Food prices jumped 1.6 per cent last month – dominated by a 69.3 per cent jump in vegetable prices – while energy prices fell 1.5 per cent.
The rise in the “core” index, excluding these volatile components, was 0.2 per cent, exactly in line with market expectations. But administration officials said the increase was modest, and inflation was “nota problem”. The index of prices charged by producers rose 0.2 per cent in December and 1.7 per cent last year. BY DIANE COYLE Economics Correspondent The rise in factory gate prices in the US last year was the highest for five years, according to official figures released yesterday. It will also sell a Virgin PEP next month via the telephone, and is developing its own telephone operation.. Its health care division is now the third-largest behind Bupa and PPP, with 500,000 customers.Norwich Union plans to develop medical cover and is investing in the long-term care market for the elderly. In relation to this, the cost of compensation for mis-sold pensions and extra costs associated with the harsher disclosure regime were insignificant.Norwich Union has revamped its pension policies ahead of the new rules and has put its salesmen on salaries rather than commission.
“It would be irresponsible to over-smooth the returns at the expense of other policyholders.” Homeowners repaying their mortgage with a Norwich Union with-profits policy do not have to worry at the moment about the returns being sufficient to cover the loan.The cost of the bonus amounted to £680m, Mr Harvey said. The with-profits fund fell in value last year by 3 or 4 per cent. As a result of the cuts in annual and final bonuses, the return on 10-year policies is being reduced from 12.1 to 10.3 per cent, and the annual yield equivalent on 25-year policies drops from12.9 to 12.5 per cent.
Richard Harvey, actuary at the mutual insurer, said that, in an era of low inflation, “real returns are as good as they have ever been, and are attractive”.He said £600m worth of policies would be maturing in the coming year so returns had to come back in line with investment returns. BY VIVIEN GOLDSMITH Personal Finance Editor Norwich Union is cutting its bonus rates more savagely than its competitors who have already declared their 1995 bonus rates. It later moved into Hollywood and made a range of features, including Return of the Pink Panther and Sophie’s Choice.The company was sold to PolyGram by Montagu Private Equity, a subsidiary of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation through Midland Bank..
Mr Beilby rates the $156m that PolyGram is paying for ITC a fair price.Founded in 1954, ITC enjoyed early success with such series as The Adventures of Robin Hood, before making the 1960s hits The Saint and The Prisoner. There was no point in trying to ape the Hollywood studios, he said. In the music field it had used its artists and repertoire experience to create niches. It should do the same in film, he said.Moreover, by obtaining such a strong back catalogue and gaining a susbtantial presence in the television distribution market, it was acquiring the mass needed to compete on an international basis. Because much of the 10,000 hours of film were taken up byseries in demand by the growing number of television channels around the world, the deal stands to make a substantial contribution to PolyGram’s earnings.