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WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

HCL FUELS DEBATE
The head of one of India’s biggest IT outsourcing companies has waded into the debate on UK public sector efficiency savings, complaining of an “old boys’ network” in government procurement. Vineet Nayar, chief executive of HCL Technologies, hit out at the “stranglehold of a few companies” in Britain’s £17bn market for public sector technology.

EX-SOVIET EYES LSE LIST
Two companies from the former Soviet Union are looking to raise about $1bn (£651m) on the London Stock Exchange.

Avangard, Ukraine’s biggest egg producer, is aiming to list a 20 per cent stake in a flotation that would value the company at up to $890m, while Uralchem, the Russian fertiliser producer, is hoping to raise $496m-$692m

LONDON PROPERTY SURGE
March was the strongest month for London prime property sales since the peak of the housing market in 2007, driven by overseas buyers and a revival in City profits, accoring to estate agents. Knight Frank reported a monthly increase of 105 per cent in March, with sales of prime property – those costing more than £2m – up 83 per cent for the year.

ELAN MAY SPLIT ITSELF
Elan Corporation, the Ireland-based drugmaker, may split into two separate businesses, after announcing it would explore the possibility of creating separately listed neurology and drug technology groups. The company said the review would take several months, although there was no specific timetable for its completion, and no assurance the company would ultimately decide to split. Under the terms of a possible division, a separately listed company would be created out of Elan’s drug technology unit.

THE TIMES

RACE FOR DELOITTE JOB
The race is on for one of the most prized jobs in professional services as Deloitte prepares to replace John Connolly after a decade in charge of the Big Four accountant. Mr Connolly, 59, will stand down in May next year after three terms as chief executive and senior partner. In that time he transformed Deloitte from an also-ran among the City’s leading auditors into the most profitable.

HEDGE FUND BETS ON PRU SLIDE
One of Britain’s most successful hedge fund groups revealed yesterday that it had taken a £47m bet that Prudential’s share price would fall. Lansdowne Partners, which has $16bn (£10.5bn) of funds under management and a strong record in profiting from the ups and downs of bank shares, disclosed a 0.32 per cent short position.

The Daily Telegraph

MINISTER BEGS FOR GREECE DEAL
German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has pleaded with his country’s citizens to back a joint EU-IMF bail out for Greece worth up to €45bn (£40bn), warning that failure to act risks a financial meltdown. “We cannot allow the bankruptcy of a euro member state like Greece to turn into a second Lehman Brothers,” he told Der Spiegel.

EX-LAND SESC BOSS £130M CASH CALL
Former Land Securities director Mike Hussey has raised €150m (£132m) for a new property venture backed by the family behind Fiat. Exor, the investment company controlled by Italy's Agnelli family, is the majority shareholder in the famous car maker and has pumped €100m into Almacantar, which Mr Hussey has founded with Neil Jones, formerly of Grosvenor.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

IBM PROFITS LEAP 13 PER CENT
IBM showed further evidence of a recovery in technology spending, posting a 13 per cent rise in profit for the first quarter driven by growth in the company’s software business and emerging markets. The wide-ranging conglomerate said it is seeing broad improvement in its business lines and raised its outlook for the full year.

GM ACCELERATES LOAN REPAYMENT
General Motors plans to disclose tomorrow early repayment of its remaining $4.7bn in US government loans, a step toward shedding the stigma of last year’s federal bailout, a person familiar with the matter said.
GM chairman and chief executive Edward Whitacre Jr believes repaying what is left of its $6.7bn US Treasury loan is a critical step toward winning back US customers.