Morning papers: Global economy ‘back on track’

Surging business confidence in rich countries has put the global economy “back on track” to resume a steady recovery, according to the latest Brookings Institution-Financial Times tracking index, reports the Financial Times.

The improvement in outlook has come as a surprise over the summer, but the relatively upbeat message from economic data over the past few months is vulnerable to many threats on the horizon which could again kill the emerging confidence.

World Bank cuts East Asia growth forecast

Article continues after advert

But at the same time the World Bank has cut its 2013 growth forecast for developing East Asia from 7.8 per cent to 7.1 per cent, citing weak commodity prices, slowing consumer demand, and China’s efforts to restructure its economy away from exports, reports the Financial Times.

The bank also cut its China growth estimate from 8.3 per cent to 7.5 per cent, which it said was “primarily because the most recent expansion in credit has been less effective in generating growth”.

Osborne seeks EU clearance in case of RBS split

The Treasury has applied for EU approval to split up the Royal Bank of Scotland in a move that would smooth over the process of carving up the state-owned bank, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Chancellor George Osborne sought clearance in July for the split of the bank, which is 83 per cent owned by the taxpayer, allowing the government to avoid newly-introduced rules on state support for banks.

Small investors hit as City big boys cash in on Royal Mail

Thousands of small investors risk losing out in the Royal Mail sell-off because shares are likely to be heavily rationed, reports the Daily Mail.

City banks and hedge funds have the right to buy 70 per cent of shares being sold by the government and are predicted to make a killing because the company may have been severely undervalued. Small investors have been left scrabbling around for the remaining 30 per cent.

Finance groups recruit 10,000 new staff as optimism rises

Financial services companies are thought to have hired an extra 10,000 staff in the three months to September as optimism in the sector surged to its highest level for almost 17 years, reports the Financial Times.

Shinzo Abe warns of delay in key labour reforms in Japan

Shinzo Abe has dampened expectations for a speedy liberalisation of Japan’s labour market, pointing to strong domestic opposition to the “sensitive” but potentially crucial plank in his structural reform programme, reports the Financial Times.

Ireland will need EU support when bailout ends this year

A slowing economy, sky-high debts and a weak banking sector mean Ireland will need support from the EU when its current bailout ends later this year, the IMF has said, reports the Guardian.

Number of women in British boardrooms rises to 19%

The proportion of female directors of FTSE 100 companies has risen to 19 per cent, a study has revealed, up from 12.5 per cent two years ago, reports the Independent.

Vince Cable, the business secretary, welcomed the figures and said that he was confident the government’s target of 25 per cent representation on FTSE 100 boards by 2015 was achievable.