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RBS and NatWest cut mortgage rates

Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest are cutting directly marketed mortgage rates by up to 0.35%.

The lenders say that this will bring the majority of new fixed and tracker mortgages down by at least 0.10%.

The deals are available through RBS and NatWest branches and via RBS and NatWest Mortgages Direct.

Andy Fell, director of branch mortgages at RBS, says: “We cut our fixed and tracker rate mortgages at the beginning of August and this second rate cut shows our continued commitment to helping borrowers in these uncertain times, be they first time buyers or existing customers.

“Also, from September 6, we’re doubling the number of our branches open for business on Saturdays, making it more convenient for customers to come and discuss their mortgage needs with us.”

Recommended calls for housing shake-up

Home move service is urging for a much needed shake-up in the housing market ahead of the governments range of emergency measures expected tomorrow.

Checkmate to move early next year

Stephen Knight, executive chairman of Checkmate Mortgages, has confirmed plans to launch the new lender in early 2009 following news that the business has received in-vestment backing to support the final launch phase.

David disregards the dispossessed

Tory leader David Cameron is as anxious about his party being on-message as Tony Blair was in his days in Downing Street. The evidence is a summer reading list of 38 books for Tory MPs which shadow Foreign Office minister Keith Simpson has prepared on his leader’s behalf.

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.


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