Europe

Mario Draghi wants to go out with a bang, by launching a fresh wave of monetary easing before he steps down as European Central Bank president in October — but the vital question is whether the bank’s governing council will agree, the Financial Times reported. Mr Draghi is expected to put the option of fresh stimulus measures up for discussion at the ECB’s board meeting on Thursday, in response to worries about an economic slowdown and subdued inflation in the eurozone.

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The number of UK companies including warnings over Brexit in their annual reports has more than doubled in the past six months as the threat of a no-deal exit from the EU has increased, according to filings from medium and large businesses to Companies House, the Financial Times reported. Companies operating in the manufacturing and retail sectors have mentioned Brexit the most, highlighting the impact that potential tariffs and border delays could have on businesses that rely on “just in time” delivery of supplies.

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Autos have made Germany into a global manufacturing powerhouse, but pollution concerns -- intensified by Volkswagen AG’s 2015 diesel-cheating scandal -- have sullied the reputation of a product that once embodied individual freedom, Bloomberg News reported. More recently, trade woes and slowing economies have hit demand. The consequence is Germany’s car production slumping to the lowest level since at least 2010.

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Shares in Britain’s Intu Properties surged as much as 22% on Monday on speculation a private equity group could buy out the shopping centre operator, which has been hit by high-profile retail failures and a hefty debt burden, Reuters reported. The Sunday Times reported that private equity firm Orion Capital Managers, founded by Aref Lahham, is in the early stages of finding partners for a buyout of Intu, which owns the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

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Air France-KLM shares fell sharply on Monday as it emerged as a bidder for bankrupt French-based budget carrier Aigle Azur, which left 19,000 passengers stranded when it abruptly halted operations, Reuters reported. The offer from the group’s Air France unit was among 14 bids submitted for privately-held Aigle Azur, which was placed was placed under bankruptcy protection on Sept. 2., ahead of a midday deadline, an official with the CFDT union told Reuters.

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A run of three profit warnings is frequently followed by boardroom firings and the arrival of administrators at U.K. firms, according to a 20-year study by EY, Bloomberg News reported. Within a year of issuing three or more profit warnings, 18% of U.K. companies will face a restructuring event such as insolvency proceedings, EY said. It also found that by the morning of a third warning, a quarter of chief executive officers have left the firm.

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Factory production in Germany dropped in July, highlighting the weakening state of the eurozone’s biggest economy as it teeters on the brink of recession, the Financial Times reported. Industrial output in July fell 0.6 per cent from the previous month, improving on a revised decline of 1.1 per cent in June but off the expected 0.3 per cent climb that was forecast in a Reuters poll, the national statistics office said on Friday. Production was down 4.2 per cent from July 2018.

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A prolonged shadow-banking crisis and hurdles in bankruptcy rules are set to keep India atop the world’s worst bad-debt pile, even as Italy, which held the title previously, quickens the clean-up of its lenders, Bloomberg News reported. Moody’s Investors Service to Credit Suisse Group AG. warned that more loans may sour in the Asian nation’s banking system. More than 2.4% of total loans in India’s banking system may be under stress on top of the 9.6% bad debt ratio as of June, the highest among major economies, Credit Suisse estimates shows.

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The parent company of Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion empire has reported a full-year loss of £170m and cautioned that a restructuring that took place this summer has not guaranteed its survival, the Financial Times reported. Taveta Investments, which is the main investment vehicle of the Green family and is controlled by Sir Philip’s wife, Tina, said in accounts filed with Companies House that increased competition and challenging conditions “have had a significant impact on performance” at its brands, which include Wallis, Topshop and Burton.

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Greece’s new prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has announced tax cuts and structural reforms aimed at rebuilding the country’s credibility with investors, after three international bailouts and a grinding eight-year recession, the Financial Times reported. “Greece has turned a page,” the prime minister said in a speech on Saturday evening to businesspeople in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

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