<strong>FINANCIAL TIMES<br /><br />LLOYDS OFFLOADS MALL FOR £300M<br /></strong>Hammerson, the UK real estate investment trust, has emerged as the preferred buyer of a £300m shopping mall near Glasgow being sold by Lloyds Banking Group after the original owner defaulted on the loan. The UK commercial property market has seen few sales by the larger lending banks, in spite of more than £200bn outstanding to the sector.<br /><br /><strong>ITN SET FOR AUSTERITY PACKAGE</strong><br />ITN will reveal its first ever loss today as the new chief executive outlines austerity measures aimed at putting the organisation back into the black. John Hardie, who came into the job in June, will tell staff that the organisation lost “a significant amount” in the first half of the year. People who have seen the accounts said the figure ran into low single-digit millions of pounds.<br /><br /><strong>BUSINESSES TOLD OF RISING RISK</strong><br />Companies that operate abroad face increased risks to their investments in 2010 as the impact of the recession creates new challenges, a London-based consultancy has said. Businesses typically face the greatest risks in the years following a recession, Control Risks Group, the risk consultancy, says in its annual RiskMap report. Companies are liable to be caught out in the early stage of a recovery because management lowers its guard, thinking the worst is over.<br /><br /><strong>KBC TO SHED RISKY LINES IN EU COMPLIANCE DEAL</strong><br />Belgium’s KBC has become the latest financial group to pledge to transform itself into a significantly smaller and less risky operation following pressure from the European Union competition watchdog. The bancassurer will slim its balance sheet by nearly a fifth and reimburse €7bn ($10.5bn) state aid by 2013 by winding down businesses and via disposals.<br /><br /><strong>THE TIMES<br /><br />GRANT THORNTON SLIPS FURTHER BEHIND THE BIG FOUR<br /></strong>Grant Thornton, Britain’s fifth-largest accounting firm, disclosed a 4 per cent fall in full-year revenue to £378 million yesterday as profit per partner slumped by 19 per cent to £201,000. Scott Barnes, the firm’s chief executive, said that its performance was solid in light of the financial crisis, although it continued to lose ground on larger accountancy rivals, such as Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young.<br /><br /><strong>LEGAL COSTS MOUNT IN TCHENGUIZ FAMILY ROW</strong><br />The billionaire Tchenguiz brothers have been ordered to pay their brother-in-law an additional £100,000 towards his legal costs after failing to meet a previous court order. The High Court ruling this week is the latest twist in a bitter dispute.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph<br /><br />CHINA BANS MICROSOFT FROM SELLING OPERATING SYSTEMS<br /></strong>Microsoft has been banned from selling multiple versions of its flagship Windows operating system in China after breaching a local licensing agreement. The US software giant must not sell versions of Windows XP, 2003, 2000 or 98 software in the Asian super-economy after a Beijing court ruled the products include Chinese fonts designed by a local company.<br /><br /><strong>VIRGIN MEDIA TO CUT PROPERTY PORTFOLIO IN COST DRIVE</strong><br />Virgin Media, the debt-laden pay television group, plans to reduce its property holdings as part of a drive to cut costs. Eamonn O’Hare, chief financial officer, set out the plans as he said Virgin was confident it could continue growing its customer base and increase the amount customers paid. He said Virgin had already cut jobs.<br /><br /><strong>WALL STREET JOURNAL<br /><br />EU REBUKED OVER INTEL CASE<br /></strong>The European Ombudsman said European antitrust regulators had committed “maladministration” in their case against Intel Corp. by not documenting a “potentially exculpatory” interview with a witness. The finding, released Wednesday, will have little direct effect on Intel’s antitrust fight in the European Union, but it is an embarrassing black eye for the regulator and could serve as ammunition for critics.<br /><br /><strong>‘CARVE OUT’ IPOS SURGE</strong><br />The pace of “carve out” deals -- where companies raise cash by selling stakes in subsidiaries via initial public offerings -- has surged to a record this year, according to data from Dealogic.<br /><br />According to Dealogic, the total value of carve-outs globally stands at $21.5 billion for the year to date. This is close to three times the 2008 volume.