WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

INDIAN OIL PLANS RECORD $4.3BN IPO
Indian Oil plans to raise a record Rs190bn ($4.3bn, £2.73bn) by selling 20 per cent of its shares in what would be India’s biggest IPO, as several state-run groups are rushing to tap the nation’s booming equity market. Sumit Bose, India’s minister of disinvestment, said yesterday that in the next few weeks the government would appoint the bankers for the issue, which is expected to hit the markets by the first quarter of 2011.

C&W REASSURE ABOUT OFFICIAL CONTRACTS
Cable & Wireless Worldwide sought to reassure investors by saying it had retained its existing telecoms contracts with the government following a review in which ministers secured significant cost savings. C&W Worldwide had issued a profit warning in July.

AD DISBURSAL RECOVERING FASTER THAN EXPECTED
Global advertising spending is recovering more quickly than expected by big agencies ahead of the Christmas season. Strong third-quarter results for the industry are showing that investment by clients in branding and promotions has rebounded from a record low last year as companies strive to gain market share.

BLACKFRIARS TOWER SITE IN ADMINISTRATION
A 52-storey skyscraper project on London’s South Bank backed by Sergei Polonsky, the Russian property tycoon, has been put into administration by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Beetham Organisation, a Liverpool-based developer, and Mirax, the property company founded by Mr Polonsky, planned to build a large mixed-use scheme on Blackfriars Road that was once expected to have an end value of as much as £1bn.

THE TIMES

OIL EXPLORERS TOP LIST OF ACQUISITION TARGETS
UBS added Premier Oil and Heritage Oil to its watchlist of British takeover targets yesterday, saying that a wave of mergers and acquisitions was building in Europe. “We think it may finally be time for investors in European equities to ‘wax their surfboards’,” Daniel Stillit, a London-based analyst at the Swiss bank, said.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE ’EM SPEND, MAKE ’EM LAUGH
Luminar will announce a licencing deal with Jongleurs this week to run comedy nights at some of its clubs as it seeks ways of pepping up its fortunes. The nightclub operator, which is trying to reverse a 20 per cent decline in like-for-like sales, recently signed a tie-up with Ministry of Sound to run branded club nights. Trade has been hit by youth job cuts.


The Daily Telegraph

IRAN WARNS BRITISH OIL GROUPS IN REFUELLING ROW
Iran is threatening to retaliate against British oil companies for refusing to sell fuel to its commercial aircraft flying back from London. BP has cut off ties with Iran Air since the summer, while Shell and three other international groups signed an agreement with Washington last month to withdraw from operations in Iran altogether.

AGENCY WORKER REFORM SCUPPERED BY “SOCIAL PARTNER” DEAL
The government has said a stand off between the unions and CBI have scuppered its attempts to reform new employment legislation giving equal rights to 1.3m agency workers. Employment relations minister Ed Davey said the decision to retain the regulations in their current form was “clearly disappointing”.

WALL STREET JOURNAL


BP LINKS PAY TO SAFETY IN FOURTH QUARTER
BP, which faced accusations that it precipitated the Gulf of Mexico oil spill by placing profits before safety, said in an internal memo to its staff that safety would be the sole criterion for rewarding employee performance in its operating business for the fourth quarter. BP’s new chief executive, Bob Dudley, announced the step in an email to employees that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

VW-PORSCHE DEAL FACES DELAY
Volkswagen said that tax and legal disputes could delay its planned takeover of Porsche and might prompt it to deploy a backup provision to initially just acquire Porsche’s sports-car-making operations, instead of also merging with its holding company as planned.