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Tuesday Papers: George Osborne aims for budget surplus by 2020

Tuesday Papers: George Osborne aims for budget surplus by 2020

Top stories

  • The Guardian: George Osborne warned on Monday that austerity may continue until 2020 as he set out plans for a new fiscal mandate that will require further welfare cuts to build an overall budget surplus by the end of the next parliament.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): George Osborne's conference speech may or may not have been well judged politically, but in terms of its economics, it raised a lot more questions than it answered.
  • Financial Times: Jens Weidmann, president of the Bundesbank, has risked angering Europe’s crisis-hit governments by warning of the dangers posed by high levels of sovereign debt on banks’ balance sheets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland will begin a new chapter on Tuesday as New Zealander Ross McEwan takes over the helm.
  • Financial Times: Hedge funds’ bets on falling share prices have dropped to their lowest level in years as traders predict an extended bull run for equities over the coming months; according to data from Markit, the overall value of short positions on European shares has dropped to $144 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Moody's has maintained pressure on George Osborne as the Chancellor considers a break-up of Royal Bank of Scotland by warning that the bank remains "on review for downgrade".
  • Financial Times: Bank of Japan Tankan survey showed headline measure of confidence among large enterprises was at its highest level since the final quarter of 2007.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: UK energy giant SSE cheered investors yesterday by forecasting an above inflation dividend hike this year despite an expected profit fall in the first half.
  • The Independent: Chris Ronnie, the former boss of the collapsed sports chain JJB, has failed to have his court case for an alleged £1 million fraud thrown out.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Peter Voser is to call on the global energy industry to continue investing heavily in costly new production projects.
  • Daily Express: Mick Davis, who quit mining group Xstrata after it merged with commodity giant Glencore, is setting up X2 Resources with trader Noble Group and private equity outfit TPG.
  • Financial Times: Graphene NanoChem, a company specialising in the so-called miracle material, warned of a delayed launch of a key product as it posted a loss of £5.4 million in its first filing since listing in the UK this year.
  • The Guardian: Tesco's budget "Hudl" tablet, which was announced last week, is now on sale in 1,000 of Tesco's supermarkets and its online stores for £119.
  • Daily Mail: Google paid £11.6 million in corporation tax in the UK in 2012, filings at Companies House have revealed, on revenues of £506 million.
  • Financial Times: US life assurers have offloaded more than $360 billion of liabilities to subsidiaries in jurisdictions with weaker reserve requirements, research shows.
  • The Guardian: BP told "outright lies" as it tried to hide the amount of oil that was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, a court heard on Monday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe set to announce sales tax hike that risks derailing recovery.
  • Daily Express: BP yesterday fired the latest salvo in its court battle to slash a potential £11 billion legal penalty for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; the British oil giant hit back at claims that it was ill-prepared to deal with the Deepwater Horizon rig accident in 2010; it insisted its spill preparations complied with regulations and met industry standards but the incident threw up unexpected challenges.
  • Daily Mail: Newbury Racecourse swung into profit yesterday as TV rights and its property business offset ‘disappointing’ attendance figures due to the ‘Frankel factor’.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Rotork has set itself a series of targets to increase the amount of women in senior jobs at the engineering group.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Startup Loans CEO Tim Sawyer has hit back at claims that 40% of borrowers will default on their loans. "Bad debt only accounts for 4%," he says.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Innocent, the smoothie company controlled by Coca-Cola, has posted record profit and revenues in 2012.
  • Daily Mail: TNT Post delivers a new challenge to Royal Mail as it launches army of postmen across Greater Manchester.
  • Daily Mail: Discount supermarket Aldi is set to open 50 more stores in the UK this year, after announcing a record profit haul.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in Albemarle & Bond fell by more than 40% yesterday to 74.5p as the firm announced plans for an emergency £35 million fundraising.
  • Daily Mail: Nationwide has made cuts to its two and three-year mortgage rates, offering reduced fees to tempt first-time buyers.
  • Daily Mail: Unilever last night issued a surprise warning that trading in the emerging markets has disappointed over the past three months.
  • Daily Express: A flagship £16.7 billion Airbus military aircraft project finally took off yesterday after a four-year delay.
  • Daily Mail: Marks and Spencer has parted company with the boss of its Asian business Pascal Martin months after announcing a review of its operations in the Far East.
  • Daily Mail: McLaren Automotive cut its losses by four-fifths in 2012 and expects to break even this year – three years after the Supercar manufacturer’s global launch.
  • The Independent: City lawyer Fiona Woolf has been named as the 686th Lord Mayor of London. She will be only the second woman to hold the post.
  • Financial Times: The number of workers quitting their company pension schemes after being automatically enrolled may be more than twice official estimates.
  • The Independent: Upmarket London department store Harvey Nichols is close to appointing a new chief executive, and former Burberry finance chief Stacey Cartwright has emerged as a candidate for the post.
