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Civil engineering in the news - Wednesday 26 November

Shares in Taylor Wimpey fell by 37% yesterday, taking them to 4.4p as speculation continued that the housebuilder would be forced into a debt-for-equity swap to refinance its £1.9 billion net debt pile...

The company’s banks and other lenders are set to own a single-digit stake in the ailing business, and charge higher interest rates in return for foregoing current terms surrounding the debt, according to reports last night - The Times

The credit crunch is forcing Britain's power companies to pay high prices for their borrowing and could have a long term impact on supply, according to the UK's top energy regulator, Alistair Buchanan, chief executive of Ofgem. His warning came as a House of Lords committee attacked the government's renewables policies, saying the "dash" for wind and other clean power sources risked undermining the UK's overall energy security and would cost the average household £80 a year more than necessary - The Guardian.

Abu Dhabi may provide Dubai with a banking facility with which its leveraged neighbour would use to pay down its immediate debt obligations as part of potential "bail-out" plans being discussed between the emirates. Details are hazy but Abu Dhabi could help support Dubai, which has embarked one of the biggest and most ambitious building programmes the world has ever seen, but sources close to the situation said an immediate cash facility to finance Dubai's $80bn debts was an option - The Telegraph

Plans for a new generation of "floodable" towns will be unveiled today with guidelines showing how homes and estates being built beside rivers can be designed to cope with rising waters. New advice for planning riverside and floodplain developments commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs calls for pathways to double as canals and gardens to include floodable sectionsto stop waters rising and engulfing homes, as happened in Morpeth in the north-east in September and Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire in 2007 - The Guardian

One third of the Yellow river, one of the longest in the world, is unusable for any purpose because of pollution, according to research. The river supplies water to millions of people in northern China - The Guardian

One of Britain's most high profile unit trusts, New Star's £675m International Property fund, was yesterday forced to close its doors to withdrawals after it admitted it no longer had sufficient cash reserves to meet demands from investors. The fund was launched only 18 months ago, in a blitz of billboard advertising featuring skyscrapers around the globe - The Guardian

Rescue workers desparately digging through the wreckage of homes engulfed by mudslides found more bodies in southern Brazil, raising the death toll from floods and hillside collapses to 79. As many as 30 people are still missing in small cities and towns across Santa Catarina state after torrential rains - The Times

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