WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

TOKYO HIT BY CLAIMS OF INSIDER TRADING
Japan’s financial regulator and the Tokyo Stock Exchange are investigating recent trading activity following allegations of widespread insider trading ahead of new share issues by Japanese companies. Regulators are examining possible insider trading involving recent share issues where short selling activity increased substantially in the run-up to the announcement the company would be issuing new shares.

PORTUGAL GAINS ON CHINA’S APPETITE FOR DEBT
Portugal’s minority government has welcomed a growing appetite by China to invest in the country’s public debt as it struggles to avert a Greece-style bail-out. “China’s interest is the result of a successful strategy of diversifying our investor base,” Carlos Costa Pina, Portugal’s secretary of state for the treasury and finance, told the Financial Times.

BULLISH MOOD LIFTS SUGAR NEAR 30-YEAR PEAK
Sugar prices rose to within a cent of a 30-year high as the bullish atmosphere pervading the industry gathering in London translated into buying.
Some top sugar traders expect a new peak within weeks and believe prices could surpass the 30.4 cents a pound touched in February.

CHINA BUILDS WORLD’S FASTEST SUPERCOMPUTER
China has ousted the US as the maker of the world’s fastest supercomputer, signalling the country’s increasingly vigorous push to develop advanced technology. The new system, known as Tianhe-1A, was developed by the National University of Defence Technology and unveiled at a supercomputing conference in Beijing on Thursday.

THE TIMES

PROMETHEAN RETREATS AGAIN
A supplier of electronic whiteboards to schools confirmed its position at the foot of London’s class of 2010. Floated at 200p as recently as March Promethean World shares retreated 19.25p to just 99.75p yesterday. The latest fall was precipitated by the company’s admission that higher education spending in America had held back sales between July and September.

DIAMOND MINER GIVEN A LIFT
Gem Diamonds said that the price it received for precious stones had risen on the back of demand from China and a policy of selling more stones direct to retailers. Gem said yesterday that its average price per carat rose by 44 per cent to $2.422 in October compared with the third quarter. It also announced the discovery of a 192 carat flawless diamond.

The Daily Telegraph

GOVERNMENT SCRAPS £470M BUSINESS INVESTMENT SCHEME
The Government is to scrap a £470m grant scheme that has backed £4.2bn of business investment in deprived areas. As part of its new regional growth strategy, it is also considering “radical” plans to return business rates to local authority control to incentivise councils to help businesses grow.

EU HAIRCUT PLANS RATTLE BONDHOLDERS
Investors face large potential losses on Eurozone debt under German plans – risking a boycott of Greek, Irish, and Portuguese bonds. Germany has agreed to give the EU’s €440bn (£383bn) bail-out fund permanent status rather than letting it expire in 2013 as planned, but only as part of a “Crisis Resolution Mechanism” that forces bondholders to share losses.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

ECB’S WEBER WELCOMES YUAN APPRECIATION
China’s hoarding of foreign-exchange reserves, mostly denominated in US dollars, makes the global economy more vulnerable to adverse shocks, a key member of the European Central Bank's governing council said Thursday. Axel Weber added the recent appreciation of the Chinese yuan “is a welcome further step towards appropriate valuation.”

CEO SAYS UNICREDIT WILL STAY THE COURSE
Unicredit plans to expand its retail and investment-banking operations in Central and Eastern Europe, Chief Executive Federico Ghizzoni said in an interview, yesterday. His comments follow months of scrutiny over the bank’s strategy that resulted in the board ousting UniCredit’s former CEO, Alessandro Profumo.