January 22, 2013 / 1:15 AM / in 5 years

PRESS DIGEST - Financial Times - Jan 22

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Headlines Rules on office-flat conversion to ease link.reuters.com/keh45t

Weidmann warns of currency war risk link.reuters.com/qeh45t

Obama defends role of strong government link.reuters.com/seh45t Heathrow and BA did not act on snow alert link.reuters.com/heh45t

Grade to step down as Ocado chairman link.reuters.com/geh45t

Huawei in pledge to disclose more information link.reuters.com/veh45t

Fruit farmers look to foreign labour influx link.reuters.com/duh45t

Overview RULES ON OFFICE-FLAT CONVERSION TO EASE Developers will be able to convert office buildings into blocks of flats without asking councils for permission under radical changes to the English planning system. (link.reuters.com/keh45t) WEIDMANN WARNS OF CURRENCY WAR RISK The erosion of central bank independence around the world threatens to unleash a round of competitive exchange rate devaluations, which leading economies have so far avoided during the financial crisis, the president of Germany's Bundesbank warned. (link.reuters.com/qeh45t)

OBAMA DEFENDS ROLE OF STRONG GOVERNMENT Barack Obama mounted a vigorous defence of interventionist government and the role of a social safety net in an uplifting and uncompromising speech that marked the formal opening of his second term as president. (link.reuters.com/seh45t) HEATHROW AND BA DID NOT ACT ON SNOW ALERT The operator of Heathrow and airlines led by British Airways decided against taking pre-emptive measures to deal with snow that could have prevented the airport's descent into chaos on Friday, the Financial Times has learnt. (link.reuters.com/heh45t)

GRADE TO STEP DOWN AS OCADO CHAIRMAN Online grocer Ocado will reveal on Tuesday that Michael Grade will step down as chairman later this year. Grade has been chairman of Ocado for seven years and brought the lossmaking company to market in an 800 million pound float three years ago. (link.reuters.com/geh45t)

HUAWEI IN PLEDGE TO DISCLOSE MORE INFORMATION Huawei has pledged to start disclosing more detailed financial and shareholding information as the Chinese telecoms equipment maker tries to dispel fears over suspected ties to the Chinese military, which are hampering its global expansion. (link.reuters.com/veh45t)

FRUIT FARMERS LOOK TO FOREIGN LABOUR INFLUX British ministers are under pressure to allow migrant workers from Russia, Ukraine and Turkey into the UK to mitigate a predicted shortage of fruit pickers which is threatening the 3 billion pounds a year horticulture industry. (link.reuters.com/duh45t)

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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