HBOS bears brunt of banking sell-off
SHARES in Bank of Scotland parent HBOS plunged again yesterday, dropping 7.5%, or 45.5p, to 558p as institutions with big mortgage businesses bore the brunt of the latest sell-off in the sector, writes Ian McConnell. HBOS, which has seen its shares hammered since it announced 2007 results last Wednesday, was the largest percentage loser among the biggest of the UK banks. Its drop was exceeded only by a 9.1% plunge in shares of Bradford & Bingley to 204.5p. Alliance & Leicester, meanwhile, dropped 6.7% to 525.5p. Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS’s archrival north of the Border, dropped by a lesser 4% to 369.25p. And, buoyed by its announcement yesterday of 2007 results, shares in the internationally-spread HSBC bucked the falling sector trend with a 3% rise to 790p. The UK’s FTSE100 index of leading shares yesterday finished 65.7 points lower at 5818.6, having managed to recover from an intra-day low of 5770.1. New York’s Dow Jones Industrial Average, which plunged 315.79 points on Friday, turned in a less dramatic performance yesterday. It last night finished down 7.49 points on the day at 12,258.90.