WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES
ROK WAS WARNED ON OUTLOOK
Senior executives at Rok, the failed building group, were warned the company’s public statements risked misleading investors by failing to identify the extent or source of its problems. The board of directors was contacted by Ashley Martin, at the time the suspended finance director, after Rok released a trading statement on August 11 that said it was “confident about the outlook” for its core maintenance and improvements business.

LATIN AMERICAN BANKERS PAY SOARS
The growing demand for senior investment bankers in Latin America is driving up compensation levels.

This year, a top investment banker in Brazil will earn an average $1.7m (£1.1m), according to Options Group, a global recruitment consultancy, twice as much as in China.

TOP US BANKS FACE $100BN BASEL SHORTFALL
The top 35 US banks will be short of between $100bn and $150bn in equity capital after the new Basel III global bank regulations are imposed, with 90 per cent of the shortfall concentrated in the biggest six banks, according to Barclays Capital. The BarCap study assumes the banks will need to hold top quality capital equal to 8 per cent of their total assets, adjusted for risk.

PENSION SCHEMES MUST TACKLE RISK
FTSE 100 pension schemes could see their collective deficits increase by more than £25bn in a single month because of their exposure to interest rate, inflation and equity market risks. PensionsFirst, which has spent two years developing a “value-at-risk” model for defined benefit pension schemes, has calculated that there is a 5 per cent chance of such a large swing in the total deficit of the UK’s biggest corporate schemes.

THE TIMES
ELECTION OF GENERAL SECRETARY FAILS TO UNITE TRADE UNION
Unite has a new general secretary today but the manner of his election — with less than seven per cent support from the membership — was sharply criticised as an indication of the disillusionment among members of Britain’s biggest and most powerful union.

CIGARETTE GIANTS BREATHING FIRE OVER PLAN FOR PLAIN PACKAGING
Britain’s two biggest cigarette makers have launched a vitriolic attack on the Government’s plan to force them to use plain brown packets, saying the move would be “like Christmas” for counterfeiters. British American Tobacco, whose brands include Dunhill, Lucky Stripe and Kent, said the policy — intended to remove the glamour from smoking — may have the opposite effect.

The Daily Telegraph
GREEN RESTRICTIONS ON GAS “COULD ENDANGER UK SUPPLY”
Power bosses from RWE and E.ON have warned that the threat of green restrictions on gas could stop new plants being built, potentially endangering Britain’s energy supply. Concerns were sparked as ministers announced that they are prepared to fund a £1bn trial project looking at “carbon capture and storage” for gas, where emissions are siphoned off and stored underground.

TESCO GIVES STAFF A £55M CHRISTMAS “PRESENT” – IF THEY SPEND IN STORE
Tesco has given its staff a £55m “Christmas thank you”. However, workers won’t actually get their hands on any cash bonus. The voucher package will cost the retailer £40m, with the remaining £15m spent on giving staff an extra day’s holiday.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
CRITICISM HINDERS FED'S EASING PLAN
Criticism of the Federal Reserve’s latest bond-buying programme, both from insiders and from US politicians, is muting the plan’s potential benefits for the economy. Amid widely publicised skepticism about the efficacy and wisdom of the bond buying, investors and traders are questioning whether the Fed would be able to expand its bond purchases beyond $600bn – even if inflation continues falling and unemployment remains high.

MERCK CHOLESTEROL DRUG IS FOUND TO HELP KIDNEY PATIENTS
A new study concluded Merck & Co’s cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin modestly reduced the risk of heart attacks and related disease among people with chronic kidney disease, when compared with a fake drug.