What the other papers say this morning - 16 June 2014

FINANCIAL TIMES

GSK spin-off set for possible listing
A British biotech company spun out of GlaxoSmithKline is gearing up for a possible stock market flotation after strong trial results for a new painkiller.

Convergence Pharmaceuticals was set up in 2010 as part of a restructuring of GSK’s research and development operations. The UK’s biggest drugmaker transferred some of its scientists and patents to the new company in return for an 18 per cent stake.

Four years later, Convergence is preparing to raise £50m to take its drug into the final stage of development – with an initial public offering in London or New York under consideration.

UK Islamic banks disappointed
Islamic banks in the UK are disappointed that the government did not include them as issuers of its first Islamic bond. “The government’s decision not to choose a local Islamic bank as an arranger is a lost opportunity to promote the homegrown Islamic finance industry,” said Harris Irfan of European Islamic Investment Bank.

Venezuela signals forex relaxation
Venezuela’s oil minister has signalled relaxation of the country’s complex foreign exchange rate system, saying its three rates were no longer suitable. Rafael Ramirez, oil minister and vice-president for the economy, told the Financial Times that Venezuela’s three exchange rates would “progressively converge”.

THE TIMES

Blair links schools plot to Boko Haram
Hardline Muslims seeking to introduce extremism into schools in Birmingham are similar to members of the militant group that has kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls, Tony Blair said yesterday.

Prosecution for avoidance advisers
Lawyers and accountants who promote aggressive tax avoidance schemes should face criminal prosecution, according to a Conservative MP. Charlie Elphicke, the MP for Dover and a former tax lawyer, has tabled amendments that would make it illegal to help clients to invest in schemes designed to avoid tax.

The Daily Telegraph

US F1 team to create 250 UK jobs
US businessman Gene Haas has revealed that he is planning to create 250 jobs in the UK by locating his new F1 team in the country. Haas is launching an F1 team as a marketing vehicle for Haas Automation, the machine-tool-manufacturer that he founded in 1983.

Fund boss becomes billionaire
The boss of Blackstone’s hedge fund business, who was supposedly the inspiration for Gordon Gekko in the iconic film Wall Street, has become a billionaire on the back of a surge in the private equity group’s share price. James Tomilson Hill, known as Tom, owns 17.4m shares in Blackstone.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPE

Polish state roiled by recording
Polish central bank boss Marek Belka was under fire yesterday as a recording emerged of discussions with interior minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, in which Belka indicates the bank would help the government keep public debt down in exchange for the sacking or former finance minister Jacek Rostowskii.

Williams strikes $6bn shale deal
Williams Companies agreed to pay nearly $6bn (£3.53bn) in cash to expand its ownership of Access Midstream Partners, a move aimed at increasing the energy company’s presence in major shale areas.