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WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

NORTEL AIMS TO BLOCK PENSIONS CLAIM
Nortel Networks and its creditors are seeking to block the UK pensions regulator from pursuing a claim worth as much as £2.1bn ($3.3bn) against the company’s worldwide assets to cover the shortfall in its UK scheme.

The Canadian telecommunications equipment maker and its UK subsidiary filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in January 2009, leaving behind underfunded schemes not only in the UK but also in the US and Canada.

GERMAN STATES SEEK OPEL INJECTION FROM GM
Germany’s regional states are pushing General Motors to inject more equity into Opel as part of its restructuring plan, in yet another blow to the US carmaker’s ambition to turn round its ailing subsidiary with the help of €2.7bn ($3.67bn) in state aid from several European governments.

SPANISH BANKS FACE TOUGHER RULES
The Bank of Spain is expected to increase the provisions it demands of Spanish lenders to cover property bought from struggling real estate developers.

The central bank’s move would further dent bank profits already hit by economic recession, according to financial sources and bank analysts.

MOODY’S ESTIMATES UAE LENDERS HAVE $15BN OF EXPOSURE TO DUBAI WORLD
Banks based in the United Arab Emirates have $15bn of exposure to Dubai World, Moody’s estimated in a report on Monday, as the group prepares to present a restructuring proposal to creditors next month.

The rating agency said 12 rated UAE banks and the regional entity of HSBC could probably absorb losses of 40 per cent.

THE TIMES
ALBEMARLE SET TO EXPAND IN UK
Albemarle & Bond (A&B), the pawnbroker, is planning to double its number of outlets in the next five years to 250 and in the meantime take advantage of short-term lets in abandoned retail units to set up temporary pawn shops.

Britain’s pawnbrokers are booming because the price of gold — $1,113 an ounce last night — has nearly doubled since the beginning of the credit crisis. Harvey & Thompson, A&B’s main rival, has similar expansion plans.

SPORTS DIRECT TARGETS BLACKS STAKE TO STOP RESCUE
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has made an aggressive swoop on a 29 per cent stake in Blacks Leisure, the troubled retailer, that would allow it to vote against a rescue package proposed by the Blacks board at the annual meeting tomorrow.

THE Daily Telegraph
CPP FOUNDER HAMISH OGSTON SET FOR £200M PAYDAY
CPP Group, which operates in 14 countries and has 1,900 employees, insures credit cards and mobile phones, and also offers identity theft protection. It will begin marketing the business to investors this week, with a market listing expected by the end of next month.

ASIAN STOCK MARKETS DROP ON SURPRISE FED RATE RISE
The Federal Reserve said it would bump up the so-called "discount" lending rate by one-quarter point to 0.75pc from today, part of a pullback of the extraordinary aid it provided to fight the financial crisis.

Growing investor optimism about the strength of the US economy helped boost the Dow Jones industrial average by 3pc over the past three days.

WALL STREET JOURNAL
FRENCH BUY OIL AMID STRIKES
Workers at oil and gas giant Total’s French refineries continued their strike Monday with no resolution in sight, prompting long lines and fuel shortages in France amid panic buying by car owners.Those topping up their fuel tanks hadn't caused any significant fuel shortages so far yesterday and the strike had failed to spread to other oil companies, despite Total workers’ calls to other refining workers to join the industrial action as it moved into its second week.

EUROZONE AND GREEK STANDOFF OVER BAILOUT
A standoff between Greece and its euro-zone partners over the timing andterms of a potential rescue is nearing a crucial juncture as the cash-strapped country faces a key test of investor willingness to keep funding its ballooning deficit.