Morning papers: Analysts wary on China reform euphoria

Trading on a loosening of China’s one-child policy would seem relatively straightforward: buy all things baby-related. Investors did just that on Monday, sending shares in milk formula producer Yashili up almost 10 per cent and adding more than 4 per cent to crib manufacturer Goodbaby International, reports the Financial Times.

After almost a week during which investors lamented the lack of reform detail from China’s gathering of the Communist party leadership, Chinese equities appear to have regained their mojo. A sweeping policy package, announced late on Friday, has lifted China’s post-plenum depression.

British firms ‘more confident than rivals’ as UK economy is one of the best performing in the world

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British businesses are more optimistic about the future than their rivals across the developed world, according to a report published today, reports the Daily Mail.

Confidence among UK firms is higher than in any other major advanced economy, including the United States, Europe and Japan, the figures show.

Help to Buy will distort housing market, warn bank chiefs

Britain’s biggest banks have warned the Chancellor that the lack of an end date to his flagship Help to Buy programme could cause serious distortion in the housing market, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that as part of its submission before the Autumn Statement, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has warned George Osborne he needs to set out how and when the scheme will end.

Executive pay rises by 14% as awards linked to shares soar

Executive pay increased by 14% last year to £2.1m, with companies accused of making ever-larger share-based awards to deflect public scrutiny of directors’ spiralling remuneration.

While basic salaries rose 4.1% and annual bonuses fell by 8.8%, the total pay package for an average FTSE 100 director rose sharply through a 58% surge in the value of long-term incentive plan (LTIP) awards being cashed in, according to a new report.

In Italy, high payroll taxes stand in way of recovery

Patrizia Zanotta, owner of a welding firm in northern Italy, survived the country’s worst recession since World War II without layoffs by cutting her 10 employees’ hours and scrimping on new equipment, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Though orders are finally starting to pick up from her clients abroad, demand remains weak from the local builders that are her main clients. She blames Italy’s extraordinarily high business and payroll taxes, which together take some two-thirds of a company’s gross earnings.