Paper Summary – Tuesday 26th February 2013

Economics
Stock markets around the world are rapidly digesting fresh uncertainty in the Eurozone.  Italy is staring down the barrel of an election tie – with Silvio Berlusconi on one side, an ex-communist on the other – and a professional comedian in the middle.

Personal Finance
In lending news, the Telegraph’s Harry Wilson reports that the British Bankers’ Association has approved giving up its involvement in operating the Libor rate after a report recommended the trade body be stripped of its oversight role.  The paper also looks at BBA’s lack-lustre lending and their excuse, a cold January.  It’s a different story in the bridging industry, and the Telegraph quotes the response of the Chairman of short-term secured lender West One Loans, Duncan Kreeger – “weather is for wimps” (City Diary).  Meanwhile, City AM reports the Chancellor has announced more direct intervention in the running of RBS – with direct involvement by the Treasury (rather than UKFI) in the strategic allocation of resources – as well as the company’s overall lending strategy.

Property
The Sun says house builder Persimmon has revealed record order books, and annual profits up 54% to £225 million, with a particularly strong showing in the North of England.

Recruitment & Employment
Graham Hiscott, writing in the Daily Mirror says British Gas is planning to hire 1,000 young people over the next three years as part of a drive towards energy efficiency.  The energy giant is expecting a public backlash when it announces annual profits tomorrow, believed to be around £600m, with parent company Centrica also making nearly £2.8bn.

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