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WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

SIEMENs CHAIRMAN TO MEET INVESTORS
Gerhard Cromme, chairman of Siemens and ThyssenKrupp, and the chief financial officers of both conglomerates will meet investors on Friday in an unusual joint move ahead of the first shareholder votes on executive pay in Germany. The meeting in Munich is considered extraordinary by investors as it highlights the anxiety at German blue chip companies after a passage of a law that gives shareholders the chance to approve or reject executive salary schemes.

BANK LOSES £3.6BN IN QE PROGRAMME
The Bank of England has lost £3.6bn on its purchases of government bonds as part of its programme of printing money to revive the economy. The Bank’s capital losses from buying £192bn in gilts so far as part of quantitative easing would be £8bn if these were sold today.

OSBORNE OUTLINES IDEAS FOR SPENDING CUTS
George Osborne on Thursday night unveiled a hit-list of spending areas where an incoming Conservative government would impose urgent cuts. The shadow chancellor used a speech in London to reiterate his argument for shrinking the fiscal deficit faster than Labour, starting with immediate cuts.

KODAK FILES SUIT AGAINST APPLE AND RIM
Eastman Kodak filed patent infringement suits against Apple and Research in Motion, alleging its alleging that its digital image previewing technology was being used in those companies’ camera-enabled smartphones. About 30 leading companies already license digital imagery technology from Kodak. These include mobile handset maker LG.

THE TIMES

MANDELSON TELLS CITY TO ALLOW BRUSSELS TO WRITE RULE BOOK
Lord Mandelson urged the Financial Services Authority to show “a sense of proportion” as the City watchdog rewrites the rule book for banking regulation. In a speech delivered at JP Morgan Chase in the City, the Business Secretary said that Britain’s financial services community would be best served by allowing Brussels to create the new banking regulation architecture with the UK left alone to implement it.

MOD MULLS OUTSOURCING OPTIONS FOR MERCHANT NAVY
Up to 20 companies have told the Ministry of Defence of their interest in participating in the part-privatisation of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary — the Merchant Navy. The MoD had originally been looking to buy six new refuelling tankers for the RFA.

The Daily Telegraph

SUPERMARKETS CRITICISE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO RAISE COST OF ALCOHOL
Britain’s biggest supermarkets have criticised Government proposals to introduce a minimum price for alcohol saying it will fail to curb the country’s binge drinking culture. They are outraged at plans which they claim will end up targeting the wrong people and penalise middle-class consumers who drink responsibly.

CENTRICA ROW OVER JOB CUT CLAIMS
Centrica has denied as “untrue” claims by the GMB union that it plans to shed 5,000 jobs at its British Gas subsidiary. The union raised concerns that Centrica was not keeping it informed about job losses, claiming it had seen an internal memo planning up to 25 per cent cuts to non-customer-facing roles. Centrica categorically denied GMB’s statement.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

US OPENS ANTI-TRUST PROPE OF MONSANTO
The US Justice Department has opened a formal antitrust investigation into crop-biotechnology giant Monsanto as it contends with the loss of patent protection on its blockbuster soybean in 2014. Monsanto on Thursday received a formal demand from the Justice Department for information about the St. Louis company’s business practices surrounding its Roundup Ready soybean, the nation’s most popular genetically-modified crop.

MOTOROLA PUTS BREAK-UP ON HOLD
Motorola has put the auction of its biggest business unit on hold as the company reconsiders its latest breakup plan, said people familiar with the situation. The move comes amid lower-than-expected bids for the unit.