Monday newspaper round-up: AstraZeneca, North Sea jobs, Glaxo...

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LONDON (ShareCast) - The Science Minister has lobbied the NHS to increase its use of an AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN - news) heart medicine, amid mounting political concern about the drugs company's commitment to British jobs. David Willetts has urged health officials to accelerate the uptake of Brilique, a blood thinner used to treat patients suffering from severe angina or heart attacks, which has sold poorly despite winning a green light from the NHS's cost-effectiveness watchdog in 2011. His intervention has emerged as Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca's new chief executive, re-examines priorities for research and development investment. Last year, the group announced 7,300 job losses worldwide and there are fears of further cuts at AstraZeneca's research hub at Alderley Park, Cheshire. [The Times]

North Sea employment is set to boom this year. Up to 50,000 new jobs are expected in Britain's oil and gas industry, according to analysis by a leading industry headhunter. The jobs bonanza will span from drillers and engineers to geologists, parts-makers and support-services staff and will take the total number employed in the UK portion of the North Sea to nearly half a million. [The Telegraph]

GlaxoSmithKline (Other OTC: GLAXF - news) , Britain's biggest pharmaceutical company, has been accused of "corporate greed" by a small business group for extending the amount of time it takes to pay its suppliers to up to three months. The drugs giant began extending its payment terms from 60 days at the end of last year to up to 90, The Daily Telegraph has learned. Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said GSK had shown "scant regard" for its small suppliers. [The Telegraph]

The chairman of Bumi plc has said that he will step down after seeing the Indonesian coalminer through its present crisis. Samin Tan made the statement ahead of the publication of a report by Macfarlanes, the law firm, into "financial irregularities" at Bumi Resources, the Jakarta-listed company part-owned by Bumi plc. A source said that Mr Tan would not be criticised in the report, a summary of which is due out this week. "I do not intend to stay as chairman any longer than the company needs me to," Mr Tan told Reuters. [The Times]

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) is likely to revive the controversy over excessive bonuses as it kicks off the banking results season this week by announcing total pay awards for its staff totalling more than £8bn. The investment bank is forecast to report on Wednesday that profits jumped to about $6.3bn (£3.9bn) last year, from $4.44bn in 2011, helped by strengthening revenues from bond and share trading. [The Independent]

Ministers and the British aerospace industry are preparing a co-ordinated response to the collapse of the £28bn merger between BAE Systems (LSE: BA.L - news) and EADS (Paris: NL0000235190 - news) , the owner of Airbus, amid fears the UK will miss out on a multibillion-pound manufacturing windfall from the next generation of passenger aircraft and helicopters. The government and UK-based aerospace companies including Rolls-Royce, GKN (LSE: GKN.L - news) , Bombardier (Toronto: BBD-A.TO - news) and AgustaWestland are drawing up a renewed strategic push for the industry that could be unveiled this month. It comes as the business minister, Michael Fallon, prepares to outline an export strategy for the marine industry on Monday. [The Guardian]

Eurozone countries facing Irish-style bank collapses will still have to shoulder a large portion of future bailouts if they want to receive any aid from the eurozone's €500bn rescue fund, according to a proposal seen by the Financial Times. The plan, circulated late last year among eurozone finance ministry officials, would force struggling countries to either invest in failing banks alongside the rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, or guarantee the ESM against any losses. By forcing burden-sharing on struggling countries, the plan raises questions about EU leaders' vow to "break the vicious circle" between failed banks and their host governments. [Financial Times]

Premium carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plans to create 800 jobs at its Solihull factory in the West Midlands due to demand in China, Russia and the United States, it has been reported. JLR, owned by India's Tata Motors, said earlier this month that its outlook for 2013 was positive after UK vehicle sales rose almost 20 per cent in 2012. The confirmation of the jobs boost was expected to be made ahead of the launch of the Detroit motor show which opens today. [The Scotsman]

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