Prime London residences have risen more than 60 percent from their low in 2009, according to broker Knight Frank LLP. Political Pledges With rising prices across the U.K. putting home ownership beyond the reach of young Britons, political parties are pledging to ease planning curbs and build more homes. The opposition Labour Party said this week it would allow local authorities to charge developers that dont build on land that has received building approval. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been promoting home ownership by assisting buyers and making mortgages easier to obtain as he seeks to revive the U.K. economy. Despite those efforts, approvals to build new homes in London fell about 15 percent in the first half from a year earlier, according to data compiled by researcher Glenigan for the Home Builders Federation. Wider Margins Homebuilders were the main beneficiaries of the fall in land prices that followed the financial crisis as they boosted profit margins by developing plots acquired at a discount. Development land values for the country overall are 50 percent below their 2007 peak, Savills said. In London, land prices now exceed the previous high, according to the broker. The 87 percent jump since their trough in 2009 compares with an increase of more than 60 percent for London luxury homes and a 43 percent gain for all residences in the city, Knight Frank estimates. British Land Co. bought a site in Londons Mayfair district to develop luxury apartments last year, using the proceeds from a 400 million-pound ($640 million) bond issue. The convertible debt, which matures in 2017, has a 1.5 percent coupon.
Interpol issues arrest notice on Kenya’s behalf for British widow of London transit terrorist
Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told U.S. broadcaster PBS that a British woman who has done this many times before was involved in the attack. Theres been no official confirmation on Lewthwaites involvement. The Somali-based militia al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for Kenyas deadliest attack in 15 years, which began when gunmen stormed the upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21, lobbing grenades and spraying gunfire. Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane warned of more bloodshed unless Kenya withdraws its forces from Somalia, where theyre deployed to combat the Islamist group. Johannesburg Homes Lewthwaite, the daughter of a British soldier, was married to Jamaica-born Germaine Lindsay, who like her was a Muslim convert. He was one of the four perpetrators of the July 7, 2005 attacks on Londons transport network — exploding a device on the Piccadilly Line between Kings Cross and Russell Square, killing 26 people. Using Webbs identity, Lewthwaite traveled in and out of South Africa between July 2008 and February 2011, when the passport was canceled, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters in Pretoria today. Webbs U.K. family didnt immediately respond to telephone messages seeking comment. Lewthwaite rented a property in the Muslim-dominated area of Mayfair in Johannesburg, according to publicly available rental records. She leased another property in Bromhof in northern Johannesburg. A man who lives near the house identified her from photographs shown to him by a Bloomberg reporter, saying hed frequently seen her though theyd only spoken once and he didnt know her by name. He declined to be identified citing concern about his security.
London shares close higher
The FTSE 100 index climbed 0.21 percent to close at 6,565.59 points. Elsewhere, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slid 0.02 percent to 8,664.10 points, and the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 0.21 percent to 4,186.72 points. “It’s been another rather slow and mixed session for Europe’s markets as we drift towards the end of the week with optimism about a continued improvement in US weekly jobless claims being offset by background concerns about the political circus playing out stateside, with respect to the raising of the debt ceiling,” said CMC Markets UK analyst Michael Hewson. The FTSE 100 got a late boost from the US which showed that unemployment benefits totalled 305,000 in the week ending September 21, down from 310,000 the previous week. Stocks had been in retreat because of the acrimonious budget debate in Washington and the prospect of a government shutdown if lawmakers fail to reach a deal by midnight on September 30. TUI Travel — Europe’s biggest tour — finished top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after the tour said it was raising its full-year profits forecast following robust trading during the northern hemisphere summer. The company — whose brands include First Choice and Thomson — said it expected operating profit growth of “at least 11 percent” in the 12 months to the end of September compared with 2011-2012. The news pleased investors and the shares soared by 3.93 % to close at 370.40 pence. Whitbread was also in demand and the brewer raised its glass after its shares crept up by 3.34% to close at 3035 pence. Lloyds Banking Group remained the most traded blue-chip by volume with 93.42 million units switching owners, followed by Vodafone which saw 84.31 million units change hands. Energy firms were the biggest losers as they continued to slip back following Ed Miliband’s announcement on Tuesday that Labour would freeze energy prices for 20 months if they win the general election in 2015. Centrica was the biggest faller and was down 2.32% to 366.90 pence. Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) was also under heavy selling pressure and fell back by 1.95% to 1460 pence.
He has also killed most rivals to gain control of al-Shabab. Liz Sly and Karen DeYoung The new alliance with an al-Qaeda affiliated group complicates U.S. plans to arm moderates. Pakistans earthquake relief effort comes under attack Tim Craig and Shaiq Hussain As rescue efforts enter a third day, at least 350 fatalities and more than 500 injuries are reported in Baluchistan. Officials have not presented any evidence linking her to the terrorist attack on an upscale Nairobi shopping mall, and the Interpol notice did not mention it. But comments from Kenyas foreign minister that a British woman was involved led some U.K. news media to speculate that Lewthwaite participated in the attack, which killed scores of people. The Interpol notice said Lewthwaite is wanted on charges of possessing explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony in December 2011. If she indeed embraced the jihadi cause, it would mark a dramatic turnaround for the grieving widow who originally criticized her late husband, Jermaine Lindsay, for taking part in the London transit attacks. She told The Sun newspaper two months after the attacks that her husband had fallen under the influence of imams at radical mosques. How these people could have turned him and poisoned his mind is dreadful, she was quoted as saying. He was an innocent, naive and simple man.