WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

OUTSOURCER SERCO TO CUT 500 JOBS
Serco, the FTSE 100 outsourcer, is to overhaul its management structure, axeing at least 500 jobs, as it adapts to tougher market conditions in the UK, according to people close to the company. The group, which runs services including London’s bicycle hire scheme and four prisons, is also creating a global business processing division, which will provide integrated frontline and back-office services to public and private sector organizations worldwide.

NYSE MERGER LOOKS UNLIKELY
Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of NYSE Euronext, has admitted he “misjudged” European antitrust authorities’ approach to his exchange’s attempted tie-up with Deutsche Börse, saying there was only a “glimmer of hope” the deal would succeed. His comments are the first sign the German and US groups have all but given up hope that European politicians will approve the deal after Brussels competition officials blocked it this month.

RETAILERS DEMAND MONTHLY RENT
High street retailers Clinton Cards, Monsoon, Accessorize and Sports Direct have taken a stand against the landlords of their shops, demanding the right to pay rents on a monthly rather than quarterly basis to ease cash flow pressures. The three retailers, who occupy 1,600 UK stores between them, are frustrated with the current system, which requires tenants to pay three months’ rent in advance, four times a year.

JP MORGAN CONSIDERED EURO EXIT
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, admitted the bank considered pulling out of the Eurozone’s troubled periphery on economic grounds but decided to stay for “largely social, and partially economic” reasons.

THE TIMES

OSBORNE TARGETS SUPER RICH
George Osborne is ready to crack down on the super-rich who avoid stamp duty when buying expensive homes. The Chancellor plans to raise millions of pounds by targeting those who dodge the five per cent levy by holding and trading their homes via offshore companies. The ruse costs the Treasury up to £1 billion a year

FRENCH POLL THREATENS THE CITY
François Hollande, the favourite to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as President of France, has threatened to scupper the EU’s economic rescue plan and undermine the City.  The socialist is tipped to win power in May and has set out a manifesto that declares war on financial services and promises to rip up the EU’s fiscal treaty, due to be approved on Monday. He also pledges a 15 per cent increase in taxes on bank profits.

The Daily Telegraph

CHANCELLOR TO REIN IN THE BANKS
The Treasury will today publish plans for a radical overhaul of financial regulation that will hand the chancellor new powers to take charge in a crisis and rein in the might of the Bank of England. The bill will make clear that responsibility lies with the chancellor whenever taxpayers’ money is at risk to avoid a repeat of the Northern Rock fiasco when Alistair Darling found he could not order the Bank to act.

SHOPPING CENTRE DEAL CONFUSING
Capital Shopping Centre’s agreement to buy land from its biggest shareholder Peel Group is “confusing”, according to City analysts. The FTSE 100 retail property group will pay an initial £13.3m to acquire land in Glasgow and a development plot in Malaga, Spain but could eventually pay about £100m because of clauses in the agreement.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

GINGRICH SURGES TO LEAD IN POLL
Newt Gingrich is outpacing Mitt Romney by a comfortable margin among Republican voters nationwide, but is showing evidence of the vulnerabilities that could hurt the former House speaker in a general election, according to a WSJ/NBC News poll. It found Republicans favoring Gingrich 37 per cent to 28 per cent over Romney. GOP voters gave the former House speaker credit for knowledge and experience

CATERPILLAR OPTIMISTIC FOR 2012
Caterpillar and other big manufacturers, feeling more upbeat about the global economic outlook, are promising further gains in earnings this year amid growing confidence that Europe's financial woes won’t tip the world into another slump. Caterpillar reported a 60 per cent leap in fourth-quarter earnings yesterday.