WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

HEDGE FUNDS TOLD TO ACCEPT HIGH TAXES AS THE PRICE OF LONDON LIFE
Hedge funds should accept higher taxes as the cost of doing business in London and stop threatening to move elsewhere, according to one of the world’s best-known copper traders.
Michael Farmer, a Conservative party donor who runs the near-$1bn Red Kite metals hedge funds, is rare among managers in defending London, with many others telling the government that the 50 per cent top tax rate is hurting their ability to attract the best traders.

PHOENIX’S BOOK VALUE RISES BY £140M WITH ASSET RESTRUCTURING
Phoenix Group, the “zombie” life fund business formerly known as Pearl Group, has added about £140m to its book value by restructuring assets. The company said it could not give details about the release of capital ahead of its full-year results next Tuesday, but said the £139m addition to its embedded value was material.

LIBERTY TO BUY KABEL BW FOR €3.2BN
Liberty Global, the US cable operator, has agreed to buy Germany’s Kabel Baden-Württemberg for €3.2bn (£2.8bn) in what would be a leap towards national consolidation, provided antitrust officials give it the green light. People briefed on the matter said Liberty, which owns Germany’s Unity-Media, clinched the deal with Kabel BW’s owner EQT Partners after rival bidders dropped out.

SPECIALIST LITIGATION FUND TO RAISE $100M
A distressed-debt investment specialist, Commercial Intelligence Funds Group, aims to raise $100m for a new fund to finance lawsuits, debt claims and arbitration cases in emerging markets, which would be one of the biggest of its kind.

THE TIMES

ROYAL MAIL WIELDS AXE IN LONDON
Two distribution centres in the capital will be among 64 to close, cutting 1,700 jobs including 1,000 line managers Royal Mail plans to cut 1,700 jobs and close two of its main London distribution sites. About 1,000 line managers will lose their jobs, according to the scheme outlined yesterday, with 750 to go in London alone in the struggling company’s latest sweeping cull.

NEWS CORP BID DRAWS 40,000 SUBMISSIONS
Ministers have received nearly 40,000 submissions to the public consultation over News Corporation’s proposed bid to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB that it does not already own. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said that the consultation, had attracted more than 38,000 responses when it closed yesterday.

The Daily Telegraph

FORMULA ONE CLEARED OF MAKING $50M CORRUPTION PAYMENTS
Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone claims an investigation has cleared his business of any wrongdoing in connection with allegedly corrupt payments made in connection with the sport’s sale to private equity firm CVC. The outcome of the investigation, carried out by Ernst & Young and Freshfields, should stop the scandal casting a shadow over this weekend’s start of the F1 season.

SOUTHERN CROSS RISES ON BOARD SHAKE-UP
Beleaguered care homes business Southern Cross clawed back some of its recent losses as it announced a shake-up of its board ahead of a major restructuring. Last week the firm saw its shares crash 65 per cent when it announced the end of an offer period for potential private equity bids.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

RUSSIA TO INVEST $10BN IN FUND
Russia will invest $10bn (£6.1m) in a new direct investment fund it is setting up to attract foreign investment in an attempt to help modernize the economy, a government official said yesterday. The Kremlin is betting that foreign investors will be more likely to invest in Russian business with the state as a partner, a possible safeguard against loss.

DOLCE & GABBANA EXPANDING IN CHINA
Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana unveiled plans for 15 new stores across China in an effort to boost business in the world’s fastest-growing luxury-goods market. The company currently operates 26 stores in China, including Hong Kong. The fashion house said the 15 new boutiques will be opened within the next two years.