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WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

GOLDMAN ROLE IN LLOYDS DEAL IN SPOTLIGHT
Goldman Sachs was both an underwriter and an investor in Lloyds Banking Group’s vast refinancing deal late last year, the FT has learned, highlighting the potential conflicts of interest at the heart of the investment bank’s business model. According to four people involved in the capital raising, Goldman – a dealer manager on the debt portion of the £23.5bn transaction – demanded last-minute changes to the structure of a deal it was underwriting. This had the effect of benefiting its position as a bond investor.

JAMES MURDOCH AMBUSHES INDY EDITOR
Staff at The Independent newspaper have been stunned by an unexpected and angry visit to their offices by the rival newspaper proprietor James Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp Europe and Asia.

LLOYDS SHAREHOLDERS WARNED OVER BONUSES
Shareholders in Lloyds Banking Group are being urged to consider carefully the bank’s decision to award large bonuses to senior executives before they vote on its pay policy at a meeting next month.

BHP CHIEF PLAYS DOWN IMPACT OF SEC PROBE
The investigation by US regulators of BHP Billiton over its possible links to alleged corrupt practices will only have a “modest” impact on the world’s largest miner, its chief executive said on Thursday. Speaking for the first time since the miner disclosed the probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Marius Kloppers admitted that the allegations of illegal payments to government officials were a worrying threat to the group’s record.

THE TIMES

ROBOT BATTLES TO STEM DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL 5,000FT UNDER SEA
A team of engineers using an underwater robot was struggling last night to control one of the world’s most challenging oil spills after an explosion ripped apart and sank a rig leased by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. As fears grew for the safety of 11 workers still missing, BP and US officials were tackling what could be a major pollution incident using booms and dispersant chemicals.

THE BRAKES WILL STAY ON ECONOMIC REVIVAL
A blizzard of data over the past few days gives little reason to change the prevailing view of Britain’s economic prospects. The country is still muddling through towards a recovery of sorts but the dire state of public finances will make it a feeble upturn.

The Daily Telegraph

CHERYL COLE’S X FACTOR SUCCESS HELPS GIRLS ALOUD AMASS £30 MILLION
Cole's wealth - thanks to her advertising deals, X Factor judging and successful solo career - has risen by 150 per cent in the past year to £10 million. And figures to be published this weekend show her bandmates Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh each have around £5 million thanks to their string of hits.

APAX RUMOURED TO BE BUILDING A STAKE IN ADIDAS
Apax is rumoured to have built a secret stake in Adidas, triggering speculation the private equity firm could eventually launch a takeover of the sports footwear giant. Traders claim Apax, a private equity firm, secretly bought a 3.7per cent stake in Adidas late last year.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

G-20 CHIEFS TO PRESS FINANCE REFORM
Finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations will struggle this week to keep up the momentum on financial reform, as disagreements emerged over bank tax proposals being floated by the International Monetary Fund that could cost the financial sector as much as $2 trillion.

DEBT CRISES' NEW VICTIMS: RICH DEVELOPED ECONOMIES
With financial markets hyperventilating about the prospect of a debt default by the Greek government, the International Monetary Fund fretted aloud this week about the prospects for a sovereign debt crisis—centered on Europe. Since Mexico announced it couldn't pay its bank debts in 1982, poor emerging economies have been the origin and main victims of most big financial crises.