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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Foxtons, Shale gas, Jobs

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Foxton opens investor road-show ahead of flotation; shale gas ‘will not reduce energy bills’; Britain set for a ‘game-changing year’ for jobs.
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Foxtons, Shale gas, Jobs

Barack Obama said on Monday that he would put planned air strikes against Syria on hold if the regime of Bashar al-Assad followed a Russian proposal to hand over control of the country’s chemical weapons stocks. The US president’s comments capped a day of fast-moving diplomatic manoeuvres which appears to have started with a misstatement by US Secretary of State John Kerry and ended with a proposal that could provide a way out from deeply unpopular military action against Syria, the FT reports.

Jaguar Land Rover is to open a new production line in Birmingham that will create another 1,700 British manufacturing jobs. In a direct challenge to its great German rivals BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, the West Midlands car-maker will unveil a new range of sporty mid-sized Jaguars at today’s Frankfurt Motor Show, The Times says.

Foxtons has opened an investor road-show to gain support for a stock market debut that could value the London estate agency at more than £550m. The chain is understood to have outlined the price range for its proposed initial public offering at between 190p to 230p a share. This implies a market capitalisation of between £550m and £650m and would propel it into the FTSE 250, The Times reports.

Shale gas production in Britain will fail to reduce energy bills, according to the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, contradicting claims by the Prime Minister that households will save money. In a keynote speech yesterday provocatively entitled The Myths and Realities of Shale Gas Exploration, Ed Davey argued that British shale gas production would be no different to the development of North Sea gas, which had no impact on energy prices for consumers once it came on stream in the 1970s, The Times writes.

Britain is set for a ‘game-changing year’ for jobs as the economic recovery picks up pace, according to a report published today. Recruitment group Manpower said 2013 is on course to be the best year for job creation in the UK since 2007 as businesses take on new staff. It came just a day after George Osborne declared that ‘Britain is turning a corner,’ according to The Times.

The City expects Irn-Bru maker AG Barr to pursue other acquisitions after Japanese drinks giant Suntory yesterday scooped up the Lucozade and Ribena brands for £1.35 bn. The Cumbernauld-based firm had not publicly stated that it was interested in buying the brands from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Britain’s biggest drugs maker, but The Scotsman has learned that it did speak to the group, The Scotsman explains.

Britain’s economic growth will be limited to just 1% in the longer term as higher government spending, dwindling North Sea oil stocks and an ageing population all take their toll on the country’s potential output, the Institute of Economic Affairs [IEA] has warned has warned. Tempering the recent spate of upbeat news on the UK and Chancellor George Osborne’s assertion that the economy has “turned a corner”, a new paper predicts a post-crisis era of sluggish growth, The Guardian says.

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