<strong>FINANCIAL TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>RIKSBANK BORROWS &euro;</strong><strong>3BN FROM ECB</strong><br />The European Central Bank (ECB) stepped in yesterday to help avert a Baltic financial crisis by lending &euro;3bn (&pound;2.6bn) to the central bank in Sweden, whose banks dominate the region&rsquo;s financial sector. The ECB move signalled the Frankfurt institution&rsquo;s willingness to shore up official European help for countries such as Latvia, which is fighting to avoid a disastrous devaluation of its currency.<br /><br /><strong>GE PUSHES FOR MID EAST PRESENCE</strong><br />General Electric, the US industrial group, will announce a $500m (&pound;305.5m) deal today to supply new gas and steam turbines to the Kingdom of Bahrain as the company continues to push for a greater presence in the Middle East to counteract troubles in its domestic market. Through the deal GE will supply advanced power equipment and services.<br /><br /><strong>ARKANDOR KEEN TO KEEP HOLD OF THOMAS COOK</strong><br />Arcandor insisted it had no immediate plans to hand over its controlling stake in Thomas Cook to creditor banks, following the German retailer&rsquo;s insolvency, setting the stage for a potentially drawn-out battle over the fate of its shareholding in the UK-listed tour operator. <br /><br /><strong>NEW YORK TIMES OPENS GLOBE SALE</strong><br />The New York Times has quietly begun presentations to potential buyers of The Boston Globe in recent weeks, but efforts to dispose of the loss-making newspaper have been complicated by a rejection of a package of wage and benefit cuts by the title&rsquo;s largest labour union this week. <br /><br /><strong>BUILDING SOCIETIES TO GET LIFELINE</strong><br />A Treasury white paper will this month hand a lifeline to building societies by allowing them to raise capital without losing their status as mutuals.<br /><br /><strong>THE TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>MANDELSON MEETS MAGNA OVER JOBS</strong><br />Lord Mandelson will meet executives of Magna in Berlin today to extract specific job commitments from Vauxhall&rsquo;s new Canadian owner. The peer is trying to force Magna to reveal how many of the 5,000 British jobs at Vauxhall&rsquo;s factories in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and in Luton will be guaranteed and for how long. It is understood that the talks today will be of an advanced nature.<br /><br /><strong>SMALL FIRMS TO SUFFER RELEGATION AS RBS HUNTS FOR PROFITS</strong><br />Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to transfer thousands of its small business customers to a separate division because it cannot make a profit out of them. The move will lead to some of them being treated more harshly than other customers, according to bankers who have contacted The Times.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph</strong><br /><br /><strong>NEW PROPERTY FUNDS SPARK RECOVERY HOPES</strong><br />A property company led by former Merrill Lynch boss Paul Roy has applied to float on Aim. NewRiver Retail Limited has become the latest venture to target distressed real estate assets and strengthening talk the battered UK market is reaching the bottom. It aims to raise up to &pound;250m to &ldquo;capitalise on the significant and rapid fall in capital values.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>ECB FEARS EUROZONE BANK TURMOIL</strong><br />The European Central Bank (ECB) is paying close attention to mounting difficulties at 25 banks deemed crucial to the health of the eurozone, fearing another wave of bank turmoil next year if the recession drags on. Dejan Krusec, the ECB&rsquo;s financial stability expert, said the banks can weather the ownturn so long as there is a rapid &ldquo;V-shaped&rdquo; recovery.<br /><br /><strong>WALL STREET JOURNAL</strong><br /><br /><strong>LEHMAN SUED OVER ARS SALES</strong><br />Two companies are suing Lehman Brothers Holdings for more than $190m (&pound;116m), alleging that the failed investment bank misled them into investing in auction-rate securities (ARS) and then left them holding millions of dollars in assets that they can&rsquo;t sell. Former clients Western Digital and Ceradyne accused the bank of fraud by selling them supposedly safe, liquid securities.<br /><br /><strong>FORMER APPLE EXEC TO LEAD PALM</strong><br />Palm named former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein as its chief executive, as the smart-phone maker steps up efforts to compete against the iPhone. Rubinstein, 52 years old, joined Palm as executive chairman in October 2007 -- having left his post in 2006 as senior vice president of Apple&rsquo;s iPod division -- in an attempt to help bring innovation back to the company.<br />