Morning papers: Long-term US corporate debt sales hit $100bn
Annual sales of 30-year US corporate debt have broken the $100bn (£61.8bn) mark for the first time since the start of the financial crisis, and are on course to surpass the previous record year set in 2007, reports the Financial Times.
The latest quantitative easing moves last week by the US Federal Reserve provided another incentive to companies, which are keen to lock in long-term funding at rock-bottom interest rates at a time when investors, particularly pension and institutional funds, are hungry for higher yields than the ones offered by top-tier government securities.
EU and Chinese leaders meet in bid to solve trade row and debt crisis
European Union and Chinese leaders will try to bridge growing differences over trade and find common ground on tackling Europe’s debt crisis at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, reports The Telegraph.
Overseas trade is one of few bright spots in Europe and a critical source of growth for the region’s economy, which has slumped under the weight of the debt and banking crises, with EU gross domestic product falling and unemployment steadily rising.
Smiths Group warns BoE’s money printing is hindering investment
Smiths Group, the FTSE 100 engineering and technology company, has warned the Bank of England’s quantitative easing programme is forcing it to pump money into its pension pot that could otherwise be spent on investment and shareholder dividends, reports The Telegraph.
In the first warning of its kind from a major British company, chief executive Philip Bowman said the £375bn bond-buying scheme was keeping gilt yields artificially low and partly explained a jump in the company’s pension deficit to £620m in the last financial year from £199m a year earlier.
Shares under pressure on growth concerns
Stocks, commodities and growth-focused currencies are in retreat after a batch of disappointing economic data reminds investors just why central banks have been so active of late, reports the Financial Times.
The FTSE All-World equity index was down 0.6 per cent on Thursday morning after the Asia-Pacific region fell 1.3 per cent and as the FTSE Eurofirst 300 sheds 0.6 per cent at the open. Wall Street’s S&P 500 futures point to the benchmark retreating 0.5 per cent later in the day.
Outgoing Barclays chairman Agius put to the sword over Libor claims
Key evidence given by outgoing Barclays chairman Marcus Agius to MPs in the wake of the rate-rigging scandal came under fire yesterday, reports The Daily Mail.
The Treasury Select Committee released correspondence between the City watchdog and Barclays which appears to contradict claims made by Agius.
Greece sells off London consulate and royal cemetery
Greece intends to sell high-end properties in London, Belgrade and Cyprus, including a palace with royal graveyard, as part of a privatisation programme designed to free up cash and appease its bail-out rescuers, reports The Telegraph.