What the other papers say this morning


EDF seeks state backing on site
EDF Energy has asked the Treasury to guarantee some of the costs of the new nuclear reactors it will build in the UK, in a move likely to spark controversy for a government that has pledged not to provide public subsidies for the industry. The French company’s planned multibillion-pound nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, Somerset, was one of the UK’s “top five” infrastructure projects, and as such could be eligible for a state-backed guarantee, a person familiar with the matter said.

Companies hit by Venezuela move
Colgate-Palmolive, the toothpaste and soap maker, will suffer a one-off $120m (£76.7m) loss as a result of Venezuela’s decision to devalue its currency, the Bolivar, by 32 per cent, a move which is also posing a threat to the earnings of other US and European multinationals.

App allows sending funds abroad
Facebook users will soon be able to send remittances directly to friends almost anywhere in the world through a new online app, Azimo, developed by a UK start-up company.


Firms leave growth funds on table
The number of companies walking away from the Regional Growth Fund has nearly doubled since the autumn, while £100m of undistributed cash has been diverted into a rescue fund.

Barrister faces jail for evading tax
The crackdown by HM Revenue & Customs on middle-class tax dodgers received a boost yesterday with the conviction of senior barrister Rohan Pershad for failing to pay more than £600,000 in VAT.

The Daily Telegraph

Virgin Media delays bonus payments
Virgin Media, the pay-television business being bought by US giant Liberty Global, has invited staff to delay their bonuses so that they can avoid the top rate of tax. The company has told senior executives due to receive a bonus in March that they can postpone payment until after 6 April, when the top rate of income tax will fall from 50 per cent to 45 per cent. The move is expected to save around 150 executives an average of £7,000 each, but to cost the Treasury more than £1m. Though the move is legal, MPs condemned Virgin for “playing the game”.


Novo Nordisk stung by FDA elay
The outlook for Novo Nordisk’s position in its most important market, the US, turned gloomier after the US Food and Drug Administration said it couldn’t yet approve the company’s latest insulin products.

Judge clears Hostess to sell Twinkie
Hostess won permission to place a selection of its cake and bread assets, including the Twinkie brand, on the auction block as the baking firm sells off its business piece by piece.