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Wednesday Papers: Central banks holding a fifth of their governments’ debt

Wednesday Papers: Central banks holding a fifth of their governments’ debt

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Leading central banks now own a fifth of their governments’ total debt, a sign of the scale of the challenge they will face in unwinding unprecedented stimulus measures deployed over the past decade.
  • The Times: Institutional investors have sharply increased efforts to shame individual company directors into better behaviour by voting against their re-election; revolts against single directors of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies rose fivefold this year in protest against them taking too many jobs or to curb egregious pay packages.
  • Financial Times: Britain has proposed that the Irish border remain free of physical customs posts after the UK leaves the EU as part of government plans to tackle one of the thorniest Brexit issues.
  • Financial Times: Air Berlin filed for insolvency on Tuesday but will remain operating after the German government and Lufthansa stepped in to prevent the collapse of one of Europe’s largest airlines.
  • The Times: The number of official appeals against business rates has collapsed since the introduction of reforms branded “disastrous” by representatives of small companies.
  • The Daily Telegraph: China’s economy is reliant on too much debt and the enormous boom in credit risks leading to a new financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: The bosses of some of the world’s biggest companies are facing mounting pressure to quit Donald Trump’s high-profile business advisory council as two more people resigned on Tuesday in the wake of the president’s handling of the fatal Charlottesville protests.
  • Financial Times: McDonald’s has struck a deal to place restaurants in Evergrande’s residential complexes in China.
  • Financial Times: Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s biggest fund supermarket, has posted another year of rising profits, shrugging off a series of threats including increased competition from overseas rivals and tighter regulation.
  • The Times: Travis Kalanick, the Uber founder, appears to have sabotaged the app’s search for a new chief executive by creating a “power vacuum” into which he could return, one of the company’s earliest investors has claimed.
  • Financial Times: Car finance providers are taking ever more risks to attract consumers as falling vehicle sales and rising import prices take effect, staff at the Bank of England have warned.
  • The Times: Laura Ashley, renowned for being quintessentially English though it is controlled by a Malaysian group, said that full-year profits would be “materially below market expectations” after it was hit by a £2.8 million charge linked to the revaluation of a freehold property.
  • The Times: Strong demand for premium car brands and the popularity of cheap finance deals have helped Marshall Motor to bypass the uncertainty affecting many forecourts and drive sales and profits higher.
  • Financial Times: British social housing provider Mears Group has warned its full-year revenues and profits would be lower this year as its clients delay contracts following the tragic fire at London’s Grenfell Tower in June.
  • Daily Mail: Bosses at Royal Bank of Scotland have been accused of plotting to slash nearly 900 jobs in their IT department.
  • Daily Mail: Private equity-backed HC-One which is hoping to snap up 150 Bupa care homes may load itself with £600million of debt, analysts have warned.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank has named global equities boss Tom Patrick as the new head of the Americas business, described by chief executive John Cryan as an “important source of growth” for the bank.
  • The Times: Germany’s constitutional court said yesterday that it saw “significant reasons” to believe that the European Central Bank had overstepped its mandate with its €2.3 trillion bond-buying scheme.
  • The Times: China has vowed to take “appropriate measures” to defend its economic interests after President Trump threatened to trigger a trade war by opening an investigation into the country’s trade practices.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Hargreaves Lansdown; AVOID Rockhopper Exploration; BUY H&T Group.
  • Daily Mail: British oil firm Amec Foster Wheeler has offered to sell 'almost all' of its upstream offshore oil and gas servicing assets in a bid to abate competition concerns over its proposed £2.2 billion takeover by Wood Group.
  • Financial Times: KPMG has been slapped with a fine of more than $6.2 million by the US Securities and Exchanges Commission after it signed off the audit of an oil and gas company that had overvalued certain assets by more than 100 times.

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