WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

SINO-FOREST DELAYS PUBLICATION OF FRAUD REVIEW
Sino-Forest, the Chinese forestry company fighting allegations of fraud, has delayed publication of its internal review into claims made by research outfit Muddy Waters that triggered a collapse in the company’s share price in June. An independent committee has presented an interim report to Sino-Forest’s board but needs more time to complete its work, the company said yesterday.

HSBC’S GERMAN ARM IN TALKS TO BUY PARTS OF WESTLB
HSBC’s German subsidiary has said it is in “constructive” talks with WestLB over the possible acquisition of parts of the stricken German Landesbank. HSBC’s interest is likely to be principally in WestLB’s corporate finance business, as it seeks to expand ties with Germany’s blue-chip companies.

PFIZER WINS CASE TO KEEP VIAGRA PATENT
Pfizer, the US pharmaceuticals company, said yesterday that it had won a closely watched patent case against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries that would block the generic drugmaker from selling an unbranded version of its blockbuster drug Viagra next year.

The decision came as a surprise to many analysts and will provide a boost to Pfizer, which is facing a sharp drop-off in revenues during the next two years as the patents expire on some of its best-selling drugs.

STATOIL SET TO RAMP UP GAS OUTPUT WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY ADVANCE
Statoil, the Norwegian state-controlled energy group, will today give the go-ahead to the installation of what will be the world’s first gas compressor on the seabed. The project, which is estimated to cost about NKr15bn (£1.7bn), will enable the company to extract greater volumes of gas from its Asgard field.

THE TIMES

ASDA TO ACCELERATE SMALLER STORE OPENINGS
Asda is intensifying its push into smaller stores as it seeks to catch-up with its Big Four rivals. The supermarket yesterday nearly doubled its target for small stores after the Netto shops it converted, following its acquisition last year, performed better than expected. It now wants to expand its division of “mini-Asdas” from about 170 stores to 250 within five years.

LOMBOK SHUTS UP SHOPS TO FOCUS ON INTERNET OFFERING
Lombok became the latest furniture retailer to succumb to the downturn yesterday when it went into administration. Privet Capital, which bought the company out of administration in 2009, has repurchased the three bestperforming stores and a House of Fraser concession.

The Daily Telegraph

PERMIRA'S ANIMALTASTIC PROVIMI NETS £297M PROFIT
Private equity firm Permira has signed a €1.5bn (£1.32bn) deal to sell Provimi – its animal nutrition business – to US food giant Cargill. The much anticipated sale will be welcome news for Permira’s investors who are about to be approached about a new €6.5bn buy-out fund.

BUFFET LAMBASTS BILLIONAIRE-FRIENDLY CONGRESS
Legendary investor Warren Buffett has said that America’s wealthiest have been “coddled long enough” by politicians in Washington, as the billionaire made his most outspoken plea yet that he should pay more tax.

Warren Buffett said: “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

BANKS EASE LENDING STANDARDS
Banks relaxed their lending standards further during recent months as competition intensified among financial institutions and demand increased for many types of loans, according to a Federal Reserve survey.

The findings from the Fed’s poll of banks’ senior loan officers indicate continued improvement in lending conditions heading into the third quarter, particularly among business customers.

AMERICAN MEDIA NO LONGER FOR SALE
The publisher of the National Enquirer is no longer up for sale, after the media company’s owners balked at an offer from Apollo Global Management, said people familiar with the matter. American Media had informally explored a sale earlier this year, the people said.