What the other papers say this morning - 04 November 2013


Aircraft carrier cost to rise to £6.2bn
Britain will this week reveal another substantial increase in the cost of building its two new aircraft carriers, declaring that total funding for the programme will rise by another £800m to £6.2bn.Philip Hammond, defence secretary, is expected to say that a new set of demands – including the need to build a sophisticated aircraft landing system on the ships – have added to the financial burden of the Royal Navy’s flagship project.

Versace stake goes to beauty parade
The Versace family has taken a step forward to sell a stake in the fashion house, inviting private equity investors to make a second round of competitive bids at the end of this month.

The bidders for 20 to 30 per cent of Versace include former Gucci owner Investcorp, the Bahrain-based investment firm, as well as fund manager Blackstone and London-based Permira, people with knowledge of the talks said.

Europe banks cut corporate lending
Europe’s largest banks have ramped up their investment into sovereign debt by more than a quarter in the past two years while cutting back corporate lending, as they prepare for stricter global capital rules. The findings by Fitch Ratings published today show that Europe’s 16 largest banks have increased their risk exposure to sovereign debt by 26 per cent in 2011 and 2012.


New rules work in insurers’ favour
Insurers boast the healthiest pension schemes in the FTSE 100, thanks to a quirk in forthcoming new rules on capital requirements, analysis has found. Prudential, Standard Life and Aviva each have pension funds that can comfortably meet their obligations to retiring employees over the long term, according to Jardine Lloyd Thompson Employment Benefits.

Companies forget to switch and save
Small and medium-sized companies are “throwing away” £2bn a year by failing to make small changes to the way in which they run their businesses, insurer Axa has warned.

The Daily Telegraph

Jockey Club nears Cheltenham revamp
The Jockey Club is closing in on a deal with several banks to secure the remainder of the £45m needed to fund a major redevelopment of Cheltenham Racecourse. The group, which owns 15 racecourses in Britain, has already raised almost £25m for the project through a retail bond. The deal represents the first fundraising scheme of its kind in British sport.

Centrica threatens wind farm plan
Centrica is preparing to abandon a £2bn offshore wind farm project because subsidies offered by the government are too low.


HPV vaccine shows promise in trials
An experimental Merck & Co vaccine appeared to provide broader protection against a cancer-causing virus than the company's Gardasil shot in clinical trials.

Suntech to sell Chinese assets
Suntech Power agreed to sell its core assets in China for $492m to a smaller rival, attempting to pay back creditors after defaulting on billions of dollars in debt.