Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

FINANCE REAL ESTATE TOP STORIES

Blackstone Seeks $18 Billion for Biggest Real Estate Fund

The firm, already the private equity industry’s largest real estate investor, will have a strategy similar to its last fund– in investing in distressed properties across the globe

Blackstone Group LP expects to raise $18 bn for its biggest real estate fund ever. This will also make it larger than its prior fund, which was gathered at $15.8 bn in 2015.

The company is seeking capital at an opportune time. Institutions such as public pension plans and insurance companies are betting big on property assets to protect against inflation and broaden their holdings beyond stocks and bonds. The number of investors allocating $1 bn to the space keeps increasing, according to data provider Prequin.

A representative for Blackstone declined to comment.

In June, Blackstone raised $7.1 bn for an opportunistic real estate fund focused on Asia, and Carlyle Group LP this month also raised its largest US real estate fund.

Beyond real estate, investors are piling into alternative assets, helping firms raise much larger funds than before. The private equity industry brought in a record $453 bn last year.

Blackstone is aiming to take advantage of this demand.It expects to raise more than $20 bn for its eighth buyout fund, Bloomberg reported in July. Its prior buyout fund was a third invested at the end of June, according to a regulatory filing.

-GBO Corespondent. 

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