Personal finances, Commerse and Stock quotes - Your money

Sunday british business nov 10


´╗┐LONDON Nov 10 British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday:

Sunday Times Green mulls BHS sale as bidders circle A pack of hungry suitors has begun circling BHS in an attempt to lure Philip Green into offloading the struggling department store chain. A New York vulture fund, a South African retail mogul and a number of turnaround specialists are hoping to persuade Green to part with the high street stalwart. Leading the potential bidders is Christo Wiese, South Africa's third-richest man with a fortune estimated at more than 2 billion pounds. Serco in shock profit warning Serco is set this week to cap a turbulent six months with a profit warning that will dismay the City. Ray of hope for M&S Marks & Spencer's embattled chief executive received a fillip this weekend as research commissioned by a Japanese bank showed signs of tentative recovery in its crucial womenswear division. Bank hails rapid recovery The Bank of England is set to lift its growth and employment forecasts this week as Britain enjoys one of the strongest recoveries in the developed world. Top bosses call for Brussels shake-up A powerful alliance of business leaders from across northern Europe - including the chairman of HSBC, the boss of Swedish fashion chain H&M and the head of German food giant Dr Oetker - has urged an overhaul of the European Union. RSA boss to face grilling over Ireland Furious investors will this week confront Simon Lee, the chief executive of RSA, following revelations of a potential scandal in its Irish business that prompted the insurer's second profits warning in 3 days. Kazakh oil giant lines up City float A Kazakh oil company backed by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and the billionaire son-in-law of the country's president plans to launch a 1.5 billion pound listing in London this month. The deal is expected to land Zhaikmunai in the FTSE 250 index of top British companies. Biotech boffins cash in with 400 mln stg hayfever cure Circassia, an Oxford biotech company that is in the late stages of testing a treatment for cat allergies, has opened talks with potential advisors to work on a listing. House of Fraser's speedy sale House of Fraser is pushing ahead with its plans to go public at the beginning of next year. Rothschild's 39 million pound Bumi bonanza Nat Rothschild is in line for a 39 million payday from a controversial deal to unravel Bumi, the troubled Indonesian coalminer he founded 3 years ago. Lloyds eyes bonus from pension caps Lloyds Banking Group is in line for an estimated 400 million pound windfall from a plan to cap the size of payouts from its final salary pension scheme. Pay rises will no longer lead to higher pension payouts at retirement under the Lloyds' proposals. Instead, the 35,000 Lloyds employees who are part of the scheme will be paid a pension calculated using their current salary. Frank Warren in public bout Sports promoter Frank Warren plans to float Box Nation, the cable television station devoted to boxing that he set up 2 years ago. Sunday Telegraph Energy bills could fall by 7 percent Britain's energy giants are to offer to cut bills by up to 7 percent if the government agrees to remove the cost of multi-billion pound green schemes. BAE CEO denies 'pressure' over yards The chief executive of BAE has denied that the decision to close the shipbuilding yard at Portsmouth and concentrate production on the River Clyde was due to government pressure. Vodafone to spend 1 bln stg upgrading UK network Vodafone is to increase its capital investment across the UK to more than 1 billion pounds as it seeks to upgrade its mobile network across London by boosting capacity.

Your money financial obsessives track every penny, every minute


´╗┐(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)By Chris TaylorNEW YORK, Sept 30 Most of us can't recall where we spent every single dollar last Tuesday. But Corey Maass can. He spent exactly $20 for a haircut, $20 for a dress shirt and $15 for dinner. Maass knows that because every single day, the Nashville-based software developer uploads all his spending to a smartphone application he created just for that purpose. His app, The Birdy (thebirdy.com) gives him instant readouts of his spending without him having to connect to his bank or wait for his credit card statements to upload. His creation forces him to confront his spending with daily emails and text messages that require him to respond with his spending data, which he sometimes enters more than once a day. Because he can get instant analytics, Maass knows exactly where he's dropping his cash, where he's spending too much -- and where he needs to cut back. Call it financial lifelogging: The Corey Maasses of the world are obsessed with taking their financial temperatures at all times, just as some people use mobile devices and applications to track every calorie burned, every heartbeat thumped and every moment of REM sleep.

"Before, I was making bad decisions because all my spending was emotional," says Maass, 36. "I would justify spending $200 just because I was in a bad mood, and then the next day my spending would be based on the fact that I felt guilty. Once I started tracking I could see all that, and I was able to take the emotion out of it. But I needed the numbers to do that."There is a whole social movement emerging around the idea of data-driven life management. Adherents of the Quantified Self philosophy (this site) aim at self-improvement through number-crunching, whether it's analyzing one's health, moods or finances. Apps like Intuit Inc.' s Mint, BUDGT and Spendee are making it easy for those who want to know where every penny is going at all times. Some apps requires users to turn over financial account passwords and then scrape the spending data from them; others, like The Birdy, require users to enter the information themselves. Either way, habitual tracking can have surprisingly positive effects on one's personal balance sheet.

"The simple act of tracking shows you two things," says Charles Duhigg, a New York Times staff writer and author of "The Power of Habit." He is a close tracker himself who can estimate his net worth in any given week to within 50 cents. "It shows you patterns that you might not be aware of. And it encourages reflection about whether you really need to buy all these things."Such intense budgetary review actually works: After all, researchers have found the simple act of financial tracking usually leads to a decrease in spending. Australian academics Ken Cheng and Megan Oaten of Sydney's Macquarie University once had volunteers write down every single purchase for four months, which led to marked improvement in their financial lives. They also found that positive financial habits started bleeding into other areas, with the volunteers improving their behavior in everything from house cleaning to exercising. Konstantin Augemberg, a New York City statistician and quantified self adherent, has been tracking not only his finances but pretty much everything else on his site, this site, in order to better himself daily.

"I look at the calories I'm taking in, the money I'm spending, the moods I'm in, or how I'm using my time," says Augemberg, 36. "Then I look at the data for trends and patterns, to get some interesting insights about myself."One such insight: Augemberg found he was spending 20 percent of his paycheck on going out to eat