"It's obvious that aggregate demand looks weak, feels weakand will probably stay weak for the foreseeable future," saidPhilip Isherwood, strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort. Barclays fell 14.4 percent after announcing a further 2,100job cuts to add to the 2,500 job losses announced on Tuesday.ID:nWLA4976 The mood on the banking sector was also darkened by newsthat Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) racked up a loss of about 4.8billion euros in the final quarter of 2008 alone in a surpriseprofit warning that sent its shares tumbling. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) was the heaviest loser, down18.4 percent while HBOS HBOS.L and Standard Chartered (STAN.L)also slumped, losing between 10.7 and 13.5 percent respectively. Lloyds TSB (LLOY.L) fell 11.9 percent after ratings agencyStandard & Poor's lowered its long-term counterparty creditrating by one notch to "AA-" from "AA". Britain on Wednesday launched a 20 billion pound ($29.2billion) scheme to guarantee existing loans to small andmedium-sized companies. ID:nSP382905 Elsewhere in the financial sector, Man Group (EMG.L) sagged6.8 percent after the world's biggest listed hedge fund firmsaid that funds under management at end-December were $53.3billion, down from $67.6 billion at end-September. Mining shares were also heavy losers, denting the market asmetal prices fell on slowing demand concerns.
Rio Tinto (RIO.L), Xtsrata (XTA.L), Anglo-American (AAL.L),BHP Billiton (BLT.L), Antofagasta (ANTO.L), Kazakhmys (KAZ.L)and Eurasian (ENRC.L) fell between 6.6 and 11.7 percent Oil producers also added to the losses as the U.S retailsales data and rising U.S inventories saw crude slip to below$37 per barrel. British bus and rail operator FirstGroup (FGP.L) sank 14.8percent after it said its North American bus firm Greyhound hadseen a fall in revenues during its third quarter but, overall,the company was coping with the economic downturn.Amec (AMEC.L), was the top gainer among a handful ofcompanies eking out gains, up 6.4 percent after the oil servicesand engineering group forecast 2008 profits near the top offorecasts and a better 2009. SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ Blue Shield of Californiaannounced the appointment of four new vice presidents today, bringing newleadership to its eBusiness, Finance and Network Management divisions.
Serving as vice president of Business Transformation & eBusiness, EskanderMatta will be responsible for leading the strategy, development and managementof Blue Shield's eBusiness portals.Matta has nearly 20 years of experiencein consulting, systems integration, banking, and advertising, and waspreviously a senior vice president in Wells Fargo's Internet Services Group.He received his MBA from Harvard University and his bachelor's degree inEconomics and History from the University of California, Berkeley.Another new hire is Barclay Ferguson, who has been named vice president offinance for Customer Services and Corporate Marketing (CSCM). Ferguson will beresponsible for the financial oversight of areas ranging from operations toproduct development. Two Network Management Executives PromotedIn Network Management, Kristen Miranda has been promoted from director ofprovider contracting to vice president of provider network management, whereshe will oversee all contract negotiations for provider networks in NorthernCalifornia.Prior to joining Blue Shield, she held positions at WellPoint,Cigna Healthcare and Health Net.Miranda holds a Bachelor of Science degreein Anthropology from University of California, Davis.Armine Kulinski, also formerly a director of provider contracting, has beennamed vice president of provider network management for Southern California,and will oversee all contract negotiations for provider networks in theregion. Previously, Kulinski held executive positions in provider networkmanagement with Health Net. She received her MBA from Pepperdine Universityand her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from California StateUniversity, Northridge.Background on Blue Shield of CaliforniaBlue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue ShieldAssociation, is a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providingCalifornians with access to high quality care at a reasonable price. Foundedin 1939, it now has 3.4 million members, 4,700 employees, one of the largestprovider networks and more than 20 office locations, providing a wide range ofcommercial and government products throughout the state.
Contact your local agent or broker for moreinformation about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shieldweb site at CONTACT: Ashley WilkersonPublic Affairs SOURCEBlue Shield of CaliforniaAshley Wilkerson, Public Affairs Associate of Blue Shield of California,1-310-744-2661, . WASHINGTON(Business Wire)The following is a letter from the Trust for Architectural Easements toPresident-elect Obama on historic preservation, sustainability and the financialcrisis. Rehabilitating historic buildings minimizes waste and theconsumption of materials and energy required in new construction. The positiveattributes of rehabilitating older buildings are increased when one considersthat maintaining and improving historic buildings and neighborhoods also allowsfor the continued use of valuable infrastructure: sidewalks, gutters, streets,utility lines, schools, public transportation lines, etc. If sustainabledevelopment is to balance human needs with the carrying capacity of theenvironment, then preservation is the greenest choice. The two federal programs that currently encourage property owners torehabilitate and protect their historic buildings are the HistoricRehabilitation Tax Credit Program and the Historic Preservation EasementProgram. These programs not only sustain and protect our nations culturalheritage, but also leverage private capital to rehabilitate historic buildings.These programs are increasingly important as a means of providing Americans withaffordable residential and commercial buildings.