WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

THREAT TO UK ACCESS TO VENTURE CAPITAL
European rules on state aid have jeopardised small UK companies’ access to venture capital funding worth hundreds of millions of pounds each year, placing further strain on a sector already starved of credit. Under a measure included in the Finance Bill, venture capital trusts that invest in small growth companies could lose generous tax benefits as a result of a new cap on state-backed investment sources.

ROTHSCHILDS EYE CROSS-CHANNEL UNITY
The Rothschild family plans to secure “long-term control” over its international banking empire by merging its French and British assets into a single entity and implementing a new form of governance that provides immunity from hostile takeover.

TWEEDIE CRITICISES COSY AUDITOR TIES
Sir David Tweedie has added his voice to criticism of the decades-long relationships that bind auditors to the companies they are supposed to be vetting. The former chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board criticised the estimated 48 years that a FTSE 100 auditor remains in place on average. “I think 48 years is pretty cosy,” he said.

THE TIMES

OFCOM TO FOIL SHOCK HUGE PHONE BILLS
Dialling an 0800 number from a mobile phone could be free by the end of the year after Ofcom moved to clear up consumer confusion about the cost of calling a non-geographic number. It could reduce revenue for the telecoms industry by almost £1.5bn.

WINNERS ON GLOBAL MONEY-GO-ROUND
Indians living and working abroad will send at least $60bn to their friends and family in India this year — more than any other country in a trend set to deliver a boost to the country’s building industry.

The Daily Telegraph

SINGLE CURRENCY FLOATED DOWN UNDER
Australia and New Zealand will consider adopting a single currency under a proposal jointly floated by the countries’ productivity bodies. The two nations indicated a shared Trans-Tasman currency could reduce business costs but pointed to Europe as an example of possible downsides.

JOBS AT RISK AT UK PLASTICS COMPANY
Hundreds of jobs were left hanging in the balance on Wednesday after Birkby’s Plastics, the 145-year old manufacturer, called in receivers. The West Yorkshire-based company employs 370 workers.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

SETTLEMENT NEAR ON E-BOOK PRICING
Talks to resolve US and European price-fixing probes into e-books are heating up, with three international publishers inclined to settle the matter, according to people familiar with the matter.

AS CARBON PRICES SINK, UNEASE RISES
The market for carbon emissions is running out of gas. Prices of emission allowances, which award the holder the right to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, have tumbled this week to a record low. They are down 11 per cent from the start of the year. and now trade at less than one-fourth of their July 2008 value.