Please see below a round up of this weekend’s newspapers:

Interest rates on hold until 2014
Interest rates could stay at their record low of 0.5 per cent until 2014, leading economists believe. The prediction, a consequence of sharp revisions in the outlook for the UK’s growth, comes ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting this week. Howard Archer, chief UK economist at think tank Global Insight, said: “It is very clear that interest rates will not rise for some considerable time to come. We do not expect any hike until at least the second half of 2013. “And it looks eminently possible that the Bank of England could keep interest rates at 0.5% through to 2014.” Archer predicts the MPC will resort to more quantitative easing (QE), or measures to boost money supply but not until next year. He added: “The December meeting of the MPC is unlikely to result in any early Christmas presents for the needy UK economy.”
Sunday Express

RBS sells 918 pubs to Heineken
Taxpayer-controlled RBS has sold 918 tenanted pubs to Heineken. The sale marks an end to RBS’s 12-year spell as one of Britain’s largest pub landlords. Heineken paid £412m for the sites, including the Punch Bowl in Mayfair where the lease is part-owned by film director Guy Ritchie, adding to 462 properties Heineken took control of following the debt restructuring two years ago of Robert Tchenguiz’s Globe Pub Company. Heineken already oversees RBS’s pub estate, known as Galaxy, with which it has an exclusive “tied” beer supply agreement. The deal does not mark the end of taxpayer interests in tenanted pubs. Lloyds Banking Group was forced to take a major stake in Admiral Taverns, which owns 1,600 pubs, following a debt-for-equity swap two years ago that saw the bank write off more than £500m. Neither RBS nor Heineken would say what proportion of Galaxy sites — about 60% of which are in the north of Britain — are boarded up or trading on temporary leases. Even some of the boarded up sites remain valuable.
The Times
Daily Telegraph
The Guardian

Buffet tycoons cook up a Red Hot payday
The couple who created the Red Hot World Buffet restaurant chain could be about to tuck in to a multi-million-pound fortune by selling a stake in the business. Helen and Parmjit Dhaliwal, who have grown the all-you-can-eat operator into a seven-strong chain, have asked BDO, the adviser, to find an investor to help bankroll expansion. Any deal is likely to value the business at £40m to £50m. (As first revealed by M&C Report 21/10/2011)
Sunday Times

Operators make Fast Track 100
A number of operators from the eating and drinking out sectors were named in the Sunday Times’ 15th Fast Track 100 list, with Cote, the French restaurant concept backed by Richard Caring, in seventh position with annual sales growth of 166.35%. The poll, which highlights that firms can still grow in a tough economic environment, had Pho, the Vietnamese chain, as a new entry at number 16 (annual sales growth 132.59%); Amber Taverns, the wet-led pub chain, rise from 63 to 47 (70.49%); Patisserie Valerie, the Luke Johnson-backed chain, a new entry at 52 (67.79%); while Grand Union, the bar group led by Adam Sarwood and Adam Marshall, dropped from 52 last year to 64 (61%). Cote and Patisserie Valerie were also named in the top 10 biggest employers.
Sunday Times

High street faces fresh wave of profit warnings
The high street is in worse shape now than in the months after Lehman Brothers went bust in 2008 — a period in which some of Britain’s best-known retailers went under. This warning is contained in a stark new report from Ernst & Young (E&Y), the accountant, and comes as retailers prepare for bleak Christmas trading. The figures show that there have been more profit warnings from retailers so far this quarter than in the same period in 2008, when the high street giants Woolworths and Zavvi collapsed into administration. Some 18% of retailers have warned on profits since the beginning of October, compared with 14% over the same period in 2008.
Sunday Times

Pubs fear Wetherspoon rise
JD Wetherspoon’s (JDW) incursion into smaller towns is alarming pub owners who fear the chain’s pricing threatens their livelihoods. The company has been dubbed “the Tesco of the pub industry” by analysts, but founder Tim Martin believed that was a “double-edged” comment. Simon French at Panmure Gordon said: “Wetherspoon claims to create jobs, but if you look at how many pubs close once a Wetherspoon opens up then I’m not sure that it’s the same net effect.” However, the Campaign for Real Ale dismissed publicans’ fears. It said Wetherspoon could have a halo effect where other pubs benefited from people coming into the area. Wetherspoon has grown from a single London pub more than 30 years ago to nearly 900 outlets. It has ambitions to grow to 1,600.
Mail on Sunday

