What the other papers say this morning

FINANCIAL TIMES

EMERGING MARKETS DEALS LEAD 16 PER CENT RISE IN M&A
Dealmaking in emerging markets helped power a 16 per cent rise in global mergers and acquisition activity this year as companies moved to spend their cash piles outside of their home markets. Companies in developing countries struck 2,570 deals worth a total $502.6bn in the year to date – a 42.9 per cent increase on last year’s $351.8bn total, according to preliminary data from Mergermarket.

TRAFIGURA NET INCOME FALLS AS OIL TRADING HIT
Trafigura, one of the world’s largest commodities traders, suffered a 20 per cent drop in annual net income after its oil trading business was hit by “challenging” conditions in the first half of its fiscal year to September. But the drop in profitability was lower than expected and reveals that the Swiss-trading houses which dominate global commodities markets continued to make strong profits this year in spite of the financial crisis. The publicity-shy company revealed its performance in a note to bondholders,

THE TIMES

JONGLEURS POISED TO DELIVER THE PUNCHLINE AND RETURN TO LONDON
The comedy club chain that launched the careers of Michael McIntyre, Eddie Izzard and Frank Skinner is in talks to acquire a flagship site in the West End of London. The move would mark a return to the capital for Jongleurs, which in effect disappeared from Britain’s high streets after Regent Inns, the pub operator that licensed the comedy brand, fell into administration in October 2009.

SNAPPING UP A BARGAIN IN WINCHESTER
A huge scheme to regenerate the centre of Winchester has been saved with its sale to a global fund manager. Henderson Global Investors completed the purchase of the Silver Hill scheme yesterday from the administrator Deloitte. The proposed 630,000 sq ft retail-led project to redevelop the Broadway Friarsgate area will cover nearly a quarter of the city’s centre, a short walk from its historic cathedral. It had been on hold since HBOS, part of Lloyds Banking Group, pulled the plug on the previous owner Thornfield Ventures.

The Daily Telegraph

CITIGROUP WARNS OF FRESH WAVE OF BANK FAILURES IN EUROPE
Citigroup has warned of a fresh wave of bank failures and sovereign defaults in Europe unless EU leaders come up with a credible response to the crisis. Prof Willem Buiter, the bank's chief economist, said the eurozone was paralysed by a "game of chicken" between the European Central Bank and EMU governments. oth sides are trying to shift responsibility on to the other for shoring up southern Europe and Ireland, raising the risk of contagion spreading.

Both sides are trying to shift responsibility on to the other for shoring up southern Europe and Ireland, raising the risk of contagion spreading.

LUCASFILM SETTLES 'COLD-CALLING' CHARGES OVER PIXAR STAFF
Lucasfilm has settled civil charges over alleged 'cold-calling' to staff of rival animation house Pixar, the US Justice Department has said. Pixar, a unit of Walt Disney, wasn't named in Tuesday's legal complaint because it was one of six companies that settled similar charges in September, the department said.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

MICROSOFT TO REVEAL NEW VERSION OF WINDOWS
Microsoft Corp. next month plans to discuss a new version of its widely used Windows operating system that targets low-power devices and adds support for a second strain of chip technology, according to people briefed on Microsoft company's plans. The software, expected to be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, will be adapted to run on microprocessors sold by ARM Holdings PLC as well as the technology popularized by Intel Corp., Microsoft's longtime partner in personal computers, these people said. It is not expected to be available for two or more years, they added.

BELARUS EXTENDS CRACKDOWN
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko extended his crackdown on opponents Tuesday, as authorities charged around 600 activists with taking part in an unsanctioned protest and threatened to disband political parties and organizations involved in Sunday's protest against his landslide re-election.