<strong>THE SUNDAYS<br />The Sunday Telegraph<br />BRITISH GAS AIMS TO BECOME TOP INSURANCE PROVIDER</strong><br />British Gas is gearing up to become one of the UK’s top 10 insurance companies and the provider of choice to its 4.5m customers. The Centrica-owned utility has been granted approval by the FSA to underwrite its own household and warranty products and is in the process of recruiting a new team to achieve its ambitions by 2011.<br /><br /><strong>GALA CORAL LENDERS MOVE TO BLOCK BID<br /></strong>Gala Coral’s mezzanine lenders will this week seek to block private equity firms Permira and Blackstone’s bid for control of the betting and gaming operator. The lenders, which include Intermediate Capital Group and Park Square, are to meet senior debt lenders over the next few days.<br /><strong><br />THE SUNDAY TIMES<br />BT SETS SPEEDIER NETWORK TARGET</strong><br />BT is upping the pace of building its superfast broadband network. The telecoms company hopes to run optical fibre past 4m homes by the end of 2010 amid rising confidence that it can persuade householders and companies to buy high-speed access from it. It had previously pledged to run the new network past 1.5m homes by next summer on the way to offering coverage to 10m by 2012.<br /><strong><br />GOVERNMENT PUTS KEY UK ASSETS ON BLOCK</strong><br />A catalogue of state assets, including the High Speed 1 rail link and the Dartford river crossing, will be put up for sale tomorrow as the government eyes a £10bn windfall from its latest privatisation programme. The Treasury will issue a prospectus of 18 assets it believes can be sold, along with a timetable for disposal.<br /><br /><strong>TODAY<br />FINANCIAL TIMES<br />KAZAKH GROUPS TO SHIFT AWAY FROM LONDON</strong><br />Companies from Kazakhstan plan to move part of their fundraising away from London, according to the country’s central bank governor, because UK investors failed to stand by the central Asian state during the financial crisis. “Over-relying on London was a mistake because too many people ran away in the crisis and proved to be our fair-weather friends,” said Grigory Marchenko in an interview.<br /><br /><strong>NATIONAL EXPRESS CLOSES IN ON NEW CHIEF<br /></strong>National Express is close to appointing Dean Finch, the boss of London Underground maintenance company Tube Lines, as its chief executive, ending months of uncertainty at the troubled bus and rail operator.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph<br />TESCO TO OPEN CUSTOMER-FREE ‘DARK STORES’<br /></strong>Supermarket giant Tesco is opening a network of “dark stores” which will never be visited by shoppers. The supermarkets, which are laid out in the same manner as normal stores, will be used exclusively by staff doing virtual shopping for online customers. <br /><br /><strong>FOUR SEASONS HEALTH CARE LENDERS TO WRITE OFF £800M OF DEBT IN EXCHANGE FOR STAKE<br /></strong>Britain’s biggest care home group is close to completing a rescue deal that will see lenders write off more than £800m of debt in return for a stake in the business. The deal involves Royal Bank of Scotland taking a stake of just under 40 per cent in Four Seasons Health Care and writing off £300m of loans. A consortium of 30 lenders will cut Four Seasons debt by more than 50 per cent. <br /><strong><br />THE TIMES<br />TRADE MINISTER FLIES TO SAUDI ARABIA TO PERSUADE DEFAULTERS TO TREAT CREDITORS EQUALLY<br /></strong>Lord Davies of Abersoch, the trade minister, flew to Saudi Arabia last night to try to defuse a growing dispute that bankers say could do as much damage to the Gulf’s bruised financial reputation as the Dubai shock of ten days ago. Bankers are furious that two defaulting Saudi conglomerates that owe $20bn (£12.2bn) appear to be favouring local banks over foreign creditors.<br /><br /><strong>MPS BACK THIRD HEATHROW RUNWAY TO COPE WITH DEMAND FOR TRAVEL<br /></strong>Support for the controversial third runway at Heathrow airport will come from the cross-party House of Commons Transport Select Committee today, when it publishes a key report into the future of aviation in the UK.