WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

ACCOUNTING ISSUES MAR CONNAUGHT SELL OFF PLANS
Accountancy issues at Connaught are expected to have affected more than just the beleaguered property service group’s social housing maintenance division, according to people familiar with the matter. The development may affect the ability of Connaught to sell off parts of its business, which is one of the potential options under consideration as part of the FTSE 250 company’s talks with lenders over its debts.

CHINESE BOSSES SPLIT ROLES AT CNOOC AND CHINA MOBILE
Two of the most senior managers at Chinese state-owned enterprises resigned from their chief executive posts yesterday, the latest in a series of moves separating the roles of CEO and chairman. At CNOOC, Fu Chengyu resigned but is keeping his role as chairman of the offshore oil and gas company, while Wang Jianzhou at China Mobile followed suit.

FACEBOOK IN NEW ADS INITIATIVE
Facebook users can already poke, post, like and share. Now the social networking website has added another activity to its arsenal of social activities – users can now “check-in”. With its Places feature, which it launched on Wednesday, users can broadcast their location to the web, track their friends’ movements and see who else has checked-in to a specific location.

MASTERCARD IN SOFTWARE MOVE
MasterCard, the world’s second-largest payments network, yesterday signalled its intent to fight back in the rapidly changing industry after agreeing to buy DataCash, a UK payment service provider. The US company will pay 360p per share in cash, a 53 per cent premium to DataCash’s closing price on Wednesday.

THE TIMES

TAX BREAK THREAT ALARMS DRUG COMPANIES
A £1.3bn tax incentive designed to foster pioneering research in Britain could be scrapped by the government, The Times has learnt. The so-called patent box, which was introduced to encourage research, is being questioned in the Treasury amid concerns that it is expensive and aimed at a relatively narrow sector of the economy.

TAXMAN TO ADOPT SOFTLY SOFTLY APPROACH TO RAISE MORE CASH
HM Revenue & Customs will adopt a softer approach towards businesses involved in tax disputes in an effort to get access to money tied up in court cases. This approach marks a move away from Gordon Brown’s clampdown on tax avoidance, which started when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2004.


The Daily Telegraph

EU APPROVES FURTHER GREEK DEBT
The European Commission has approved the next €9bn (£7.4bn) tranche of loans for Greece but the underlying economy continues to deteriorate as Greek banks suffer a record loss of deposits and output contracts at a quickening pace. A report by HSBC said banks had lost eight per cent of their entire deposit base in the five months to May.

BANKS ADD £1,700 A YEAR TO FIXED RATE MORTGAGES
Home owners are paying £1,700 a year more for fixed-rate mortgages as banks enjoy record profit margins. Despite receiving billions in taxpayer support during the credit crisis, high street lenders are refusing to pass on the full benefit of low interest rates to customers, figures show. Instead, they have used the cheap cost of borrowing to increase their profit margins.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

RUSSIA’S WOES PUSH UP WHEAT
Wheat prices jumped back to $7 a bushel on worsening prospects for Russia’s harvest this fall and beyond.

Russia will likely boost its grain imports amid a persistent drought that already has forced it to ban exports. Although the country was one of the world’s largest wheat exporters last year, the usual trickle of imports could turn into a flood to make up for the anticipated shortfall in this year’s harvest, further squeezing global supplies.

GERMANS RAISE GROWTH FORECAST
The Deutsche Bundesbank yesterday raised its forecast for German economic growth in 2010, becoming the first official body to upgrade its outlook after data last week showed the fastest growth in 20 years. In its monthly report , the Bundesbank lifted its 2010 forecast by three pre cent.