WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

DEUTSCHE BANK TARGETS FORCED SALES OF HEDGE FUNDS’ PROBLEM ASSETS
Deutsche Bank is preparing to launch a fund to snap up investors’ illiquid or damaged holdings in hedge funds that have failed to recover since the financial crisis. The bank estimates that, three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, investors are sitting on between $80bn and $100bn of hard-to-sell hedge fund assets that could prove lucrative in the coming years.

BANKERS BRACED FOR JOB LOSSES
Nervous investment bankers are contacting headhunters in anticipation of a new wave of redundancies this year, while those already laid off are increasingly willing to accept temporary roles or positions overseas, according to senior figures in London’s recruitment industry.

The past year has brought a series of job-cutting announcements by “bulge bracket” banks, with many of the job losses happening in London.

TNT POST PREPARES FOR DIRECT CHALLENGE
TNT Post, Royal Mail’s largest private sector rival, plans to go head-to-head with the state-owned postal operator by launching its own delivery service for bulk and direct mail. The move would break Royal Mail’s near monopoly of the “final mile” of delivery of letters to homes and offices and could create thousands of jobs at TNT.

ANGER AT EU-INDIA CAR TRADE DEAL
Europe’s carmakers are crying foul over a proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and India, which they say would restrict access to one of their most important but highly protected markets. They are pressing their case before an EU-India summit.

THE TIMES

BIDDERS PREPARE TO FORM A QUEUE FOR FASHION CHAIN
Up to ten potential suitors are expected to lodge bids for Peacocks today before a potential sale next month. The retailer’s administrator KPMG expects to receive expressions of interest from trade and private equity groups, with the likes of Edinburgh Woollen Mill and OpCapita considering their options. Despite making an operating profit, the discount fashion chain fell into administration this month as it struggled to meet interest repayments on its £240m debt.

MINERS ISSUE ULTIMATUM AFTER SECRET MEETING
The heads of the world’s biggest mining companies met in secret in Davos last week to discuss ways to halt the growing threat of resource nationalism. Governments have raised taxes to grab a share of commodity prices.

The Daily Telegraph

WIPRO BOSS AZIM PREMJI TO TRAIN UK STUDENTS IN BANGALORE
Azim Premji, the billionaire boss of Indian software group Wipro, is close to signing a deal with the Government to train British students in IT, engineering and software development – in Bangalore. Premji, the chairman of Wipro and India’s third richest man, has offered to take third-year students from British universities to the company’s headquarters in Bangalore for three months’ intensive study and nine months on-the-job training with a view to returning them fit for work in the UK.

ACAS WARNS NEW TRIBUNAL RULES WILL LEAD TO MORE STAFF DISPUTES
Fewer companies will bother trying to resolve staff disputes in future as they hedge their bets that workers cannot afford to bring a claim to tribunal under new rules, according to ACAS.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPE

EXXON MOBIL TO SELL JAPAN ARM
Exxon Mobil Corp. said it would restructure its Japan operations, announcing plans to sell its subsidiary in the country for ¥300bn (£2.5bn) and to give up control of refiner TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK. Under the deal, TonenGeneral will acquire 99 per cent of the issued shares of the Exxon subsidiary, Exxon Mobil Yugen Kaisha. Currently, the subsidiary is wholly owned by the US-based company.

LAW FIRMS SQUEEZE ASSOCIATES
Law firms are finally starting to recover from the recession, but they aren’t taking associates along for the ride. Even as profits return, cautious partners with one eye on damaged balance sheets and the other on stingy clients plan to hang onto the lean silhouettes they acquired during the downturn.