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WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

PAULSON ASSURES INVESTORS OVER GOLDMAN FALLOUT
John Paulson, whose hedge fund profited from the transaction at the heart of the civil fraud charges filed in the US against Goldman Sachs, has pledged to his investors that he will bear the costs of any litigation brought against his company in the matter. Mr Paulson’s assertion that his funds would not be charged for potential litigation expenses came during a call with investors in late April. However, he emphasised that he did not expect any legal action to be taken against Paulson & Co.

MAYOR OF MILAN TELLS BANKS TO CHANGE
The politician at the centre of Europe’s first big criminal trial of the credit crisis has urged banks to stop putting short-term gain ahead of long-term relationships with their customers. Ahead of Thursday’s opening of a trial against JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Depfa, Letizia Moratti, mayor of Milan, rejected suggestions that Italy’s financial centre should have been a more sophisticated investor when dealing with derivatives, saying it had been duped.

INDIAN SUITORS PULL GULFSANDS OFFER
The two Indian state-owned oil companies stalking Gulfsands Petroleum have dropped their £380m takeover approach for the Syria-focused explorer.

MASTERCARD SEES CONSUMER REBOUND FANNING OUT GLOBALLY
MasterCard yesterday said it had benefited from a rebound in consumer spending, particularly in Asia and Latin America but which is slowly fanning across the globe. MasterCard said US purchase volumes turned positive in March and grew in April.

THE TIMES

IT HAS THE FLAG AND THE NAME – BUT IS IT BRITISH ENOUGH?
British Airways has been forced to prove itself sufficiently British to stay in the FTSE 100 after its proposed merger with Iberia. The new holding company for BA and Iberia will be called International Airlines and will be incorporated in Spain. It will also have a listing in Madrid, which according to FTSE rules makes the British flag carrier Spanish. BA is understood to have had three meetings with FTSE International, the company that arranges the FTSE 100.

BRITAIN READY TO SUPPLY ITS LAST LINE OF DEFENCE TO FIGHT OIL SPILLS
Half of Britain’s emergency stockpile of the chemical dispersants used to combat oil spills could be flown to the Gulf of Mexico under an emergency government plan. There are 600 tonnes ready to send.

The Daily Telegraph

MCALPINE DIVIDEND EXCEEDS PROFITS
Sir Robert McAlpine, the construction firm that is building the 2012 Olympic Stadium, paid its family owners £35m in dividends last year. The total payout to members of the McAlpine family was 40 per cent up on the previous year, despite profits after tax at the company falling from £37.9m in 2008 to £32.2m last year.

FOREX BROKER ODL ACCEPTS US TAKEOVER
The founders of one of Britain’s largest retail foreign exchange brokers have agreed to a takeover by a US rival as part of an ambitious plan to take on some of the biggest players in the highly-lucrative online trading market. ODL Group’s largest shareholders, yesterday sold their stake to US-based FXCM Holdings to create a business with 1,000 staff.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

EU MINISTERS TO SPEED UP TALKS ON AVIATION RULES
European Union ministers agreed to speed up talks on new aviation rules to allow the 27-country bloc to be more efficient in facing emergencies, such as the recent Icelandic volcano ash cloud. However, ministers didn’t give a warm reception to a commission proposal aimed at deferring airlines’ payments to air-traffic controllers, European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said.

GERMAN RETAIL GLOOM CONTINUES
German retail sales plummeted in March, indicating that domestic demand remains slack in light of uncertainties in the job market. Meantime, Spain’s monthly jobless claims fell for the first time since July, but the country’s unemployment remained among the highest in the developed world.