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The Friday Press Roundup

Business Financial Newswire

A brief summary of the day's main business comment...

Lex Column: Broker-dealer funding -- how much fun to be a treasurer at an investment bank right now? Funding costs for long-term debt - which dominates the broker-dealers' funding - have soared

Targeting UBS -- far from rubbing in the pain, Luqman Arnold's letter to an embattled UBS reads more like a soothing hand. Investors in the Swiss bank have endured $38 billion of writedowns and watched their shares fall 60% since last year's highs

Arrivederci Alitalia -- is Alitalia finally about to succumb? Air France-KLM walked away from its 40 million offer for state-dominated Alitalia, after the airline's famously recalcitrant unions refused to agree to its terms

US recession and markets -- something does not add up. There is a strengthening consensus that the US is in or near recession. The turmoil in credit and housing markets is well-known. That is starting to creep into the real economy

UK bank lending -- apply for a mortgage in the UK these days with less than a 10% deposit and chances are the computer will say no

Nomura overseas -- talk of Nomura using London as a platform to build its overseas investment banking operations has failed to set pulses racing. The Japanese brokerage has not travelled well

Aussie rules -- who says you don't kick a dog when it's down? Hedge funds and other investors in Australia's beleaguered stock market are doing just that.

Lombard: Marks and Spencer explains just why Sir Stuart Rose's promotion isn't pants -- Courting catastrophe at Lloyd's -- Sell shares a storm in a CGT-cup

Small Talk: Superconductors could hit the right note for Zenergy -- Ambitious aim of Asia Distribution Solutions

Other comment: Jupiter Ecology Fund: in the shade, but evergreen; Trimmer Cadbury sweets on talk of becoming target

Tempus: Worth hanging on to Marston's -- Investors may wish to take profits in Mothercare -- Buy Afren on weakness

Business Commentary: Acacia Avenue could catch Commercial Street chill -- Insurers laugh all the way -- Russia's dangerous heritage

Other comment: Influential analyst Jim Prevor, raises fresh doubts over Tesco's US venture; White Nile slips on reports it will not get rights to explore southern Sudan

Talk of a 15 million contract win for Hampson Industries

Ithaca Energy a tiddler to watch

Questor: Buy Mothercare -- Avoid Rank Group -- Buy Afren

Comment: Marks & Spencer row shows worrying erosion of shareholder trust -- Cutting rates too far too soon will store up trouble -- The non-doms tax farce has a tragic dimension

Other comment: Heavy trading in FKI as investors anticipate a bid

Viewpoint: It comes to the crunch for the Bank of England -- More turbulence for British Airways

Other comment: Interview Andrew Harrison, chief executive Carphone Warehouse

Investment Column: Hold Marston's for now -- SMG a cautious hold -- Hold Ambrian Capital

Outlook: George Soros thinks crisis is the worst since 1930s, but beware a similar regulatory response -- Marks & Spencer: shabby behaviour, but what can you do? -- Inspired rebasing by Alliance & Leicester

Other comment: BG Group fired up by expected gas price hike

Wolfson Microelectronics: iPhone demand hits Apple to the core

Bid hopes lift Intec Telecom Systems

Merchant House looks interesting

BG Group to benefit from gas price hike

Gossips reckon Cambrian Mining could be lining up a 50p-a-share bid for Coal International

VAT refund hopes support PNC Telecom