The Sunday Telegraph
GOOGLE BOSS WARNS UK OVER DEBT MOUNTAIN
The chief executive of Google, Eric Schmidt, has given warning to the UK and other western governments that reducing their massive deficits will be far harder than in America because of the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.
PET CHAIN SUITORS GIVEN FINAL DEADLINE BY OWNER
Potential buyers of Pets at Home have been given a final bid deadline of 25 January by the pet retailer’s private equity owner Bridgepoint Capital. Sources close to the situation said the firm would consider offers from interested parties for the UK’s fifth largest pet retail chain. So far, buyout firms Bain Capital, KKR, Apax Partners and TPG are thought to have made bids in the region of £800m.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
GUARDIAN READY TO THROW CASH AT EMAP
The Guardian Media Group and private-equity investor Apax have pledged to pump more money into Emap, their jointly-owned business publisher, whose assets include the Nursing Times and the Cannes Lions International Advertising festival. The pair are gearing up to support an acquisition drive with fresh funds after rejecting proposals to relax covenants on Emap’s £700m of debt because it would be too expensive.
BP TO SHUT GAS NETWORK DESPITE RECORD DEMAND
The oil giant BP will pile the pressure on Britain’s stretched gas supplies tomorrow when it shuts down a large gas network in the North Sea. The Southern North Sea pipeline system will be closed for a week.
EU INVENTORIES LOW AMID RECOVERY DOUBT
Businesses are holding very low stock levels and are reluctant to boost inventories, according to some of Europe’s leading chief executives – providing evidence of lingering doubts about the durability of economic recovery. Business leaders from consumer goods, chemicals and manufacturing companies have told the Financial Times that they have little idea of when demand will return.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION NOMINEES FACE GRILLING
The European Union launches the final phase of building its new-look leadership team today when legislators start to grill 26 nominees to the next European Commission to assess their suitability for office.
The Daily Telegraph
SHAREHOLDER DREAM OF THATCHER COMES TRUE, SAYS ONSR
One in six British families now owns shares, according to the first ever official figures. The new estimates from the Office for National Statistics appear to show that Margaret Thatcher’s dream of creating a shareholder democracy has taken root.
The ONS found that 15pc of British households – 3.75m – own some shares directly on the London stock market.
UK ECONOMY LIKELY TO BE DOWNGRADED, WARNS INVESCO’S NEIL WOODFORT
Expert investor Neil Woodford has warned that the UK economy is “not out of the woods” and advised against buying banking stocks. Neil Woodford of Invesco advised against buying banking shares, saying the industry was overvalued.
TUC GETS MILLIONS FROM GOVERNMENT FOREIGN AID POT
The Government is giving the Trades Union Congress millions of pounds from its foreign aid budget to pay for the education of British trade unionists and to support advocacy work in Britain. The payments by the Department for International Development (DfID), which include a £2.4m grant, are evidence of a deepening relationship between the DfID and the TUC.
POUNDLAND SHRUGS OFF WOOLIES’ EFFECT
Poundland, the discount retailer, enjoyed a bumper Christmas as shoppers opted for value in stocking fillers, decorations and cards. The group said that like-for-like sales during the five weeks to 3 January had been up 4.4 per cent on the same period last year.