WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES
EMPLOYER OPTIMISM INCREASES IN BIG ECONOMIES
Hiring in the US and half a dozen other leading economies will increase for the first time in more than two years during the first quarter of 2011, according to a report released on Monday by Manpower, a global recruiting firm. Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey shows plans are stable or improving in the US, Japan, Germany, UK, Canada, France and Italy.

ACKMAN FILING LIFTS BARNES & NOBLE
Shares in Barnes & Noble jumped more than 15 per cent on Monday after Bill Ackman, the activist investor, said he would be prepared to support a bid for the company by rival Borders, in which he holds a 37 per cent stake. Ackman’s Pershing Square fund said it would back an offer of $16 a share.

EDF QUITS GERMANY WITH ENBW SALE
EDF insisted its international strategy was unchanged after announcing its withdrawal from Germany through the surprise sale of its politically controversial stake in the German utility EnBW. The state of Baden-Württemberg is buying EDF’s 45 per cent stake for €4.7bn in cash. Henri Proglio, chief executive of the French state-controlled utility, said EDF was not turning its back on Europe’s biggest economy.

BTG PACTUAL LURES $1.8BN CAPITAL INVESTMENT
BTG Pactual, the independent Brazilian investment bank, has secured a $1.8bn injection of fresh capital from a consortium of banks, led by three of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds. The investment marks the biggest ever sovereign wealth fund commitment in Brazil and underlines the shift in the funds’ focus towards emerging markets.

THE TIMES
BEGBIES WAITS AS COMPANIES LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY
Begbies Traynor has warned that first-half profits will fall by 16 per cent because a predicted surge in corporate collapses triggered by the recession had failed to happen.
Shares in the AIM-listed insolvency specialist fell 6 per cent yesterday after it said in a trading update that adjusted pre-tax profits would drop to £3.6 million for the six months to October 31.

SWISS BANK CLOSES ASSANGE ACCOUNT
A Swiss bank became the latest international company to turn against WikiLeaks as it froze an account in the name of the website’s founder.

PostFinance closed the account because it claimed that Julian Assange had given false information about where he lived.

The Daily Telegraph
AFRICA'S DANGOTE CEMENT PLANS $5BN UK SHARE SALE
Dangote Cement is said to be look at a London sale of global depositary receipts in the region of $3bn to $5bn, valuing the company at around $20bn. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are helping to prepare the sale, which is reportedly slated for next year.

QATAR SHARES HIT TWO-YEAR HIGH ON WINNING WORLD CUP BID
Qatar's stock market index surged to a two-year high on Sunday, the first trading day after the Gulf state won the bid to host the 2022 football World Cup. The Qatar Exchange index opened up 7per cent but fell back slightly later to close up 3.6 per cent - or 292 points - at 8,477.32 points. Real estate firm Barwa was up 6.19 per cent and Al Khalij Holdings, in cement making, 6.2 per cent.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
DEAL NEAR TO CUT PAYROLL TAX
The White House and Republican lawmakers were close to an agreement on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era rate cuts, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year and give more favorable treatment to new business investments. Other possible elements include a temporary reinstatement of the estate tax at 35 per cent.

BIG BANK SITTING ON A BIG PILE OF COPPER
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has emerged as the mystery buyer of more than $1 billion of copper, accounting for more than 50 per cent of all the metal stored in official London warehouses and stoking worries about an impending supply shortage. The New York bank's purchases have caused a stir in commodities circles in recent weeks.