European  

Morning papers: EU sees bad loans rise to £1trn

The number of bad loans in Europe has soared to £1trn, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, with UK banks still holding one of the biggest piles, reports the Daily Mail.

PwC said loans in default – or close to it – had more than doubled in just four years from £439bn in 2008, spurred by continuing woes in the southern European economies. An £85bn increase in the past 12 months was largely down to higher levels of default in countries such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Ireland, the report said.

UK retailers suffer sharp slowdown in sales

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Retailers suffered a sharp slowdown in sales this month, according to an industry survey that has cast doubt on the pace of the wider UK economic recovery, reports the Guardian.

After a strong run of growth, sales ground to a halt at the start of October and came in well below City forecasts, the CBI business group said.

St Jude’s storm: insurers braced for impact

Britain’s biggest insurers have prepared for thousands of additional claims for damage to property as hurricane-force winds sweep the south of England, reports the Daily Telegraph.

St Jude’s storm, which hit Britain on Sunday night and into Monday morning, led to a spike in calls to insurance groups, forcing the companies to draft in additional staff to handle claims and assess damages. Shares in many of the big insurers have slipped on the potential financial repercussions.

House prices rising in every region in England

House prices in every region of England rose in September, according to official data published on Monday which reignited the debate about the prospects of a new house price bubble, reports the Guardian.

The Land Registry data showed that even before the government accelerated the second phase of its Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, prices had increased 3.4 per cent in a year on average, and were higher than in September 2012 in all English regions.

HMRC will be £2.5bn light this year

Revenue bosses have warned that the tax windfall from an exchange deal with Switzerland will be far less than the £3bn expected by the Chancellor, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Directors of HMRC told the Public Accounts Committee that £440m had been recovered this year and £782m, in total, since an agreement was signed to exchange information on UK tax avoidance.

UK to become first non-Muslim country to launch sharia bond

The UK is set to become the first non-Muslim country to sell a bond that can be bought by Islamic investors in a bid to encourage massive new investment into the City, reports the Daily Telegraph.

India raises rates to combat inflation

India’s central bank has raised its key interest rates by 25 basis points to 7.75 per cent in a bid to tackle rising inflation, a move that Raghuram Rajan, the governor, said was critical for supporting faster growth, reports the Financial Times.