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Friday newspaper round-up: Cyprus, Portugal, BP…

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Cyprus must find extra €6bn for bailout; Portugal may need second international rescue; shale gas could boost UK economy, says BP boss.

Cyprus needs to find an extra €6bn to contribute to its own bailout, pushing the aid bill to €23bn, according to a leaked draft of an updated rescue plan. The Guardian says that much of this shortfall is expected to come from savers at its struggling banks.

Portugal could struggle to avoid a second international rescue even if it, alongside Ireland, is granted more time to repay its existing bailout loans by eurozone finance ministers meeting in Dublin on Friday, the Financial Times says.

BP‘s boss has said that shale gas could provide “great economic benefits” to the UK economy and could bring down high gas prices, reports The Telegraph. Bob Dudley said that while BP is not currently involved in shale-gas exploration, it “doesn’t mean we won’t be in the future”.

The Independent says that fund manager Standard Life Investments, has called for oil group BP to shake up its remuneration code. “We are concerned that the executives have the potential to receive significant rewards for achieving unchallenging performance targets, which, as a matter of principle, we oppose,” said the the firm’s head of governance and stewardship.

China‘s foreign exchange reserves swelled to $3.44 trillion in the first quarter, and a surge in credit growth led to fresh warnings over the precarious levels of debt building in its financial system, The Times writes. This was $128bn more than the previous quarter.

The Times says that the Debt Management Office sold £1.6bn of index-proof bonds yesterday at a yield of -1.26%, the lowest since they were first offered in the 1980s. The paper said: “The super-low yield reflected strong demand that was in part a result of the Treasury’s decision last month to loosen the Bank of England’s remit, making it easier for it to tolerate overshoots of its 2.0% inflation target, strategists argued.”

Yum Brands, the owner of KFC, has warned that the deadly outbreak of avian flu would have a “significant, negative impact” on sales at KFC stores in China this month, reports The Independent.

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