What the other papers say this morning - 30 April 2014

FINANCIAL TIMES

Borrowers driven to shadow banks
A US regulatory crackdown on the $600bn leveraged loan market is driving borrowers to alternative lenders known as “shadow banks”, according to market participants.

Bankers said the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had stepped up their policing of the market, which provides financing for big corporate buyouts. Following a review, officials told banks in January that they were not satisfied with their lending practices and instructed them to make only “rare” exceptions to 2013 guidelines that warned against granting loans greater than six times a company’s earnings.

Coalition’s £2bn school build fund
Dilapidated schools across England will be able to apply for new funding to repair their crumbling premises, under a £2bn extension to the coalition’s schools building programme to be announced this week.

Gazprom aims to mitigate sanctions
Gazprom said it was taking action to mitigate the impact of possible further western sanctions as it reported a 7 per cent drop in net profit last year.
The Russian state gas giant highlighted its plans to expand sales in Asia and said it was adopting incentives to encourage local sourcing among its suppliers and contractors.

THE TIMES

Sale could net Church £200m
The investment arm of the Church of England is sell part of one of the oldest landed estates in London, which could raise more than £200 million. The Church Commissioners has appointed JLL, a property consultancy, to sell its 64 per cent stake in the Pollen Estate at a time when demand for prime office and retail assets in the capital is high.

Afren bids to avoid pay humiliation
Afren, the London listed oil explorer, has attempted to head off another humiliating shareholder revolt over pay by scrapping controversial “exceptional performance awards” which helped its boss scoop almost £6m in 2012.

The Daily Telegraph

Assad regime using chemical weapons
President Bashar al-Assad is still using chemical weapons against civilians, a scientific analysis of samples from multiple gas attacks has shown.

In the first independent testing of its kind, conducted exclusively for The Telegraph, soil samples from the scene of three recent attacks in the country were collected by trained individuals and analysed by a chemical warfare expert.

Minister announces gambling curbs
The government is set to force the betting industry to give warnings about the amount of money players are risking on fixed-odds betting terminals.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

S&P lowers outlook on banks
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services issued broad actions on dozens of European banks, including a lowered outlook on 15 of those financial institutions, as the ratings firm sees likely diminished government support.

NBA Bans Clippers’ owner for life
National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver has announced that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling would be banned for life and fined $2.5m for making racist comments.