<strong>FINANCIAL TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>INTEL SEES WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY</strong><br />An ageing line-up of PCs and the arrival of Windows 7 will cause companies to start spending again on computers next year, according to the head of the world’s largest chipmaker. The comments by Paul Otellini, chief executive of Intel, underscore growing optimism in the technology industry that next year will see a return of their more profitable business of selling to companies rather than individual consumers.<br /><br /><strong>DEUTSCHE BANK PONDERS MEDIATION</strong><br />Deutsche Bank is considering whether to join a mediation process that could lead to the end of its long-running legal battle with Leo Kirch, the German media entrepreneur. Mr Kirch has been suing the bank for years after the collapse of his business empire.<br /><br /><strong>INTESA HAS SECOND THOUGHTS OVER €4BN AID</strong><br />Intesa Sanpaolo, one of Italy’s two biggest banks, may drop its request for €4bn ($5.7bn) in state aid in the latest sign that banks are desperate to cut ties with governments amid growing confidence in the sector. Corrado Passera, Intesa’s chief executive, told the Financial Times the bank may get by without an investment of so-called “Tremonti bonds”, which Italian banks would issue to the government in return for injections of state cash.<br /><br /><strong>INVESTMENT BANKS IN ASIA HIRING PUSH</strong><br />Investment banks are moving to increase headcount in China and India in anticipation of rising deal flows fuelled by strong growth rates in Asia’s largest developing economies. Banks had scaled back staffing across Asia amid a dearth of merger and acquisition activity, and stagnant capital markets.<br /><br /><strong>THE TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>PARTNERS AT SJ BERWIN FEEL PINCH AS CASH IS CONSERVED</strong><br />Partners in SJ Berwin are owed hundreds of thousands of pounds after the beleaguered City law firm delayed paying their share of profits for six months, it emerged yesterday.<br /><br />The firm, which suffered a 49 per cent fall in partners’ profits last year, made its last quarterly profit distribution to partners in February and suspended scheduled payments in May and August.<br /><br /><strong>RBS AND LLOYDS SET TO TAKE STAKES WITH PROPERTY COMPANIES IN REPOSSESSED SITES</strong><br />Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group are planning to take equity stakes worth millions of pounds in joint ventures with property companies on repossessed development projects and buildings in need of refurbishment.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph<br /><br />AMAZON ATTACKS GOOGLE E-BOOKS</strong><br />Internet bookseller Amazon has warned a US judge that Google, the online search giant, will stifle competition and break anti-trust laws if it is allowed to add millions of titles to its digital library. In a brief to US District Court Judge Denny Chin, Amazon said Google’s proposed settlement with authors and publishers was “the stuff of anti-trust nightmares”.<br /><br /><strong>£225 ENERGY BILL PENALTY FOR NOT USING WEB</strong><br />Nearly 14m households are being hit by a penalty of more than £200 for paying their energy bills in the traditional way, rather than by setting up an online account. Those customers who chose to pay by cash or cheque are paying on average £224 more than neighbours who opt to set up their gas and electricity account over the internet.<strong><br /><br />WALL STREET JOURNAL</strong><br /><br /><strong>AMERICAN APPAREL LAYS OFF WORKERS AMID IMMIGRATION PROBE</strong><br />Hip-clothing maker American Apparel will lay off more than one quarter of its factory work force in Los Angeles amid a probe by US immigration authorities -- an early indication of how the Obama administration’s crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants could play out.<br /><br /><strong>COURT DECISION DEALS BLOW TO CREDIT-RATING AGENCIES.</strong><br />Shares in two firms that own credit-rating agencies, Moody’s and McGraw-Hill, tumbled yesterday, after a court decision that rejected their longtime claim that the First Amendment protected them from lawsuits. The ruling is expected to spur more lawsuits and could apply to structured investment vehicles once valued as high as $400bn.