View more on these topics

Overseas buyers take 90% of Oakwood

Merrill Lynch and Italian investment firm Compagnie Industriali Riunite have finalised their 90% acquisition of Oakwood Financial.

The firms now have equal 45% stakes in Oakwood. The move by Merrill Lynch cements its mortgage interests in the UK after it acquired Mortgages PLC in 2004 and Freedom Lending last July. The US investor also partially funds edeus, of which Oakwood is the parent company.

CIR invests in a number of firms across Europe, the Americas and Asia, with the industries involved ranging from media to health care.

Mike Culhane, chairman and chief executive of Oakwood, says: “This move will see subtle changes to Oakwood’s business rather than big moves. We now have more capital behind us, allowing us to become more proactive in the mortgage market.

“Merrill Lynch is a pioneer and CIR naturally pulls us towards the Continent, meaning we can get into European markets. We can look at edeus and the rest of our interests more broadly and assess where we can take those businesses.”

As to whether there could be an overlap between MPLC and edeus, he adds: “We may see MPLC coming up into edeus’ prime and near prime space a little more, rather than edeus going into MPLC’s sub-prime area.”


Housing market cools off in December, says RICS

The rate of house price inflation has dropped off after Novembers rise in interest rates, latest research reveals.A week after the Bank of England raised the base rate to 5.25% and on the same day inflation hits 3%, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says its found that while house prices rose for the fourteenth […]

AfI launches desktop alerts

Abbey for Intermediaries is launching an instant desktop alert service today. The free service delivers news and product alerts direct to brokers’ PCs.

Rate rise not all “doom and gloom” says GMAC-RFC

The interest rate rise doesn’t have to spell “doom and gloom” for intermediaries says GMAC-RFC. Jeff Knight, director of marketing at GMAC-RFC, says: “The industry has expected another rate rise for some time, but I did not expect it to happen as early as January, so this has come as a slight surprise. “With inflationary […]

Reforming India: just the beginning

By Kunal Desai, Neptune India Fund

As global investors continue to scour emerging markets through the lens of reform potential, India shines bright. Indeed, we think it can sparkle even brighter. We anticipate India’s self-imposed 10-year ‘policy holiday’ to turn into one of the most pro-growth and pro-investment policy calendars seen in Asia in years. The Indian electorate has engineered a historic verdict. We now have the strongest Indian government since 1984, with the pro-market Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) achieving an absolute majority for the first time in the party’s history.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up