Investments  

Morning papers: UK house prices in fastest rise for 3 years

House prices rose by 6.5 per cent year-on-year in November, the fastest annual increase in more than three years, according to Nationwide, reports The Times.

Just a day after the Bank of England announced steps to curb rising house prices, Nationwide said prices have been rising every month for the last year.

S&P downgrades Netherlands’ credit rating

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The Netherlands has become the latest eurozone member to be stripped of its AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor’s, citing weakening growth prospects as it cut the country’s rating to AA+, reports the Financial Times.

Earlier this month France also suffered a downgrade by S&P, when it was cut from AA+ to AA – two years after losing its AAA rating. Of the 17 members of the single currency bloc, only Germany, Finland and Luxembourg still hold an AAA rating from S&P.

Energy bills could fall by £50 in autumn statement measures

Ministers believe they have found a way of cutting energy bills by as much as £50 in next week’s autumn statement by putting one of the green levies onto general taxation and allowing energy companies to take longer to fulfil other energy efficiency duties, reports the Guardian.

David Cameron had promised to “get rid of the green crap”, according to some newspaper reports, but the emerging compromise suggests ministers’ decisions are going to be less definitive.

Co-operative Bank loses customers after Paul Flowers scandal

The Co-operative Bank has admitted for the first time it is losing customers after a series of scandals including alleged drug-taking by former chairman Paul Flowers, reports the Independent.

In a statement to the stockmarket the bank said: “Recent events may have caused some brand and reputational damage, but it is too early to form a definitive view as to the extent of such damage.

EU leaders scramble to salvage Ukraine deal in Vilnius

The EU was scrambling on Thursday night to rescue a deal to integrate Ukraine more closely with the west, as demonstrators again massed in Kiev calling on their president, Viktor Yanukovich, to sign the agreement, reports the Financial Times.

European Union leaders flew into a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, for their first meeting with Mr Yanukovich since his government last week dramatically froze preparations for the deal and instead reopened talks on closer ties with Russia.