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London shares rally, focus on banks

Source:AFP.com Author:Unknown Date:03/25/14 Click:

LONDON (AFP) - London's FTSE 100 shot higher on Monday, with banks in focus amid the nationalisation of troubled lender Northern Rock.

In late morning deals, the FTSE 100 index of top companies surged 1.80 percent to 5,895.70 points.

London stocks jumped amid press speculation that banks Barclays and Lloyds TSB could announce big hikes in their shareholder dividends this week.

The Sunday Times reported that the pair would lift their dividend payments in an attempt to lift the negative climate surrounding the financial sector.

Barclays and Lloyds TSB unveil their 2007 results on Tuesday and Friday respectively, but are also expected to outline fresh losses related to their exposure to the US subprime home loan crisis.

Meanwhile on Monday, troubled bank Northern Rock moved closer towards nationalisation after its shares were suspended from trading at Friday's closing level of 90 pence.

Crisis-hit Northern Rock, which has struggled to cope with the global credit squeeze that stemmed from the US subprime crisis, said that it expected to enter temporary public ownership "in the next few days."

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