Friday Newspaper round up.

The Financial Times.

China’s economy grew 8.1 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, its slowest pace in nearly three years. With Europe struggling and the US recovery appearing to ebb, signs of strength from China, the world’s second-largest economy, could still help allay fears of a global slowdown. Despite the lower-than-expected growth figure, China’s economy picked up speed in March and economists said they expect higher growth in the months ahead,”

The Daily Telegraph.

Google reported a 61% increase in its net income for the first three months of the year and announced plans to split its stock two-for-one to preserve its leadership’s control over the company in the long term. The online search leader said on Thursday night that it wants to issue a new class of stock to shareholders, but the new shares won’t have any voting power. Under the plan, all current stockholders would get one share of the new Class C stock for each share they now own. This effectively splits Google’s stock price in half,”.

The Independent.
BP was given a bloody nose yesterday as 12% of its shareholders voted against top executive pay packages at a colourful annual general meeting in which environmental protesters were forcibly carried out of the building. Including abstentions, about 13.3% of BP shareholders who voted by proxy failed to back BP’s remuneration report. Their chief concern was the decision to award Chief Executive Bob Dudley £4.3m in salary and bonuses last year – a move which Pirc, the shareholder advisory group, recommended its members oppose,”

The Times.

Lloyds Banking Group is dumping more than half of its fund managers, prompting renewed speculation that the bank is exploring plans to sell its Scottish Widows insurance division. The Times has learnt that Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, which manages £143bn for savers and investors, is shutting down a string of its regional investment desks,”

The Guardian.

“Government hopes of an export-led recovery were dented on Thursday as the weakest trade figures for almost six months coincided with a warning from the World Trade Organisation that the turmoil in the Eurozone would act as a major drag on international commerce during 2012. Official data showed the sovereign debt crisis in the weaker countries of the monetary union already having an impact on UK firms, with exports to Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece all showing steep falls over the past yea”

Around 1,200 staff at bmi will lose their jobs after the takeover by British Airways, the airline has announced.BA has started consulting unions on how to integrate the remaining 1,500 jobs at Heathrow. It insists that without its £172m acquisition of the loss-making airline from Lufthansa by BA’s parent company IAG, all of the 2,700 jobs would have been lost,”

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