It didn't take long for coverage of the predictable election outcome to shrink dramatically in the b...
It didn't take long for coverage of the predictable election outcome to shrink dramatically in the business page headlines. In this morning's nationals a number of stories concerned offshore economies.
A number of the papers report that Japan's recession looks set to recommence. The FT writes that Japan's economy unexpectedly contracted in the first quarter and the government missed its target of 1.2 per cent growth in the fiscal year that ended in March.
The decline is likely to fuel unease about the state of the global economic outlook, given that the US economy has weakened over the last year and the pace of European growth has been slower than governments had hoped.
Further difficulties are at foot according to FT with Japanese banks being largely excluded from an important segment of business with Sony, the country's leading electronics group, in a move that has triggered alarm among the banks.
The banks fear they will consequently face a loss of business with large Japanese clients to foreign rivals inside and outside Japan because Sony has tightened the standards for choosing banks that provide it with committed credit lines, using only those whose financial strength is rated "C" or above by Moody's, the US credit rating agency.
The Guardian tells of similar news for Germany, saying the country's economy is quietly sliding into recession.
Unemployment has risen every month of this year, and the rate of job losses is accelerating. The dole queue is getting perilously close to the 4m mark. Order books are wilting despite the euro revisiting last year's lows. German goods may be cheap, but there is no market for them in the recession-hit American economy.
In UK banking news The Bank of England is expected to declare today it has won the public's confidence, with the first publication of an opinion poll that suggests people are happy with the way it is setting interest rates, says FT.
The Bank says in its latest quarterly bulletin that its "net satisfaction rating is currently positive, by a large margin, in every part of Britain and among every demographic group".
The Financial Times also looks at the Competition Commission's report into the acquisition of Abbey National by Lloyds TSB to be published next month. The paper says it should come as little surprise to any of the protagonists if the result is a veto and says the report will focus strongly on current accounts. Denise Kingsmill, who has headed the investigation, has been refreshingly open about the issues at stake - and about the shortage of remedies that would mitigate the anti-competitive effects of the acquisition sufficiently to allow it to pass.
Follow through from the election basically centres upon the cabinet reshuffle and the expected referendum on joining the euro. The Times writes that London listed shares could see an exodus of up to £300 billion worth of investment funds if Britain joins.
The effect of such a large outflow of cash, according to new research published today by HSBC, the banking group, could result in the FTSE 100 share index underperforming expectations by as much as 10 per cent.
The Times reported further tough news for the government writing that for the first time in nearly half a century the market value of British government bonds (gilts) is about to be overtaken by corporate and other non-government debt.
Leadership of the £500 billion market could switch today. On Friday there was only a £170 million difference between the two and experts at Barclays Capital, the London investment house that specialises in trading and analysing bonds, believe that it will take only a small "tap" - or subsidiary bond issue - to push government bonds out of the number one position.
In company news the Times covers British Telecom's plan to use next week's sale of up to £1.7 billion worth of shares, relinquished by investors shunning the company's £5.9 billion rights issue, to attract more foreign institutions to its shareholder base.
It is understood that Merrill Lynch and Cazenove, brokers to the rights issue, will market the shares to institutions in the UK, Europe and the US.
In further bad news for BT, The Telegraph reports the company needs to find as much as £1 billion to meet a cash shortfall in its principal pension fund because the debt-laden company's former employees are living far longer than expected.
The Times also reports administrators are fighting to recover £1 billion for Barings bondholders this week face a last-ditch High Court challenge from creditors seeking to delay the process.
Ernst & Young is suing the former auditors of Barings for alleged negligence in failing to curb the rogue trading of Nick Leeson. The case is due to open in the High Court next week, but faces a procedural challenge by a group of Barings bondholders.
The Telegraph says members of Scottish Provident will have the chance to approve the insurer's £2.1 billion sale to Abbey National at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday which could lead to £500 windfalls for all members.
BT Cellnet has lost its position as Britain's number two mobile operator to its arch-rival Orange because of a continuing drop in its market share of call revenues, says The Telegraph.
This is grim news for BT Cellnet, which will split from the telecoms giant as part of the demerger of BT Wireless later this year. It is understood that the BT Cellnet brand is to be dropped because of its disappointing performance over the past 12 months.
Finally the Telegraph reports Accenture, the consulting giant formerly known as Andersen Consulting, will be worth around $5.5 billion (£4 billion) less than expected when it floats on the New York Stock Exchange this summer.
All-day event on 24 April
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Variable operating expenses