What the other papers say this morning - 19 May 2014


Facebook ready to take on Snapchat
Facebook is going head to head with rival Snapchat in the video-chat app market as the social networking group scrambles to win back users from the popular ephemeral messaging app. Facebook has been working for several months on the app, known internally as Slingshot, with a simple and speedy user interface, said people familiar with its plans.

Cisco calls on US to rein in surveillance
Cisco’s chief executive has written to President Barack Obama warning of a collapse of trust in US technology after evidence emerged showing the National Security Agency breaking into his company’s equipment. In a letter seen by the Financial Times, John Chambers called for “standards of conduct” to rein in government surveillance so that national security objectives do not interfere with the US’s leading position in the global technology market.

Bundled debt sales near crisis era levels
Sales of bundled US corporate debt known as collateralised loan obligations are on course to surpass levels reached at the height of the credit bubble, as the relentless search for yield leads investors to abandon caution.The sales illustrate the rise in risk-taking by investors recently burnt in the financial crisis. In addition to renewed appetite for CLOs, private equity firms are buying out companies at record highs.


Suppliers under pressure from Mars UK
Mars UK has become the latest company to change its payment terms for suppliers, adding to concerns that credit-starved small and medium-sized businesses will be put under renewed pressure. The Forum of Private Business is investigating claims that Mars UK has doubled the time in which it pays supplier to 120 days.

Pension scare stories are wide of mark
Fears that today’s young adults are heading for a poverty-stricken old age are overdone, a new study has found, according to a survey conducted for the National Employment Savings Trust, the state-backed default pension fund for low and moderate earners.

The Daily Telegraph

China steps up speed of oil stockpiling
Beijing has ordered an “unprecedented” build up of oil reserves as West prepares for possible oil sanctions against Russia. The move comes as tensions mount in the South China Sea, and the West prepares possible oil sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Eastern Ukraine.

Heathrow non-exec plays down noise
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker, who is also on the board of Heathrow, said European airports should open 24 hours a day if they want to compete with the emerging Gulf hubs in Dubai and Doha, which are claiming a growing slice of international passenger traffic.


Godzilla crushes movie competition
The latest remake of the classic Japanese monster Godzilla opened to a strong $93.2m in the US and Canada and $103m overseas this past weekend, according to studio estimates. Drawing a largely young, male audience, Godzilla was the biggest hit of the year so far on large format screens from IMAX.

JD.com keeps tight grip on IPO
JD.com plans to go public in the US this week, but won't offer potential investors much say. The online retailer is the latest Chinese company to follow a governance model calling for tight control.