What the other papers say this morning - 28 March 2013

FINANCIAL TIMES

PM’s ally attacks clamp on migrants

David Cameron has come under fire from his closest European ally over his hardened stance on immigration, capping a difficult parliamentary term for the prime minister. Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s prime minister and a friend of Cameron, told reporters that the UK’s plans to restrict benefits to immigrants was unfortunate.

M&A deals hit by Eurozone turmoil

Four megadeals and a jump in initial public offerings have failed to drastically improve the fortunes of dealmakers over the past quarter. Despite expectations of a revival in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the renewed debt crisis in the Eurozone helped suppress the value of global M&A in the quarter to $374.1bn (£247.2bn) down nearly 10 per cent year on year and the slowest start in a decade.

Allied Irish Banks to return to profit

Allied Irish Banks says it remains on target to return to profit next year after a big restructuring of the group in 2012 and a reduction in annual losses driven by a fall in bad loans provisions, to €2.4bn last year from €8.1bn in 2011.

THE TIMES

Privilege days cost taxpayer £130m

At lunchtime today, as millions of people are stuck at their desks, thousands of civil servants will be knocking off early for an extended Easter holiday, one of two and a half so-called privilege days that cost the taxpayer an estimated £134m last year.

Judge rebukes Tchenguiz brothers

A judge has strongly criticised both Tchenguiz brothers and the Serious Fraud Office for “unacceptable delays” in filing legal papers over an upcoming clash.

The Daily Telegraph

Train firms drop £40m lawsuit

Four of Britain’s major train operators have dropped a lawsuit against the Government to recover up to £40m of costs lost when the bidding competition for the Great Western rail franchise was scrapped earlier this year.

Berlusconi empire slips to first loss

Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire, Mediaset, has slipped to its first ever annual loss, of €287.1m (£243m), as a weak Italian advertising market forced the company to scrap its dividend.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

S&P seeks to merge state lawsuits

Standard & Poor’s, the ratings giant, wants to consolidate 17 lawsuits filed by US states over its credit ratings during the financial crisis era into one case in federal court.

Venezuela silent on exchange rate

Venezuela yesterday sold $200m in a move designed to pump more US dollars into its economy. But it did not disclose the exchange rate, suggesting it was much weaker than the official rate.