Immigration laws take heat out of curry industry
On a cold evening in the depths of Battersea Park, 1,500 restaurateurs, their supporters and celebrity guests are gathered with one purpose: to honour the British curry. Boasting dazzling light shows, a dance troupe and a smooth-voiced compère, the annual British Curry Awards this week were glittering proof that in some establishments at least, the humble curry - whether from India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh - has made the leap from late-night post-beer fodder to high end culinary stardom. But, according to Enam Ali, the man who founded the awards six years ago, Britain’s £3.6bn curry industry and its pursuit of highly spiced excellence is now under threat. At fault are the changes to immigration rules, which have made it progressively harder to bring in chefs from outside the European Union, prompting a crisis among Asian restaurateurs who are struggling to find skilled curry cooks from within the UK.
FT Weekend

Dunstone chairs Boxpark
Boxpark has appointed Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone chairman of the innovative shopping centre that opens today. Dunstone is also thought to be an investor in the project. The mall in London’s Shoreditch is made of shipping containers and houses units from operators such as Chop’d and Crussh.
The Times

“Astonishing” tax relief on venture capital
Private investors are to be offered an “astonishing” level of tax relief for backing start-up companies, under a new scheme outlined in the chancellor’s autumn statement. But while some advisers claimed the tax benefits would prove more attractive than those on pensions, others warned that opportunities to invest may be limited. This new vehicle, announced in a package of measures to support new businesses, will operate as a “seed-funding version of the existing Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). Details of qualifying investments have not yet been released, but venture capital group Enterprise Private Equity said they were likely to be companies with no more than 25 employees. Investors in a Seed EISs (SEIS) will be allowed to put p to £100,000 into these companies in the tax year 2012-13 and receive upfront income tax relief of 50 per cent - even if their own tax rate is lower. If their investment is made from gains on other assets realised in that tax year, the gains will be exempted from capital gains tax (CGT). As a result, every £1 invested will “cost” only 50p. But the total level of relief will reach 78 per cent if taxable gains are reinvested: 50 per cent income tax relief plus the 28 per cent CGT avoided on earlier gains.
FT Weekend

Top chef offers filmgoers silver screen service
Award-winning chef Rowley Leigh will be catering a fine feast for cinema audiences at the revamped Whiteley’s Odeon in Bayswater. From next month, patrons of a central London cinema will be offered dishes prepared by the award-winning chef and restaurateur Rowley Leigh. The menu may have changed but a related challenge has not — how to avoid upsetting fellow patrons with the sound of crunching food and slurping drinks. Leigh, who worked at Le Gavroche and Kensington Place before setting up Le Café Anglais restaurant, and management from the Odeon cinema chain are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid the bugbear, devising dishes that can be eaten quietly and dressing waiters so they can slip silently between the isles.
Sunday Times

Sherry enjoying a revival
Mary Poppins’ employer, Mr Banks, would have one at precisely 6.02pm each night, while the Downton Abbey set would demand a drop before supper. Sherry, popular in the 1970s, is shaking off a staid reputation and undergoing a revival. Bars dedicated to the drink have sprung up across London and the rest of the country in the past year, including, in the capital, Capote y Toros, serving the drink with ham, in Knightsbridge, Pepito in King’s Cross and José sherry and tapas bar in Southwark. The revival is also credited to the rising number of restaurants serving sherry, such as Oloroso in Edinburgh and Paul Heathcote’s Grado in Manchester. Authentic Spanish restaurants, such as Barrafina, Brindisa and Cambio de Tercio, are reawakening diners to a drink more associated with elderly spinsters and trifle. M&S, which has seen sherry sales rise 15 per cent in the past three months, talks of a “Downton effect”. Sue Daniels, its sherry winemaker, said: “Sherry is one of the best kept secrets in wine, and seeing it enjoyed by the Downton Abbey characters has obviously sparked our appetites for it - it’s great to see it having a revival.”
Independent on Sunday