Investments  

Morning papers: Treasury to source £1.5bn for RBS

The Treasury is considering plans to inject another £1.5bn into Royal Bank of Scotland if a review it commissioned recommends the state-backed lender be broken up, reports the Daily Telegraph.

If the government’s adviser on RBS, Rothschild, urges a split, the bank will need further capital. However, the chancellor has insisted he is “not prepared to put more taxpayer capital” into the 81 per cent state-owned bank.

Instead, official sources said the Treasury is looking at options for the “dividend access share”, a mechanism put in place at the time of the 2008 bailout that makes it prohibitively expensive for RBS to pay dividends to ordinary shareholders.

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Lloyds eyes dividend bonanza

António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, has said he aims to start paying out up to 70 per cent of the bank’s earnings in dividends within three years as he seeks to attract investors ahead of the sale of the government’s stake, reports the Financial Times.

Lloyds has not paid a dividend to investors since 2008, when it was bailed out by the government and ordered to freeze payouts. The bank took the first step towards reinstating the payout last week when it said it would discuss the timing and conditions of such a move with the regulator.

Miners return to hedging as gold prices lose shine

Gold miners have started to protect themselves against more falls in the price of the precious metal, in a tentative return to the long-shunned practice of hedging by selling future production at fixed prices, reports the Financial Times.

Although major gold miners have yet to return to the practice, several senior precious metals bankers said that small and medium-sized gold companies had rushed to hedge in recent months.

Rivals leaving Britain behind in ‘global race’ for recovery

Britain is a leaden-footed laggard in Prime Minister David Cameron’s “global race”, according to an analysis of economic figures and forecasts by the International Monetary Fund, reports the Independent.

Based on economic, at the end of the coalition’s term in 2015 the UK will have grown by just 1.2 per cent, marooned in 25th place among 33 major economies.

Manufacturers finally expect orders to rise

The mood among Britain’s smaller manufacturers is finally improving, according to research, reports the Independent.

Confidence at small and medium-sized businesses over the state of the economy has risen for the first time since April 2012, a survey by the CBI has found.

Watchdog may rule on three-quarters of payday loan disputes, says charity

Three-quarters of payday loan customers who have turned to Citizens Advice for help may have had grounds to make an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, the charity says, reports the Guardian.

BIS blames Europe’s creditors for eternal euro crisis

Europe’s creditor powers bear as much blame as debtors for the eurozone’s eternal crisis and are blocking recovery by failing to play a full part in righting the ship, according to the Bank for International Settlements, reports the Daily Telegraph.