What the other papers say this morning

FINANCIAL TIMES

TOP 10 HEDGE FUNDS MAKE $28BN
The top 10 hedge funds made $28bn for clients in the second half of last year, $2bn more than the net profits of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Barclays and HSBC combined, according to new data. Even the biggest of the hedge funds have only a few hundred employees, while the six banks employ 1m between them.

SAUDI STOCKS HIT BY FEARS OF UNREST
Saudi Arabia’s stock market, the largest and most liquid in the Arab world, suffered its worst decline since November 2008, amid concerns that unrest in the Middle East could spread to the world’s largest oil exporter. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index slid 6.8 per cent yesterday. The index has now declined for 12 consecutive trading sessions – its longest losing streak since 1998.

SCANDAL LEADS DIOR TO FIRE GALLIANO
Christian Dior moved to protect its reputation by firing John Galliano, its star designer, for professional misconduct over the scandal surrounding allegedly anti-Semitic comments. The fashion house said its decision was prompted by the release of “particularly odious” comments in a video of Mr Galliano on Monday.

HSBC SUSPENDS US HOME SEIZURES
HSBC has temporarily suspended US foreclosures after regulators found “deficiencies” in its procedures. The bank could face monetary fines as a result. The disclosure, contained in the annual report, is the first time HSBC has publicly admitted to problems with its foreclosure processes. Last autumn, the largest mortgage servicers temporarily suspended home seizures

THE TIMES

UNILEVER LANDS DISCOUNT BLOW IN CLEANING BATTLE
India’s biggest shopkeepers have stopped ordering Dettol and Harpic after a bitter dispute over Reckitt Benckiser’s prices — and Unilever has swooped to capitalise on the boycott by offering discounts on its rival cleaning products. The two British-listed groups are fighting to control a booming consumer goods market.

EIRCOM SEEKS EXTRA CASH TO KEEP BANKS AT BAY
Eircom will hold crucial talks with its lenders next month after admitting that it was in serious danger of breaching its banking covenants within three months. Eircom, majority-owned by a unit of the Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek, carries €3.75bn (£3.2bn) of debt on its books and will seek an injection of new funds from shareholders.

The Daily Telegraph

BRITISH TROOPS ON FRONT LINE IN AFGHANISTAN TOLD THEY FACE THE SACK
Almost the entire contingent of Britain’s 10,000 troops in Afghanistan have been told they could be sacked within months after ministers disclosed plans to get rid of one in 10 members of the Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defence has announced the full scale of redundancies that will take place in the Army, RAF and Royal Navy.

SUPERMARKETS ARE RAISING PRICES FASTER THAN INFLATION, SAYS UBS
Supermarkets are ripping off British shoppers by raising food prices faster than inflation, risking another competition inquiry, the investment bank UBS has warned. According to the bank's analysis, commodity price inflation in the past few months would justify a 3-3.5 per cent increase.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

MARKETS REACT TEPIDLY TO HUNGARY DEBT PLAN
Hungary’s government, under pressure from capital markets and European Union budget monitors, pledged to sharply shrink its deficit and slash public debt over the next three years, but investors reacted coolly, with many saying the plans were too short on specifics. The overall size of spending reductions laid out Tuesday appeared larger than many had expected.

TWITTER BIG ON SMALLER ADVERTISERS
Twitter is a hot property among investors, who are pumping up the company's valuation. But whether the start-up can live up to its multibillion-dollar appraisal depends on the likes of David Szetela, who holds the purse strings of numerous small and medium-sized advertisers.