WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

SURGE IN UK CORPORATE BONDS
Sterling corporate bond issuance is soaring, but euro-denominated bond sales are at a six-year low – as more companies turn to the relative stability of the London market amid Europe’s financial turmoil. UK and international companies have sold more than $42bn worth of sterling-denominated bonds so far this year.

EU EYES BIG FINES FOR PRIVACY BREACHES
Businesses breaching European Union privacy rules will face fines of up to five per cent of their global turnover under sweeping proposals to be unveiled next month. In the first significant update of data protection legislation since 1995, companies found to have mishandled any personal data they hold will face the highest levels of fines, which could extend to billions of euros for large multinationals.

UK BANKS FACE HIGHER FINANCING COSTS
Banks face paying more to raise finance in traditional bond markets – and some will continue to be locked out completely – as a growing demand for collateral from other lenders is undermining the strength of their balance sheets, the Bank of England has warned. The UK central bank said that the issue of secured lending to banks is of growing concern to regulators and markets.

ANGLO CHIEF UNDER PRESSURE OVER CHILE FIGHT
Cynthia Carroll, chief executive of Anglo American, is under pressure to resolve a row in Chile or risk the wrath of a significant number of leading shareholders, who will demand changes at the top of the mining group unless the dispute is settled quickly, according to people familiar with the situation.

THE TIMES

BLOOMBERG’S TEMPLE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY
The financial media organisation wants to erect one of the City’s most significant buildings within yards of the Bank of England on a site it has called Bloomberg Square. The proposed scheme is in an archaeologically rich area of the City and will be home to a reconstructed Temple of Mithras, which was uncovered at the site in 1954.

BARCLAY BROTHERS PLAN HOTEL COUP THROUGH RIGHTS ISSUE
The Barclay brothers are poised to make a cash injection of about £130m into the Maybourne Hotel Group as part of their campaign to win outright control of the Claridge’s and Connaught operator. Sir David and Sir Frederick will put a proposal to this week’s board meeting to raise £200m of new equity.

The Daily Telegraph

PLEA BARGAINING FOR FINANCIAL CRIME SET TO COME INTO LAW EARLY NEXT YEAR
Plea bargaining to settle serious financial crimes could be introduced as early as next year according to politicians and leading legal experts. Research by The Daily Telegraph has shown leading City law firms and Government Ministers are looking at new rules on deferred prosecution agreements to be introduced in the next session of Parliament in May.

BOMBARDIER PLANT IN DERBY COULD BE SAVED BY STATE TRAIN AID
The taxpayer could end up meeting almost a third of the cost of a £250m contract designed to save the Bombardier trainmaking plant. Provision has been made for the Government to contribute £80m towards the cost of 130 new carriages on the London to Brighton line.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPE

GM WORKS ON FIX FOR VOLT BATTERY
General Motors is working on a fix to the battery of its Chevrolet Volt that would eliminate the risk of a post-crash fire and could be retrofitted onto existing vehicles, people familiar with the situation said yesterday. The people familiar stopped short of saying GM plans to recall existing Volts, but such a move likely would be necessary to repair cars already on the road.

ALTRIA ANNOUNCES QUARTERLY CHARGE OF $119M
Altria Group will record $119m in fourth-quarter charges stemming from two long-running lawsuits. The company’s Philip Morris USA unit will record a $62m pre-tax charge in the quarter related to two judgments in tobacco cases and will incur approximately $57m in interest costs related to the cases.