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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Emerging markets, Ford, GM

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15/01/2014
World Bank warns of capital flow risk to emerging markets; Ford calls for Britain to stay in EU; General Motors to pay first dividend since 2008.

An abrupt unwinding of central bank support for advanced world economies could cause capital flows to emerging markets to contract by as much as 80 per cent, inflicting significant economic damage and throwing some countries into crises, the World Bank has warned. Capital flows into emerging markets are influenced more by global than domestic forces, leaving them vulnerable to disorderly changes in policy by the US Federal Reserve, concludes a study by World Bank economists. – Financial Times

Ford, one of the UK’s leading foreign investors, has called for the country to remain in the European Union, warning that it would reassess all its plans if Britain left. Steve Odell, chief executive of the car manufacturer’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told The Telegraph the UK would be “cutting its nose off to spite its face” by exiting the EU. He claimed it would be calamitous for British jobs and business. – The Telegraph

General Motors on Tuesday set the seal on its remarkable recovery from the auto industry recession by announcing that it was resuming dividend payments for the first time since its government-managed bankruptcy in 2009. GM’s move – taken hours before Dan Akerson was due to hand over to Mary Barra as chief executive – comes only five weeks after the US Treasury sold the last of the stake in the company it took on when the carmaker emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy. – Financial Times

The cost of housebuilding and investment in big construction projects in Britain has been inflated by millions of pounds by the collusion of the three large foreign-owned cement manufacturers that dominate the industry. After a two-year investigation, the Competition Commission has ordered two of the groups, Lafarge Tarmac and Hanson, to dispose of facilities to create a new, independent rival. – The Times

Punch Taverns, Britain’s second biggest pubs group, faces a bitter backlash from its senior lenders when it launches a restructuring of its £2.3bn debt pile on Wednesday. It is understood that the pubs group, which is financed through two complex debt vehicles dubbed “Punch A” and “Punch B”, will press ahead with refinancing plans despite a warning from senior lenders last month that they would reject the company’s latest proposals if put to a vote. – The Telegraph

North Sea oil and gas workers expect to enjoy wage rises up to 10% this year as the sector continues to benefit from “unprecedented” growth. Buoyed by developments such as EnQuest’s £4bn Kraken project and Dana Petroleum’s plans to invest £1bn in its Western Isles scheme, a new study also estimates that 20,000 jobs could be created across the industry this year. The survey of more than 10,000 staff by recruitment website Oil and Gas People, published today, found wages were being pushed higher by demand for skilled staff in Africa and the Middle East, with some in the UK enjoying pay rises of up to 30% last year. – The Scotsman

Japan Airlines Co Ltd said it temporarily grounded one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners on Tuesday after white smoke was spotted outside the plane as cockpit warning lights indicated potential problems with the main battery and charger, and a battery cell appeared to be leaking. The incident raised new concerns about the 787’s safety and reliability about one year after the global 787 fleet was grounded by regulators following the overheating of two batteries. – The Guardian

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