Thursday newspaper round-up: McCafferty, RICS, Chocolate Orange, austerity

Market Buzz

Thursday newspaper round-up: McCafferty, RICS, Chocolate Orange, austerity

Thu, 13 July 2017
Article viewed 282 times
Thursday newspaper round-up: McCafferty, RICS, Chocolate Orange, austerity

(ShareCast News) - The Bank of England should consider unwinding its £435 billion quantitative easing programme earlier than planned, one of its eight policymakers has suggested. Ian McCafferty, one of three rate-setters who voted for an increase last month, said that the Bank ought to review its policy of leaving QE unchanged until interest rates are close to 2 per cent. - The Times
The housing market is continues to be "stifled" by uncertainty, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Its residential market survey in June found that the average supply of stock has hit another record low, with lower numbers of agreed sales. Demand has slipped further as new instructions fell for the 16th month in a row. - Telegraph

A lack of energy and leadership in Theresa May's government has left hopes of a successful Brexit at risk of falling apart "like a chocolate orange", a leading government watchdog has warned. In an extraordinary intervention that will raise the pressure on the prime minister to reassess her approach to Brexit, the comptroller and auditor general of the National Audit Office said the government had failed to take a unified approach to talks with the EU. - Guardian

Theresa May is facing the threat of a humiliating parliamentary defeat over Brexit after Labour warned that it would vote against her flagship "great repeal bill" unless she makes significant concessions. With only a few Conservative rebels needed to inflict defeat on the prime minister, the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, told the Guardian he was "putting the government on notice" and demanded changes on matters from parliamentary scrutiny to workers' rights. - Guardian

Philip Hammond would need to spend an extra £33bn a year to "end austerity" according to a leading tax and spending watchdog. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the chancellor could use his autumn budget to reverse major cuts scheduled to hit public spending and still keep the government's spending deficit at 2.4% of GDP by 2021. - Guardian

Mike Ashley appeared last night to have turned a deaf ear - again - to his critics in the City and taken a 25 per cent stake in Game Digital, the troubled video games retailer. Days after Crispin Odey, the leading City investor, had openly questioned the retail tycoon's empire-building, it emerged last night that Sports Direct, Mr Ashley's sportswear chain, was about to announce, possibly as early as today, that it has taken a 25 per cent stake in Game.

Mistrust of the pensions industry is so intense that people are losing out in the rush to empty their pension pots, the chief City regulator has warned. A million pension pots have been accessed and £11.8 billion withdrawn as people take advantage of new freedoms introduced in April 2015, according to the Financial Conduct Authority. - The Times

A dramatic growth in electric vehicles on Britain's roads could see peak electricity demand jump by more than the capacity of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by 2030, according to National Grid. The number of plug-in cars and vans could reach 9m by 2030, up from around 90,000 today, said the company, which runs the UK's national transmission networks for electricity and gas. - Guardian

Investor activism has become "a widely accepted approach" that is no longer the preserve of aggressive hedge funds but is now a tactic used by a host of traditional institutional shareholders, bankers at JP Morgan have said. The number of activist campaigns launched by investors around the world in the 12 months to the end of June dipped by 6pc to 606 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to a report compiled by the Wall Street giant, which helps companies defend against shareholders agitating for change. - Telegraph

Brexit has already started to curb the availability of skilled European restaurant workers, the owners of the Franco Manca pizza chain have said. The Fulham Shore, which also owns The Real Greek restaurant brand, acknowledged there were various pressures on the casual dining sector and while the long-term impact of leaving the European Union was unknown, there was already one visible effect. - Telegraph

Google has paid millions of dollars to academics at British and American universities for research that it hoped would sway public opinion and influence policy in favour of the tech giant. A watchdog identified 329 pieces of research funded directly or indirectly by Google since 2005 in key public policy areas where regulatory changes could cost it a fortune in fines and lost earnings. - The Times

Google escaped a bill for €1.115 billion of back taxes in France yesterday when a court in Paris accepted the argument that its profits from France were generated by its European headquarters in the Republic of Ireland. The ruling that Google had not dodged French taxes marked a victory for the American media and technology giant against a push by European national tax authorities to take a share of its local profits. - The Times

The German government has approved a measure to make it easier for the state to veto takeovers of certain firms by foreign investors to protect the country's technical "know-how". The move lets the government block foreign takeovers if they "could endanger so-called critical infrastructure", particularly software firms that work with banks, airports and hospitals, managing cloud data or telecommunications, reported German newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung. - Telegraph

Text messages, emails and voicemails could be considered legally binding records when dividing the estates of the dead under proposals to overhaul Victorian laws. Current legislation is out of step with the digital world and puts people off writing a will, the Law Commission warned. Currently 40 per cent of adults die without a written testament. - The Times

The German discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi have started a school uniform price war, with each chain offering an entire outfit for £3.75 - the cheapest on the market. Lidl said the package of four primary school essentials - two polo shirts, a sweatshirt or jumper and trousers or pleated skirt - would go on sale for £3.75 next Thursday. - Guardian