What the other papers say this morning - 20 May 2013

FINANCIAL TIMES

Apple faces grilling over US tax rate
Apple would have paid a tax rate of about 15 per cent last year, far below the 25.2 per cent it reported, had it not used a form of reserve accounting that sets it apart from other big US technology companies. The rare accounting treatment has helped to distract attention from Apple at a time when the tax-avoidance strategies of other cash-rich US tech companies, notably Google, have come under public attack, according to tax experts.

Heron Tower offered £250m loan
One of the US’s richest property investors has stepped in to provide a loan to refinance the tallest skyscraper in the City of London in a £250m deal underlining the emerging role of non-bank finance in the UK corporate landscape. Starwood Capital, the private equity fund of billionaire Barry Sternlicht, is in talks with Gerald Ronson.

US hedge fund to open in London
Monarch Capital, the prominent US distressed debt hedge fund, is opening a new office in London.

THE TIMES

MPs set for £10,000 rise
MPs are expected to receive a pay increase of at least £10,000 a year, or more than 15 per cent. A report by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) is expected to recommend the increase next month.

High-value cases take toll on SFO
Britain’s fraud-fighting agency prosecuted only 20 defendants over the past year, compared with 52 the year before, new figures have revealed.

The Daily Telegraph

Germans blame crisis for song flop
Germans lamented their unexpectedly poor showing at the Eurovision Song Contest, blaming Chancellor Angela Merkel’s tough stance in the Eurozone crisis for their failure to win any points from 34 of the 39 countries voting.

Property developer trapped in China
British property developer Keith Darby says he and his family are being prevented from leaving China after a joint venture with a state-backed company went sour.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPE

Japan pledges $2bn for Africa
Japan is pledging $2bn for energy and mineral projects in Africa, capping a conference with government resource officials from across the continent as it seeks to catch up with years of Chinese investment.

Stephen King says no to e-book
Don’t expect to see an e-book edition any time soon of Stephen King’s new novel, “Joyland”, published next month. King, an e-book pioneer, wants fans to buy print editions from bookstores.