views

WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCE TIMES
DE SHAW MOBILISES TEAM TO BUY DISTRESSED ASSETS OF FUND RIVALS
DE Shaw, the third largest hedge fund, has established an in-house team to look at buying portfolios of distressed assets and is targeting the holdings of rival hedge funds. The DE Shaw Portfolio Acquisitions Unit, launched last year, aims to capitalise on the discounts at which many illiquid assets are still trading, as well as a desire among investors to cut loose portfolios that have yet to recover.

LLOYD’S OF LONDON BROADENS RANGE
Lloyd’s of London will broaden its product range as part of an effort to counter the steady shift towards catastrophe risks, especially in the US, that has taken place in the past decade. The insurance market, which is more than 300 years old, announced the move as part of its new three-year strategic plan.

SOTHEBY’S SUES CHINESE BUYERS
Sotheby’s is suing two mainland Chinese buyers for HK$2.1m ($27,000) in Hong Kong after they allegedly failed to pay for five Chinese paintings and an antique incense burner that they won at auctions last October. The disputes highlight a challenge for Sotheby’s, which is increasing its dealings with less experienced markets such as China, who are not familiar with international bidding rules.

AREVA TARGETS SOLAR POWER WITH US MOVE
Areva is looking to the sun to fuel its ambitions beyond atomic energy after acquiring a US start-up that will take France’s nuclear engineering champion into the solar power market for the first time. The French group, which has targeted €1bn ($1.4bn) in sales from non-nuclear renewable energy by 2012, yesterday announced the acquisition of Ausra, a developer of solar power technology.

THE TIMES
MYNERS ARGUES BONUSES ARE
BLEEDING PENSION FUNDS
Lord Myners will renew his attack on institutional investors this morning, telling them that an excessive bonus culture in the financial services industry is hitting British pensioners. The City Minister will use a speech to the National Association of Pension Funds to emphasise that the real losers in the failure of institutional pension funds to control bonuses are the funds’ own clients.

DANNII JOINS TWIGGY IN NEW M&S FASHION TEAM
The team of glamour girls famously recruited by Marks & Spencer to bring star appeal to its flagging women’s wear was summarily disbanded yesterday -- with only Twiggy surviving the cull. The company drafted in a new team, including Dannii Minogue, the singer.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
UK’S FIRST FLOATING BUS GEARS UP TO FERRY COMMUTERS
Stagecoach’s hopes that its trials of a new amphibious bus would go off without a hitch were dampened yesterday when the vehicle had to be dry-docked for repairs. The “amfibus” developed a minor technical glitch after its second crossing of the River Clyde, forcing the trial to be suspended while the vehicle was repaired.

HERMITAGE BOSS BILL BROWDER SUED BY RUSSIAN CONVICT
A Russian sawmill foreman convicted of a $230m (£150m) tax fraud is suing his victim, Bill Browder, founder of hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management, for allegedly defaming his “honour and dignity” by claiming he acted in collusion with the police. Victor Markelov is demanding $3,000 damages from Browder and two media outlets that published “lies”.

WALL STREET JOURNAL
GAZPROM TOUTS GROWTH PROSPECTS
Gazprom is seeking to reassure investors of its growth prospects, in the face of mounting questions about a looming supply glut that could depress European demand for Russian natural gas for years. Gazprom’s managers, in the midst of a roadshow that takes them to?Moscow, London and New York this month, are telling investors the company’s share of the?European natural gas market will grow from roughly a quarter now to nearly a third by 2020.

NOKIA DEFENDS FRAUD ALLEGATIONS
Nokia said yesterday it will “vigorously” defend itself against allegations of securities fraud after a class-action complaint was filed in New York. The handset maker said the complaint alleges fraud in connection with statements regarding production and sales of certain mobile devices.