Start-up loans unlikely to be repaid
More than a third of the £150m in public funds being lent to individuals to start their own business – ranging from gluten-free pet food to a magazine about Croydon – could be lost, according to official projections. David Cameron last week increased funding for the Start-Up loan scheme – intended to spur entrepreneurship and promote economic growth – and extended eligibility from under-30s to all adults. But documents seen by the Financial Times show that up to 40 per cent of loans are unlikely to be repaid with £549,000 already in arrears.They also show that 5 per cent of the money – £7.5m – will be paid to the Start Up Loans Company as a fee.
Tesla in race for self-driving cars
Robot cars that can take over most of the driving from their human handlers will be ready for the road within three years, according to Elon Musk, the US electric cars and space entrepreneur.
Tesla Motors, which startled traditional giants such as General Motors and Renault-Nissan with its electric cars, is now joining the race to build cars that drive themselves.
Rehn berates Italy
The EU’s top economic official, Olli Rehn, has bluntly warned Italy of the threats to its fragile recovery posed by political instability and backsliding over fiscal consolidation, stepping directly into a fiercely political debate in expressing Brussels’ opposition to Rome’s decision to scrap an unpopular property tax.
Funds see sunshine on Euro horizon
Money managers are finally putting Europe’s crisis behind them and remain determinedly bullish about shares.Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s fund manager survey, the most respected barometer of how those who manage pensions and investments are thinking, showed that 84 per cent more of them see Europe’s economy growing over the next year. That was a slight dip from August, Merrill acknowledged, but it was their confidence about the durability of growth that mattered. 61 per cent more managers do not think that the Eurozone will slip back into recession, while a net 39 per cent anticipate double-digit growth in earnings per share.
The Daily Telegraph\
Alexander attacked for tax comment
Britain’s private equity trade body has lambasted Danny Alexander for describing “well established” tax laws as “loopholes” and vowed to contest the review that was announced at the Liberal Democrat conference. The British Venture Capital Association said the chief secretary of the treasury was playing “party conference politics”.
FTSE 100 predicted to hit 8,000
Analysts at Citigroup said that receding fears about a break-up of the Eurozone combined with improving bank balance sheets and corporate earnings will lift investor appetite for equities. Blue-chips would have to climb almost 22 per cent from today’s level to reach Citi’s 8,000.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
French auditor warns on social spend
France’s state auditor urged the government yesterday to redouble efforts to limit spending rather than increases taxes to reduce the deficit in social security and health care programmes, saying a possible rise in interest rates puts the heavily indebted system at risk.
Brazil leader cancels US visit
President Dilma Rousseff called off a US state visit planned for October in reaction to allegations that the Obama administration spied electronically on Brazilians, including the country’s leader. The allegations have strained American ties with Brazil.