views

WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

<strong>FINANCIAL TIMES<br />THOUSANDS TRAPPED IN EARTHQUAKE</strong><br />Thousands of people lay trapped beneath rubble and at least 75 were killed after an earthquake devastated large swathes of Indonesia&rsquo;s West Sumatra province, according to government officials. Officials warned that the death toll from the 7.6-magnitude tremor &ndash; along the same faultline that yielded the earthquake that set off the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami &ndash; was likely to rise sharply.<br /><br /><strong>HELLMAN &amp; FRIEDMAN IN NEW FUND</strong><br />Hellman &amp; Friedman, the San Francisco buy-out group, has raised a new $8.8bn fund a year after pulling back on plans for a much larger amount, in the latest sign of a partial revival among private equity groups that escaped the worst excesses of the industry&rsquo;s bubble. The fund, due to be announced today, is among the biggest so far this year.<br /><br /><strong>SAC INVESTS IN FUND OF FORMER STAR TRADER</strong><br />SAC Capital, the secretive $16bn (&pound;10bn) hedge fund group run by Steve Cohen, has invested in a new London-based fund run by one of its former star traders. RWC Partners&rsquo; new US Absolute Alpha fund, run by Mike Corcell, is expected to launch today, according to people familiar with the situation. The fund has raised $350m &ndash; making it one of the largest UK launches to date.<br /><br /><strong>SONY LAUNCHES NEW PSP TO RECLAIM LOST GROUND</strong><br />Sony is launching a new version of its PlayStation-Portable today, as smart phones from the likes of Apple loom larger as rivals to the traditional handheld games consoles. Games console makers such as Sony, with its PSP, and Nintendo, with the DS, face increasing pressure from the rise in popularity of mobile phones with processors and graphics the equal of their own devices.<br /><br /><strong>THE TIMES<br />APPLEGARTH COMES IN FROM COLD TO JOIN APOLLO AS A SENIOR ADVISER</strong><br />Adam Applegarth, the former chief executive of Northern Rock, the nationalised bank, has landed a job with an American private equity firm, The Times has learnt. Applegarth has joined Apollo Management as a senior adviser to its European fund, which invests in loans that have turned sour.<br /><br /><strong>INFRASTRUCTURE CHANGE &lsquo;WILL FAST-TRACK PLANNING&rsquo;</strong><br />More than 50 of Britain&rsquo;s biggest energy projects, including wind farms, power stations, gas storage sites and high-voltage transmission lines, could be fast-tracked through the planning system under powers handed to the government today. In the biggest shake-up to Britain&rsquo;s planning regime in 60 years, the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), formally came into existence this month.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph</strong><br /><strong>OFT FINES RECRUITMENT AGENCIES &pound;40M FOR PRICE-FIXING</strong><br />Using the full force of its powers, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) yesterday made an example of the recruitment industry, slapping a &pound;39.27m fine on six companies for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. Quoted recruitment agent Hays bore the brunt with a &pound;30.36m fine.<br /><br /><strong>AUSSIE BANK TIPPED AS L&amp;G PREDATOR</strong><br />Legal &amp; General put in a strong performance for the fourth day in a row amid mounting speculation that an Australian financial services group is preparing a multi-billion pound takeover bid for the company. Traders now believe National Australia Bank (NAB), which yesterday said it had completed its acquisition of Aviva Australia Holdings (Aviva), is the mystery Australian company stalking the British life assurance business.<br /><br /><strong>WALL STREET JOURNAL<br />CHINA WANTS CITIGROUP TO EXPAND</strong><br />A top banking regulator in China said Citigroup&rsquo;s local operations should &ldquo;absolutely&rdquo; expand in the country, suggesting the US government&rsquo;s big stake in the bank isn&rsquo;t troubling Chinese regulators. Citigroup&rsquo;s China unit was &ldquo;very prudent and careful&rdquo;, Yan Qingmin, director of the Shanghai branch of the China Banking Regulatory Commission told The Wall Street Journal.<br /><br /><strong>NVIDIA TO INTRODUCE FASTER CHIPS</strong><br />Nvidia unveiled its next major leap in technology, vowing to deliver chips that speed up an array of computing chores as well as advancing its traditional stronghold in graphics. The Silicon Valley company demonstrated a new chip design, dubbed Fermi, that it said will target scientific and business applications beyond chores such as generating images in videogames.<br />