May’s ‘global Britain’ gets boost as Qatar looks at £5bn investment

Qatari investors are unperturbed by Britain’s departure from EU and looking to build on significant investments

Theresa May’s ambitions to create a “global Britain” after Brexit have been boosted by Qatar’s announcement that it expects to invest £5bn in the UK over the next five years.

On Monday, two days before the planned triggering of article 50, Qatari investors at a London conference suggested they were unperturbed by the prospect of Britain’s departure from the EU and were looking for further opportunities to build on already significant investments in the UK that include the Olympic Village in east London, the Shard building, Harrods department store and a stake in Sainsbury’s.

Related: Brexit: everything you need to know about how the UK will leave the EU

Continue reading…

UK’s borrowing binge is worrying the Bank of England

Rising household debt could spook the nation again so it is right to keep an eye on cheap credit

Alarm bells are jangling at the Bank of England. Households have been on a borrowing binge. Consumer spending is being underpinned by debt, with an increased dependency on personal loans, payday loans, car finance and – in particular – credit cards.

Threadneedle Street is worried about these trends – and rightly so. Household debt as a proportion of national income peaked at 160% at the time of the financial crisis and fell only modestly thereafter. Now – having bottomed out at 140% of GDP – the ratio is on the rise again.

Continue reading…