<strong>THE SUNDAYS<br />The Sunday Telegraph<br />UK FACES MAJOR OBSTACLES IN BID TO BE A LOW-CARBON LEADER<br /></strong>The UK risks missing out on its slice of the £4.5 trillion low-carbon industry, the manufacturers’ trade body has warned. The EEF said the country faces major obstacles to becoming a leading centre for so-called “cleantech” products and services, “most notably question marks over the long-term supply of core skills”.<br /><br /><strong>JOHN VARLEY ADMITS BANKS HAVE “MUCH TO BE SORRY FOR”<br /></strong>Barclays chief executive John Varley has admitted that the banking industry has “much to be sorry for” and needs to show that it is grateful to the public for the multi-billion pound support taxpayers have provided. Varley said that banks had to show that they behaved responsibly and contributed to society.<br /><strong><br />THE SUNDAY<br />BOSSES’ PAY RISES DEFY DOWNTURN<br /></strong>The pay of chief executives has carried on rising despite soaring unemployment and widespread pay freezes for rank-and-file workers. The average five-year pay package of a FTSE 100 boss is £9.6m, according to research compiled by Patterson Associates, a remuneration adviser. The figure, which is rising annually at 7.9 per cent, includes salary, bonuses and long-term incentives.<br /><br /><strong>RETAILERS GIVE UP FIGHT ON VAT RISE<br /></strong>Retailers have abandoned their campaign to persuade Alistair Darling to postpone the 1 January rise in Vat to 17.5 per cent after the Treasury said the chancellor was committed to the move, despite warnings that reversing the temporary Vat cut could hit growth in the first few months of next year.<strong><br />TODAY<br />FINANCIAL TIMES<br />PEARL GIVES €2.6M IN SHARES TO CHAIRMAN<br /></strong>Pearl Group, the closed life assurance fund business, has agreed to award shares worth €2.6m (£2.3m) to Ron Sandler, who became chairman in September after a debt restructuring, €600m capital injection and takeover. The 300,000 shares earmarked for Sandler will be worth more if the company’s recovery and transfer to a primary listing are successful.<br /><br /><strong>TPG INVESTORS CAN CUT EXPOSURE TO FINANCIAL FUND<br /></strong>TPG is giving its investors a chance to sharply reduce their commitments to its specialised financial fund, highlighting the difficulties that private equity firms seeking to buy distressed banks are facing in the wake of the financial crisis.<br /><strong><br />The Daily Telegraph<br />BDO SPENDS £1M TO BRING FAREPAK COLLAPSE CASE TO COURT<br /></strong>Liquidators to collapsed Christmas savings club Farepak have spent more than £1m preparing for a potential court case against former directors. BDO, as administrator and now liquidator of Farepak, has run up £1.16m in “forensic fees” since being appointed in October 2007. <br /><br /><strong>GRA SUFFERS 11 PER CENT REVENUE FALL<br /></strong>Greyhound racing in the UK appears to be going to the dogs, according to the latest figures from GRA, the company backed by entrepreneur and Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson. GRA, which runs five dog tracks, including sites in Birmingham and Oxford, saw revenues fall 11 per cent to £22.9m last year as the recession took its toll and consumers opted for other sports and events.<br /><strong><br />THE TIMES<br />SAINSBURY’S CUSTOMERS TAKE THEIR TROLLEYS ELSEWHERE<br /></strong>Customers are deserting J Sainsbury for its leading rivals for the first time in the recession, it was revealed yesterday. More than £11m of spending was switched directly to its competitors in the 12 weeks to November, according to confidential industry “switching” data from TNS Worldpanel.<br /><br /><strong>INVESTORS DESERT POOR RATES ON CASH DEPOSITS<br /></strong>Wealthy investors sitting on large piles of cash have taken a further £2 billion out of cash and moved it into stock and bond funds. Figures from the Investment Management Association show that in September private investors bought a net £2.7bn of funds, the sixth consecutive month in which purchases have topped the £2bn mark.