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Saturday Papers: housing bubble fears renewed after price surge

Saturday Papers: housing bubble fears renewed after price surge

Top stories

  • The Guardian: House prices across the UK rose by an average of 8.4% last year, helped by a late surge in property values which recorded £40 a day being added to the price tag of an average British home in the final weeks of last year.
  • Financial Times: Seven US technology giants, including Apple and eBay, paid just £54 million in UK corporate tax in 2012, the Financial Times has discovered.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ben Bernanke indicates the future is bright for the US economy in one of his final speeches as Federal Reserve chairman.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Slump in business lending deepens in November, even as British banks approve highest number of mortgages in five years.
  • Financial Times: The flagship bond fund run by Pimco’s Bill Gross last year suffered its worst annual performance in almost two decades, while equity funds focusing on smaller companies were buoyed by signs of a western economic recovery.
  • Financial Times: US sales for General Motors, the market leader by sales, were 6% down on December 2012, while Ford’s sales were up only 2% and Toyota’s decreased 1.7%.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Workforce faces cuts at AgustaWestland as India cancels helicopters contract; Italian parent company Finmeccanica is ready ‘to take the necessary actions’ including a ‘reduction in the workforce’ at AgustaWestland, which employs 3,500 people.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Dunelm fails to pay thousands of staff; the homewares retailer, which employs 7,000 people, blames fiasco on "an administrative error".
  • The Guardian: BP has won permission to drill in the clear waters off Greenland, just three and a half years after abandoning similar plans to apply for a licence in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
  • The Daily Telegraph: More than £10 billion of loans handed to farmers over the past year, according to the BBA, an annual rise of 11.2%.
  • Daily Mail: The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index of activity in the construction sector was 62.1 in December – only slightly weaker than the 62.6 recorded in November.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Bank of Scotland has settled a lawsuit with its former head of risk in its investment banking division over a £700,000 bonus; the state-backed lender had argued Gary Cottle didn't deserve the final portion of £1.9 million bonus as he refused to take an alternative post at the bank.
  • Daily Mail: British firm Jaguar was the fastest-growing car brand in Germany last year as it raced ahead of local rivals Volkswagen and BMW.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Adidas and Nike have told independent sports retailers they will not work with them if they fail to meet a minimum sales requirement.
  • The Guardian: Cosworth, the struggling car engine manufacturer, has appointed three high-profile executives in a bid to boost its fortunes after its owners failed to float the company in 2012.
  • Daily Mail: Former News International boss Tom Mockridge was paid £7.1 million in his final year at the Murdoch-owned newspaper group.
  • Daily Mail: Theo Paphitis' lingerie chain Boux Avenue, launched in 2011 by the former Dragons’ Den star, reported that underlying sales rose 20% between November and Christmas Eve.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Rémy Cointreau fell on Friday as the French spirits group said that its chief executive would step down after less than 100 days in the post.
  • Daily Mail: Britain’s second-largest clothing chain Next beat sales forecasts, raised annual profit targets, and sent shares to an all-time high.
  • Financial Times: David Zaslav, chief executive of Discovery Communications, could make more than $110 million this year as part of a new contract that extends his tenure at the US broadcaster through to the end of the decade.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Britain’s Vodafone has begun talks to explore buying a majority stake in the mobile arm of India’s Tata conglomerate, in anticipation of a possible spate of telecoms mergers in Asia’s third-largest economy.
  • Financial Times: Eurex said on Friday it would pay $47 million for the 5% stake it plans to take in Taifex, a purchase that deepens its ties with the Taiwanese futures exchange as Europe’s largest futures bourse builds its presence in Asia.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Next clicks with online retailing while Debenhams fails HQ test.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Manhattan: the new lefty mayor may not be able to prevent New York from being a plutocrat’s playground.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Rémy Cointreau: the chief executive of the French spirits group has quit after three months. His successor will have to find a way out of the group’s problems in China.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Will the coming year be one of tax cuts, pay rises and good cheer, or will the legacy of the financial crisis still haunt us? And what of China, Japan, the eurozone … Observer writers try to predict the economic shape of the next 12 months.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Redressing the balance of wealth to benefit the regions beyond the south-east is a big challenge - but one that must be met.

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