s mainstream Halifax …

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THE GIANT KILLER

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By Financial Editor Ian Fraser and Business Editor Kenny Kemp Published: Sunday Herald Date: 13 February 2000 It was the ultimate battle. Two Scottish banks fighting head-to-head to take over NatWest. Financial Editor Ian Fraser and Business Editor Kenny Kemp examine the fortunes of a war which ultimately led to …

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Banking on a future

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 3 October 1999 This week the Bank of Scotland will let investors know the details of its NatWest bid. Ian Fraser examines the fine print A DIRTY war has broken out for the heart of British banking following the Bank of Scotland’s £21 …