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In the papers: Motorola offering set to take on iPhone

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The Times 

Payday lenders exploited poor as Office of Fair Trading stood by, say MPs: The Office of Fair Trading is lambasted by a parliamentary committee as “ineffective and timid” in failing to stamp out sharp practice in the payday loans industry. 

Battersea to stand tall with £100 million facelift: London’s most talked-about chimneys, which have graced album covers, appeared in music videos and filled acres of newspaper columns, are to get a long overdue makeover. The Malaysian owners of Battersea power station said that they would begin a £100 million restoration of the brick building and four white chimneys of one of the capital’s most familiar landmarks. 

Transaction tax to be watered down after Europe stages all-out attack: The European Union is rowing back on its plan for an 11-nation tax on financial transactions after criticism from France and Germany, and even the reduced version is unlikely to go ahead as planned in January, it emerged. 

BT ditches Yahoo! and goes solo in broadband battle: BT has dumped its long-term content partner Yahoo! to launch its own internet service for the first time in a decade. The company will switch all of its six million e-mail accounts to a new supplier — Critical Path — this year. 

Americans edged out in race to buy RBS branches: Two big American buyout companies and several other bidders have been edged out of the race to buy more than 300 Royal Bank of Scotland branches. 

Harvey Nicks finally enters comfort zone: Harvey Nichols is preparing for its first expansion in Britain for five years, but the ill winds of the economy cannot be blamed for the hiatus. Rather, it is the ill winds of the West Midlands. 

The Independent 

Motorola targets iPhone as Google goes on attack: The rivalry between technology heavyweights Apple and Google is set to heat up again as the latter’s Motorola Mobility unit prepares to release a new smartphone designed to take on the iPhone just as it struggles to hold onto its market share. 

Octo attracts private equity: An Italian company that makes black boxes to help insurers track drivers has attracted the attention of private-equity firms including Apax, Carlyle and TPG. 

Cash-rich Electra has the edge on rivals in acquisitions hunt: Electra Private Equity said it expects to gain the upper hand this year on rivals struggling to raise new funds to invest. 

House prices are racing ahead as stimulus for the market kicks in: House prices are rising at the fastest annual pace for 18 months as the Government’s steroid boost for the property market kicks in, Nationwide said. 

The Guardian 

Consumer confidence edges up as triple-dip recession fears recede: The monthly survey from the polling group GfK recorded a five-point jump in its confidence barometer in May, continuing its upward trend since the turn of the year. 

Goldman Sachs receives 17,000 applications for internship programme: The New York-based banking powerhouse appears to have no trouble appealing to bright young students, following the 2008 financial crisis where it faced public outrage – and accusations last year that it mistreated clients, who were allegedly referred to as “muppets”. 

Amazon opens office for 1,600 staff in London: Amazon is opening an office for 1,600 staff in central London as the internet retailer seeks to expand its U.K. business. 

Singapore Airlines announces $17 billion aircraft order from Airbus and Boeing: Singapore Airlines has announced new aircraft orders valued at more than $17 billion (£11.3 billion) shared between the big two manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing. 

Daily Mail 

B&Q launches household repair service to kick-start its revenues: B&Q Owner Kingfisher is to rival Pimlico Plumbers with its own network of tradesmen tasked with carrying out household repairs. Britain’s largest DIY retailer used a disappointing first quarter update to launch the Homefit service where plumbers, electricians and handymen will install boilers, lay carpets and fit alarms for a fixed price. 

Cineworld to press on with Picturehouse acquisition: Cineworld will press on with its acquisition of independent cinema chain Picturehouse, even if it is forced to sell some sites to satisfy competition concerns. 

Jockey Club in the winner’s enclosure with £25 million bond: The Jockey Club declared on Thursday its retail bond a winner after raising nearly £25 million far more than the £15 million target. The racecourse Owner, which owns 15 venues including Aintree, Cheltenham and Epsom, said punters invested £24.7 million in its Racecourse Bond. 

Daily Express 

Severn Trent turns on the dividend taps: The utility, which branded as inadequate a bid from an investment consortium, believed to have valued it at about £4.7 billion, increased its annual dividend by 8.2% to 75.85p and pledged another rise this year. 

Genel hits oil in Iraq: Genel Energy, the exploration company headed by former BP Chief Tony Hayward, and partner Gulf Keystone Petroleum have revealed a “significant” oil discovery in Iraq. 

Rolls-Royce secures big Singapore Airlines order: Rolls is to supply its Trent XWB engines for the 30 Airbus A350-900 airliners, which are part of orders for 60 aircraft worth £11.2 billion placed by the South-east Asian flag carrier. 

City A.M. 

Capital spend to rise from 2015: Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, promised that an extra £3 billion per year would be allocated for capital spending from 2015 during a speech to the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. 

EU hedge rules await thumbs up from CFTC: European financial regulators have failed to strike a deal with U.S. watchdog the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over incoming hedge fund rules, just weeks before the new regime is due to come into force. 

Sony consults banks over its label business: Sony has tapped Morgan Stanley and Citigroup to help sound out options for its entertainment business, reports said. 

Headwinds are likely to slow O’Leary for a while: The saga of Michael O’Leary’s pursuit of Aer Lingus is showing no signs of coming to an end. After his surprise £595 million bid for the 70% of Ryanair’s Irish baby brother he doesn’t already own was blocked by the European Commission last summer, the outspoken Chief Executive is understandably bearing something of a grudge towards the antitrust authorities. 

Capital & Counties takes control of Earls Court office skyscraper: Capital and Counties (Capco), the developer behind the £8 billion regeneration of Earls Court, has added another building to its vast estate after taking full ownership of the Empress State Building. 


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