  • The Guardian: Ladbrokes is continuing its decline after Thursday's profit warning due to problems at its online operations; gaming group hit by further downgrades as company struggles with its online business.
  • The Daily Telegraph: House prices across Britain will soar by nearly a quarter to record levels over the coming five years with homes in London averaging more than £500,000 in 2018, according to CEBR.
  • The Guardian: Ikea is to sell solar panels at its British stores for the first time in an attempt to tap growth in the heavily subsidised green energy market.
  • The Independent: Flows of money from overseas investors boosted funds at British asset managers to a record £5.4 trillion last year, it has emerged.
  • The Independent: BAE, one of the biggest defence companies in the world, is expected to be a major beneficiary of the Government’s push into cyber attacks, having already made sales of nearly £1 billion in its IT security business over the past five years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: FastJet, the African airline backed by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, warned that it would have to raise more money to keep flying as it dived to a first-half loss of $41.9 million (£25.9m).
  • Financial Times: Gleeson, the housebuilder that focuses on cheap homes in the north of England, is to pay its first full-year dividend in five years after seeing revenues rise by nearly 50%.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Venture capital fund DFJ Esprit has strengthened ties with the Silicon Valley arm of international fund network DFJ Global Network to help matchmake UK start-ups with US investors.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Pinewood Shepperton has renewed its campaign to expand its Buckinghamshire film studios.
  • Financial Times: Toshiba is to halve the number of workers in its struggling television business as the Japanese manufacturer battles intensifying competition.
  • Financial Times: Espirito Santo has hired 11 people to its corporate broking team, just a few months after losing staff to fellow broker Liberum Capital.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Independent (Share tips): Snap up shares in Bank of Georgia, Peel Hunt advises; Flog shares in Royal Bank of Scotland, Citi insists; Panmure Gordon urges us to hang on to Astra shares with the reminder that “one swallow does not a summer make”.
  • Financial Times: Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $869 million to Freddie Mac, the US government-backed mortgage company, to resolve claims that the country’s largest mortgage lender had sold loans that breached quality guarantees.
  • Financial Times: Newmont Mining has joined the race for Glencore Xstrata’s Peruvian copper mining project, underlining the US’s largest gold producer’s attempts to diversify its business.
  • Financial Times: Royal Dutch Shell is to sell its position in the Eagle Ford shale in Texas, two months after announcing a big writedown on the value of its US shale assets.
  • The Guardian: Eurostar and Keolis, both majority-owned by the French state rail operator, SNCF, have announced a joint venture to bid for the east coast mainline rail franchise, as the government prepares to privatise the London-Edinburgh route before the next general election.
  • The Guardian: Twitter is thought to be planning to reveal the details of its initial public offering this week, after it filed the necessary documents confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 12 September.
  • The Daily Telegraph: GlaxoSmithKline has clinched a £700 million deal to sell its blood-clot drugs unit to a South African drug maker.
  • Financial Times: Warner Brothers and an investment vehicle backed by James Packer, the Australian billionaire, have agreed a $450 million financing deal that will cover the production of 75 films.
  • Financial Times: KKR has paid about $550 million for a 10% stake in Qingdao Haier, China’s largest refrigerator and washing machine maker by sales.
  • Financial Times: Noble Group, the commodities trading house, has won the hotly contested battle to replace Glencore as the buyer of zinc in Europe from Nyrstar, the world’s largest producer of the metal.
  • Financial Times: China Mobile has awarded more than half of the work to build the first phase of 4G mobile network to domestic equipment makers.
  • Financial Times: Rosneft made a formal offer to buy out TNK-BP minority shareholders on Monday, six months after it signed a deal to buy out TNK-BP’s main shareholders.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): For most Coca-Cola Hellenic is a corporate giant that has appeared out of nowhere having switched its main listing to London earlier this year.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Britain is finally starting to come back, but the economy is still running behind where it was at the peak in 2007, and national debt levels will not top out until 2017.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The attendance figures for the Conservative party conference tell a tale of how David Cameron lost his core membership and let the bankers in.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): George Osborne is by instinct a ruthless political performer. On Monday, as ever, he delivered a well-turned speech to his party conference in Manchester. The speech contained all the usual political tricks, but the chancellor showed an uncharacteristic unease.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Rosneft’s decision to buy out the minority investors in TNK-BP represents corporate governance as public theatre.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Siemens: the German behemoth is cutting 15,000 jobs worldwide, and has seen its shares outperform recently. But it still has a long way to travel.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Mick Davis: Ex Xstrata boss’s return to mining looks like the start of Glencore Xstrata a decade ago. Only now, the commodities prices outlook is very different.

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