WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING
CANNES HIT BY CUTBACKS AND CAUTION
There are still outward signs of glamour on the Croisette in Cannes, but economic reality has gripped the film market at this year’s 62nd film festival. Some of the biggest parties have been cancelled and, for the first time in years, it is easy to get a hotel room. Attendance is down an estimated 20 per cent on last year as corporate expense accounts are slashed.
OIL EXTENDS PUSH BEYOND $60 A BARREL LEVEL
US crude oil prices extended their push beyond the $60-a-barrel level yesterday while soyabeans made further strong gains, dragging corn and wheat prices higher. Oil prices rose after US inventories data showed larger-than-expected falls in crude and petrol stocks ahead of the start of the US summer driving season.
GOLD JEWELLERY DEMAND SINKS AS SLUMP BITES
Gold jewellery demand fell to its weakest level in almost 20 years in the first quarter of 2009 while recycling of scrap reached record levels as the global economy sank deeper into recession. Jewellery demand fell by almost a quarter compared with the same period in 2008 to 339.4 tonnes. But this was outweighed by massive inflows from financial investors.
TAIWAN COOL ON OPENING INVESTMENTS TO CHINA
Taiwan’s premier said his government is “in no hurry” to permit investments by mainland China, despite recent overtures by his president suggesting warmer relations with the mainland. Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said thatwhile “the private sector may be in more of a rush” to welcome Chinese investment, his government intended to take it slowly because of domestic political resistance.
BRITONS COULD BE CHARGED FOR RECEIVING CALLS
Mobile phone users could be forced to pay to receive calls following a shake-up of charges being drawn up by Ofcom. The reform – which is likely to make unwanted phone calls even more short-lived – would mark a radical change in the UK mobile system. At present only mobile phone users abroad have to pay to take a call.
FIRST-TIME BUYER DEAL BREAKS MORTGAGE DEADLOCK
Lloyds TSB earns praise for new 95 per cent LTV which requires relatives or friends to guarantee loan with savings. Lloyds TSB will try to break the deadlock at the lowest rungs of the mortgage market with a new deal for first-time buyers that requires parents to stump up their savings as a guarantee against the home loan.
The Daily Telegraph
MILLIONS FACE IMPOVERISHED OLD AGE
Millions of Britons face an “impoverished old age” as the entire British pensions system is based on a “bet” on the stock market, Ros Altmann, a governor at the London School of Economics, has warned. Dr Altmann, a pensions expert, said the credit crisis had “hugely damaged” Briton’s pension system and had left retirement savers “disillusioned”.
SPANISH ECONOMY SHRINKS AT FASTEST RATE ON RECORD
The Spanish economy shrank at its fastest rate on record in the first quarter as household spending plummeted due to soaring unemployment amid the recession, official data showed yesterday. Gross domestic product was down 1.9 per cent in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
CONTINENTAL IN TALKS TO ACQUIRE SCHAEFFLER
German auto-parts maker Schaeffler Group is in talks to be acquired by tire maker Continental, a deal that would represent a dramatic reversal of Schaeffler’s ambition just a few months ago to take over its larger rival. Responding to a story in Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper, a Schaeffler spokesman said the two companies are discussing “options for the future cooperation,” including a merger.
CHRYSLER NAMES NARDELLI’S SUCCESSOR
Chrysler selected C. Robert Kidder, former chairman of Borden Chemical and Duracell Chairman, to become chairman of a reorganised Chrysler. Mr. Kidder, currently the lead director of Morgan Stanley, will succeed Robert Nardelli.