What the other papers say this morning - 30 October 2013

FINANCIAL TIMES

Whitehall slow to pay suppliers
Ministers are breaching their own rules on paying government suppliers, according to figures seen by the Financial Times. EU rules say departments must pay firms that have supplied them within 30 days. The Ministry of Defence has had to pay £21,000 in the last year because of late payments. This was due to paying aviation fuel costs beyond the agreed contract period. Ministry of Justice accounts show £35,000 in charges for late payment.

Oil giant OGX’s talks with creditors fail
The dramatic fall from grace of Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista entered its final stages as his oil company OGX edged closer to a bankruptcy that would trigger Latin America’s largest ever corporate default. Several months of voluntary restructuring talks with holders of $3.6bn of bonds ended in failure, prompting the company to prepare for a bankruptcy protection filing in a Brazilian court, people close to the company said. But the company indicated it had enough cash to continue operating until the end of December.

Barclays faces new $700m bill
Barclays faces a demand to pay as much as $700m to a US hedge fund after losing a crucial appeal in a five-year legal row. The New York supreme court of appeals overturned an earlier ruling in Barclays’ favour and found the bank liable for breach of contract over a vast credit derivatives transaction with Connecticut-based Black Diamond Capital.

THE TIMES

Servelec £140m float plans
A software company that grew out of Sheffield’s once-proud steel industry is set to make its stock market debut in the biggest float for Britain’s technology sector in three years. Servelec will announce its intention to go public today with an expected valuation of up to £140m and will seek a full listing on the London Stock  Exchange.

Contractors alert over Network Road
Ministers have taken the first steps towards the semi-privatisation of the Highways Agency, announcing plans to turn it into a government-owned company already dubbed Network Road.

The Daily Telegraph

Vodafone offers customers extra data
Vodafone has become the latest mobile operator to renew efforts to attract price-conscious 4G users, launching a data giveaway in an attempt to undercut rivals. The operator will today announce it will hand new 4G customers extra data allowances, in some cases trebling the amount of internet use included in a contract.

Cameron hails EU block on phone fees
An attempt by the European Union to scrap mobile telephone roaming charges has been welcomed by David Cameron. The Prime Minister said it was an example of Brussels making “people’s lives easier rather than more difficult”.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

BlackBerry met Facebook execs
BlackBerry executives flew to California to meet with Facebook last week to gauge its interest in a potential bid for the struggling smartphone-maker, according to people familiar with the matter. It remains unclear whether Facebook is interested in placing a bid. Spokesmen for both companies declined to comment. The meeting could reignite speculation that Facebook is building its own smartphone. As the social network has increasingly catered to mobile users in recent years, it has grown dependent on hardware makers such as Apple and Samsung to distribute its software and collect user data.