Letters to the editor - 22/08 - Global competition, HS2 debate, Best of Twitter

Global competition

[Re: We should be glad that foreign firms want to buy British companies, yesterday]

I agree with Tim Worstall. It is essential that financiers and investors have a viable route to a profitable exit. And a foreign sale is often an important avenue. UK venture capital typically wishes to sell on in four to five years, which can lead to short-term profit taking or downward wage bidding. But German, Korean, Japanese and American firms typically have much longer investment time horizons. We must not blame a motivated seller for selling to a new foreign buyer who sees a possibility for acquisition.

Name withheld

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HS2 debate

[Re: Why HS2 won’t cost £80bn, Monday]

The first TGV/LGV was given the go ahead in 1976. By the mid-1990s, the trains were so popular that SNCF president Louis Gallois declared TGV “the train that saved French railways”. It is long overdue here.

Chris Lovett

Evidence that HS2 could cost £80bn when it was originally projected to be around £20bn has rightly caused outrage. But the Department for Transport’s own alternative, Rail Package 2, can solve Britain’s capacity issues, and would cost only £2bn. It is time the government scrapped this failing policy.

Peter Westwick

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BEST OF TWITTER

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Interest rates rise incentivised deals on houses. But further increases will diminish pool of eligible buyers.
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Improvement in UK gilt prices capped by poor public finances numbers. Ten-year yield rises to 2.7 per cent.
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