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May Update: Essential News

Rock returns
Mortgage lender Northern Rock says its mortgage applications rose by 70% in Q1
2009 and that gross lending totalled £550m. It plans to increase mortgage
lending by £5bn in 2009 ­ and by £14bn in the next two years ­ but says the
business will still be “substantially” loss-making this year.

Credit Suisse in the black
Investment bank Credit Suisse turned a SFr2.0bn (£1.8bn) profit in the first
quarter of 2009. While its investment banking business reported pre-tax income
of SFr2.4bn (£1.4bn), corporate and retail banking reported pre-tax income of
SFr346m (£204m), down 25% year-on-year, and investment banking made pre-tax
income of SFr2.4m compared with a SFr3.4m (£2.0m) pre-tax loss this time in
2008.

Freddie CFO dead
Freddie Mac’s acting CFO David Kellerman was found dead on 22 April at his home,
in an apparent suicide. Kellerman had spent 16 years with the mortgage group,
becoming acting FD last September when Anthony Piszel was dismissed. He was the
group’s fifth CFO in eight years.

Every little helps Tesco
Supermarket giant Tesco reported pre-tax profits had increased by 10% to £3.13bn
in 2008 on revenue of £54.3bn (ex-VAT). Sales topped £1bn per week for the first
time and showed a 15% year-on-year increase, a record for Tesco and UK
retailers.

Global GDP to shrink
The global economy will shrink by 1.3% in 2009, with a slow recovery expected to
take hold next year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Output per
capita is projected to decline in countries representing three-quarters of the
global economy, says the IMF. Growth is projected to re-emerge in 2010, at a
“sluggish” 1.9%.

FD gets PPA nod
Financial Director has again been shortlisted in the ‘Monthly Business
Magazine of the Year’ category in the Periodical Publishers Association Awards ­
the ‘Oscars’ of the magazine industry ­ for the third consecutive year. Our art
editor, Chris Gardner, is shortlisted in the ‘Designer of the Year (Business
Media)’ category. “This is a fantastic honour in our 25th anniversary year,”
says editor Andrew Sawers.

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