What the other papers say this morning

FINANCIAL TIMES

RUSSIANS PREPARE FOR LISTING SPREE IN LONDON
Four industrial and mining companies from Russia are set to list in London within the next few weeks, the first in a string of companies from the country rushing to raise an estimated $15bn-$20bn (£9.5bn-£12.7bn) this year. The companies are taking advantage of a narrow window before the state steps in with its own capital raisings. Since the start of the week, Hydraulic Machines & Systems, Russia’s leading pump manufacturer, and Koks, a pig iron and coking coal group, have announced price ranges for their upcoming listings. Steel pipe maker Chelpipe is to announce its range as early as today.

new version of iphone set to have “wave and pay” technology
Apple is expected to install “wave and pay” technology for the next version of its iPhone, boosting mobile commerce and potentially giving the company a big piece of the multibillion-dollar transaction industry.

REAL ESTATE FUND PRIMED FOR FLOTATION
The UK’s first listed real estate mezzanine finance fund is being lined up for flotation later this year to target a growing funding gap in the debt-constrained property market. Duet Private Equity is in talks with investors about backing the listed investment vehicle that will buy and originate property-backed debt.

CALA CALLS IN ROTHSCHILD TO REVIEW STRATEGY
Cala Group, the bank-held housebuilder, has called in Rothschild to put together a business plan, paving the way for debt reduction and a possible sale. The move could herald a directional shift by housebuilders under the auspices of the banks.

THE TIMES

MOD LAUNCHES ASSAULT ON COSTS WITH INQUIRY INTO CONTRACTS
The Government will announce the first big review of its relationship with monopoly suppliers in more than four decades today as it tries to save taxpayers’ money. The review will be led by the Ministry of Defence, which spends about £9bn a year with companies on a non-competitive basis. Equipment such as nuclear submarines can usually be bought only from a single supplier, so contracts have to be negotiated without the benefit of competitive pressure to keep costs down.

GROSVENOR DECIDES SHARE OF QUID IS TOO TEMPTING
The Duke of Westminster’s property company has swooped on €350m (£303m) of shopping centres being sold by one of Europe’s biggest listed property groups.

The Daily Telegraph

HIGH HEATING OIL PRICES SPARK OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING INQUIRY
Consumer complaints about high prices for heating oil this winter have led the Office of Fair Trading to launch inquiry into the UK’s domestic market. Around six per cent of households rely on heating oil, many in remote areas away from mains supplies. The watchdog said it would investigate heating oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) suppliers, who provide energy to 2.5m people not connected to the gas grid.

WORRYING GROWTH FIGURES DASH HOPES FOR JOB RECOVERY
Finding a job in today’s desolate labour market is about to get much harder. Yesterday’s disappointing growth figures send a very worrying signal to the 2.5m people already out of work, let alone those about to be made redundant.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

SIEMENS'S PROFIT RISES ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY
German industrial conglomerate Siemens yesterday said its net profit in the first quarter rose 16 per cent from a year earlier, as it benefited from a recovering global economy and increased spending on big-ticket items. Munich-based Siemens, a barometer for the world’s manufacturing industry with around 410,000 employees in 190 countries and products that span hospital equipment to power turbines, posted a net profit of €1.72bn (£1.09bn) for the quarter ended 31 December, up from €1.48bn a year earlier.

GOLD SLIPS TO 3-MONTH LOW
Gold futures fell to a three-month low yesterday as investors continued looking for a bottom amid the metal’s ongoing correction. It was the metal’s lowest close since 27 October.