Cyprus’ president reached a tentative agreement with international bailout negotiators last night that would lead to the closure of the island’s second largest bank and force big losses on large depositors in the country’s biggest lender, according to EU officials. Under the outlines of a deal, depositors with accounts worth less than 100,000 euros would not be touched. But those above these levels in Laiki Bank, the second largest and most troubled financial institution, would be severely cut, the officials said. The deal should be enough to release a 10bn euro bailout package and save the island from bankruptcy. Cover of City A.M., Cover of the FT, p.4 of The Times, p.2 of The Independent, cover of The Guardian, and p.2 of the Daily Mail.
House prices have climbed more during March than they have in any other single month over the last three years, according to numbers out this morning. The Hometrack index registered a week market for much of 2010, 2011 and 2012, but prices have picked up since the beginning of 2013, and this month the annual price change moved positive for the first time since September 2010. However, the underlying news from the survey is to confirm the growing divide between the London property market and the rest of England and Wales: national prices climbed just 0.3% while in the capital they rose 0.7%. P.12 of City A.M., p.57 of The Independent, p.85 of the Daily Telegraph and p.12 of the Daily Mail.
Hard-pressed motorists face more misery at the pumps, with the price of fuel set to soar in the next few weeks, experts warned last night. Filling up an average-sized family car now costs £100 in some parts of the country after a 5.5% increase in the past two months. A 4p a litre hike last month, the biggest for two years, was blamed on a combination of a weak pound and rising oil prices. Added with rising air fares and energy bills, it helped push inflation to a nine-month high of 2.8%. P.6 of the Daily Express.
A recent seminar hosted by The Guardian in association with the Marketing Agencies Association (MAA) has revealed that despite 7% of Britain’s gross domestic product stemming from marketing, the sector will struggle to grow if young people continue to struggle to break into the industry. One of the panellists, Ian Millner, said that agencies needed to bring young people in to take advantage of their technological literacy and their new ideas. P.32 of The Guardian.
UK businesses are set to create 240,000 new jobs after the Chancellor eased their National Insurance payments in last week’s Budget. According to accountants BDO a quarter of UK businesses it surveyed following the Budget said George Osborne’s move to waive the first £2,000 of National Insurance contributions would make them more likely to consider taking on new workers. P. 62 of The Daily Express.