WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

BANKING QUINTET UNITE FOR HEDGING TOOL
Five banks have joined forces to create a hedging tool designed to improve the health of their balance sheets and protect them against market sell-offs as international regulations force institutions to increase the quality of their assets. Barclays Capital, HSBC, Lloyds, Nomura and UBS are to launch a market in derivatives – overseen by the Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association – aimed at reducing funding costs and boosting profits in the sterling markets.

LUKOIL CHIEF TO SHAKE UP ARCTIC OIL
Private resources companies will soon be allowed access to Russia’s vast Arctic oil and gasfields, and the country’s tax system will be changed to promote growth in the sector, according to the chief executive of Lukoil. Vagit Alekperov, chief executive of the Russian oil major, said that the policy of maintaining the offshore Arctic as the exclusive preserve of state groups Gazprom and Rosneft had “yielded no positive results” and would soon be abolished.

TAN TO SIMPLIFY STRUCTURE AT BUMI
The Indonesian entrepreneur who bailed out the country’s powerful Bakrie family by buying a $1bn stake in coal miner Bumi plc is to implement a potentially major restructuring programme when he becomes the company’s executive chairman. Samin Tan is to replace Nat Rothschild at a board meeting on 26 March.

THE TIMES

BARCLAY BROTHERS FACE COURT BATTLE FOR LUXURY HOTEL GROUP
The tycoons who own the Daily Telegraph and the Ritz Hotel will today face accusations in the High Court that they led a conspiracy to seize control of three of London’s plushest hotels by illegal means. Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay are the principal defendants in a case brought by Paddy McKillen.

NATIONS SPLIT OVER NEXT WORLD BANK CHIEF
Half a dozen countries have announced their intention to support an outside candidate for the presidency of the World Bank, in a move that will give the White House a headache.

The Daily Telegraph

BARCLAYS APOLOGISES TO FSA AFTER IMPOSING SWAPS SECRECY CLAUSE ON CUSTOMERS
Barclays has been forced to formally apologise to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after evidence uncovered by The Telegraph revealed that the bank had demanded its clients withhold information from the regulator over the sale of controversial “swap” products.

SIEMENS IN TALKS TO BUY EXPRO’S MANUFACTURING ARM FOR $650M
Expro International, the Aberdeen-based oil services business, is in talks to sell its manufacturing business to Siemens for $650m (£410m). The sale follows a strategic review of a division.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPE

GM PUSHES FOR BROADER PEUGEOT DEAL
General Motors and France’s Peugeot Citroen aim to begin joint development of at least two passenger cars by this fall, GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said, describing the new alliance between the companies as a changed way of doing business for the Detroit auto maker. The cars are likely to go on sale by 2016 in global markets, Akerson said.

FORMER DISSIDENT IS ELECTED AS GERMAN PRESIDENT
Joachim Gauck, a pastor-turned-dissident in the former East Germany, was elected Germany’s head of state yesterday.