Enrico Letta, Italy's centre-left Prime Minister, is seeking urgently parliamentary support for a new government after centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi pulled his ministers out of their five-month-old coalition, risking a financial market backlash. Mr Letta held crisis talks on Sunday night with Giorgio Napolitano, head of state, who earlier said he would explore all alternatives before using his constitutional powers to dissolve parliament and call new elections. Mr Letta is expected to address parliament early this week, according to the FT.
China's manufacturing growth this month was much weaker than initial estimates, according to an industrial survey that raises concerns about the durability of the economy's rebound. The purchasing managers' index published by HSBC edged up to 50.2 in September from 50.1 in August. While that points to mild expansion for the vast Chinese manufacturing sector, it is well below the preliminary survey result of 51.2 that had been announced just last week, the FT writes.
Banks accounting for about a third of the mortgage market will start offering taxpayer-subsidised mortgages in just over a week after the Government brought forward the launch date of its controversial Help to Buy scheme by three months. On the eve of the Conservative party conference in Manchester, David Cameron said that the state-backed lenders, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, have signed up to the scheme and the launch date has been brought forward from January. Help-to-Buy will initially be available under the NatWest, RBS and Halifax brands but a Tory spokesman said that other banks are expected to take part over time, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The end of the investment drought could be in sight after a survey of top company executives revealed that they are prioritising expansion over cost-cutting for the first time in more than two years. Deloitte asked 116 chief financial officers from FTSE 100 executives to the bosses of British divisions of big foreign-listed entities what priorities would affect their plans for the UK and Europe in the next year. Those answering "expansionary strategies" outnumbered others answering defensive strategies by 54%, The Times says.
All of Britain's "Big Four" accountancy firms plan to expand in the coming months to cope with a resurgence of demand for business advice. Between them, the group of four want to hire more than 13,000 people by the summer next year. PwC, Britain's biggest accountant, said that it expected to hire at least 4,000 people by the end of June, split evenly between experienced professionals, graduates and school leavers, The Times reports.
BP is to face the second round of its legal trial over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill this week which could leave it with an $18bn (£12bn) fine as it fights claims that it could have capped the biggest offshore spill in US history earlier. The figure is more than five times the $3.5bn BP has put aside to settle the case which has been hanging over the company since 2010 when the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform triggered the biggest marine disaster in US history, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Royal Bank of Scotland should split off its US-based Citizens arm, as well as the loss-making Ulster Bank division, to create a new bank that could be privatised more easily, according to analysts at UBS. However, the bank's house broker said the state-backed lender - which last week sealed a deal to spin off more than 300 branches to a consortium supported by the Church of England - should not be carved up into a "good" and "bad" bank, arguing that the benefits would be outweighed by the efforts involved, The Scotsman says.