InvestmentsMay 16 2013

Morning papers: Osborne tells CBI to hold nerve on austerity

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George Osborne has asked business leaders to hold their nerve and continue backing the government’s austerity measures after the Bank of England gave the first signal since the financial crash of a sustained economic recovery, reports the Guardian.

The chancellor told the CBI annual dinner on Wednesday night that the business community should ignore critics of his economic policy who advocate a stimulus package to spur growth and reduce unemployment.

Eurozone sets bleak record of longest term in recession

Hopes for a eurozone recovery suffered a blow on Wednesday as the recession afflicting the 17-nation bloc became the longest since the single currency was born at the turn of the century. This latest dismal record came after unemployment hit 12.1 per cent, its highest level, reports the Financial Times.

UK unemployment starts to rise again

Unemployment jumped and average wage rises dropped to their lowest rate on record in the three months to March, underlining concerns at the slow pace of the UK’s recovery, reports the Guardian.

There was an increase in unemployment of 15,000 in the first quarter of the year, while during the same period regular pay rose by just 0.8 per cent.

Standard Life attacks RSA board over cut to final dividend

One of Britain’s largest institutional investors has launched an unexpected attack on RSA’s board of directors, reports the Independent. Standard Life Investments, a top 10 shareholder in the insurer, said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the company’s decision to cut its final dividend by 33 per cent earlier this year.

Public could buy RBS shares at a loss, says David Cameron

David Cameron has indicated that the Royal Bank of Scotland could be reprivatised through a sale of the shares to millions of ordinary investors at an initial loss to the taxpayer, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Spanish banks face fresh hit from bad loans

Spanish banks are bracing themselves for a fresh financial hit, amid rising pressure from the Bank of Spain on lenders to write down the value of their €200bn (£169.2bn) portfolio of restructured loans to the country’s troubled companies and struggling households, reports the Financial Times.

Royal Mail sell-off plan slated by rightwing thinktank and Labour MP

Labour has attacked Nick Clegg for being “worse than Thatcher” for supporting the sell-off of Royal Mail, reports the Guardian.

Ian Murray, shadow minister for postal affairs, said Clegg’s backing for privatisation of the postal service “confirmed what the public knew all along – he’s worse than Thatcher who, even as the most zealous of privatisation proponents, couldn’t bring herself to privatise the Queen’s head”.

Sir Mervyn King condemns financial transaction tax that ‘won’t help’