The Centre for Economics and Business Research has increased its forecast of economic growth in Britain, predicting GDP would be about £20bn higher by 2020 if the Conservatives gain power.
The Telegraph reports the leading think tank forecast gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 1.3% and 1.4% in 2011 and 2012 respectively, compared with earlier forecasts of 0.8% and 1.1% growth.
It left its 2010 forecast unchanged at 1.2%, and said the upgrades for the following two years were based on a Conservative victory at the election, and a more buoyant world economy.
Despite the upgrades, the think-tank's figures are far less optimistic than the Chancellor's March Budget predictions of 3.25% growth in 2011 and 3.5% growth in 2012, which the CEBR described as "highly optimistic". See story...
Greece asks for IMF-EU rescue talks
Greece finally capitulated and appealed to the International Monetary Fund for help yesterday after months of suffocating pressure from the international bond markets.
The Guardian reports its economics ministry formally invited the IMF and the European Union to work on the specifics of a €45bn (£39bn) bailout programme, in the first official recognition that it may not be able to service its mounting debts without outside help.
An IMF team is expected in Athens next week, in a move which may lead to severe austerity measures and public budget cuts.
"Markets have no patience - when they cut you off, they cut you off. It's a matter of trust between the borrower and the lender, and Greece has done things wrongly in the past," an official close to the Greek government said. "If you're weak, the vultures will come to you, it's the law of life." See story...
Pru chief to keep London listing but could sell UK operations
Prudential has pledged to keep its primary stock market listing in the UK even if the insurer's British business is sold and the head office moved to Asia following its planned $35.5bn (£23.5bn) takeover of AIA, AIG's Asian operation.
Making a promise that will help reassure the group's UK shareholders, Tidjane Thiam, chief executive, said yesterday: "There is no way we would not be listed in London. Whatever happens to the UK business, we are committed to the London listing unambiguously."
The Telegraph reports Mr Thiam refused to rule out a possible sale of the 162-year-old UK operation, admitting that he recently held talks about a deal with Clive Cowdery, founder of Resolution.
Those talks came to nothing, but chairman Harvey McGrath said yesterday: "Clearly our strategic logic is to be more involved in [Asian] markets than mature markets. We have been able to run the UK operation for profitability and cash flow... If someone comes up with an offer for any parts of the group, we will look at that." See story...
Achievements, charity work and other happy snippets
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Spent 56 years at Schroders
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