<b>FINANCIAL TIMES</b><br><br><b>UNIVERSAL MUSIC LICENSES SINATRA RIGHTS</b><br>Universal Music has secured the international rights to 38 albums recorded by Frank Sinatra, heralding an acceleration of plans to commercialise the entertainer's estate on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the release of My Way. <br><br><b>GAP PROFITS SLIP IN SECOND QUARTER</b><br>Gap, the US specialty clothing retailer, said yesterday that its second-quarter profits slipped slightly, as it slashed inventory and operating expenses to cope with falling sales.<br><br>Net income at Gap was $228m in the second three months of the year, compared with $229m, or 32 cents a year ago. The results beat estimates of Wall Street analysts, but revenues were off by 7 per cent to $3.25bn compared with the same period last year.<br><br><b>ODD COUPLE HOLDING TIGHT FOR TURBULENCE</b><br>Air China is firmly ensconced in the co-pilot's chair of one of Asia's largest carriers, after announcing a deal this week to boost its stake in Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways. China's flag carrier paid HK$6.3bn ($817m) to raise its holding in Cathay from 17.5 per cent to 29.99 per cent just shy of the threshold forcing it to launch a full takeover bid. <br><br><b>CHINA'S LENDING BOOM LIFTS ICBC</b><br>Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank by market value, posted a 3 per cent rise in net profit in the first half from a year earlier amid an unprecedented expansion in Chinese bank lending.<br><br>But the increase came on the back of a 17.2 per cent jump in ICBC's total assets as China's state-controlled banks rushed to extend loans to infrastructure and industrial projects to help boost flagging growth.<br><br><b>THE TIMES</b><br><br><b>ENERGY GROUPS ACCUSED OF SQUEEZING SMALL FIRMS</b><br>Britain's big energy companies are forcing as many as 250,000 small businesses to pay for their energy up to seven months in advance, it has emerged. Alistair Buchanan, chief executive of Ofgem, the energy regulator, called the companies including Scottish Power, British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, RWE npower and SSE to a meeting in London last week to express mounting concern about the practice, which it is feared could put companies into real difficulty.<br><br><b>SPIRAX-SARCO UPBEAT DESPITE FALL IN PROFITS TO 30M</b><br>Spirax-Sarco Engineering, the Cheltenham-based company that builds and maintains steam heating systems, suffered a slump in trade during the first half but was buoyed by the weak pound.<br><br><b>The Daily Telegraph<br><br>LONDON FUTURES EXCHANGE TO GIVE DATA ON OIL TRADES TO</b> <b>US</b><br>The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), London's futures marketplace, has agreed to hand the US regulator audit-trail data for all contracts it offers that are tied to New York trades. The US regulator, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has been investigating whether speculation has been causing oil price volatility in recent years. <br><br><b>SIG SEES TOUGH CONDITIONS CONTINUING FOR BUILDING INDUSTRY</b><br>SIG, the Sheffield-based insulation and roofing specialist, predicted tough trading conditions in the coming months while the building industry remains in the doldrums. "We expect trading in the near term to remain difficult and management therefore continues to run the business tightly," the company said.<b><br><br>WALL STREET JOURNAL<br><br>RAMADAN FEELS THE PINCH</b><br>The lavish banquets hosted by companies to woo Muslim clients as they break their fasts during Ramadan are the latest institution to fall victim to the financial crisis in the US. Companies are scaling back the events, called iftar receptions, seen as important opportunities to network with business partners against the backdrop of some of the city's most luxurious hotels.<br><br><b>TWO ARRESTS MADE OVER LONDON JEWEL HEIST</b> <br>Two men are in custody in connection with one of Britain's biggest jewel heists, police said yesterday. The Metropolitan Police said two men were arrested Wednesday by the Barnes Flying Squad, a specialist unit that deals with armed robberies and high-value thefts. Police launched a massive search afterthe heist.<b><br mce_bogus="1"></b>