US INVESTMENT STILL FLOWING IN EUROPE - US investment in Ireland in 2003 was more than two and a half times greater than American investment in China, and profits of US companies in Ireland in the same year surged by 45%, reports the Irish Times.

The paper quotes from a report on the transatlantic economy, which concludes that despite political differences over Iraq, 2003 was a year of 'economic boom' in US-European relations.

The most significant winners were Ireland and Sweden, where more liberal and investor-friendly investment policies helped bolster investment flows, according to the report 'Partners in Prosperity' from Johns Hopkins University in Washington.

The authors cite the higher level of US investment in Ireland ($4.7 billion), compared with $1.7 billion in China, as an example of how US firms remain committed to Europe.


GERMANS GAINING, BUT TESCO STILL TOP - Superquinn and Dunnes Stores have lost ground to competitors, according to the latest market share figures for the Irish grocery industry reported in the Irish Independent.

The paper says the research, which covers the 12 weeks to March 28, when compared with the same period last year, shows that discount outlets Aldi and Lidl have gained market share.

The research also shows that Tesco retained its top position in the market, growing by 0.6 points to 24.7%.


MURDOCH TO END WAPPING PRINTING - News International, the UK arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, is seeking approval for a new £600m printing plant and the redevelopment of its Wapping headquarters in east London, according to the Financial Times.

The FT says executives at News Corp, the company's US parent group, are due to discuss the investment during annual budget and strategy meetings in New York this week.

The paper says Les Hinton, News International chairman, has prepared plans for ending print production at Wapping roughly 20 years after Mr Murdoch broke union power in the UK newspaper industry.


TREASURY'S FOI FEES CRITICISED - The Guardian says Britain's Treasury is being accused of attempting to sabotage the Freedom of Information Act, which comes into force in January, by introducing such big fees to find documents that most people will not have the money to apply.

The paper says charges of between £50 and £575 could rule out all but large commercial organisations from asking for information under the 'right to know' laws.

The fees are between 666% and 958% higher than ministers indicated when the bill passed through parliament four years ago. The charges would undermine Labour's commitment to freedom of information, which was made in a personal pledge by Tony Blair before the 1997 general election.