What the other papers say this morning

FINANCIAL TIMES

Lobbyists beef up links with Labour
Lobbying companies are scrambling to hire former Labour figures as the business world wakes up to the possibility that the party could be in government in little over two years. Many companies that have largely ignored the opposition party in recent years are changing their view given the Westminster consensus that the 2015 general election could be the hardest to call in two decades. Labour has been ahead in the opinion polls by around 10 per cent in recent weeks.

Lodestone founder quizzed in probe
A founding partner of the Lodestone Natural Resources hedge fund was among three City professionals arrested last month in connection insider trading. Carl Axel Linderum, a former trader at Brevan Howard, was arrested on 27 February.

Shell and BASF agree $316m payout
Royal Dutch Shell and Germany’s BASF have agreed to pay up to $316m (£212m) to workers exposed to toxic chemicals in Brazil, drawing to a close a six-year legal battle that has overshadowed the companies’ local operations.

THE TIMES

Tesco sticks out its neck over Giraffe
Tesco is to go into family dining by buying the Giraffe restaurant chain for up to £50m in a bold gambit aimed at revitalising the supermarket operator’s British business.

Putin female aide to run bank
Russian President Vladimir Putin nominated Elvira Nabiullina, a Kremlin aide and former economy minister, yesterday as Russia’s next central bank chairman.

The Daily Telegraph

Creditors could be given notice ahead of pre-pack deals
Opponents of “pre-pack” administrations have been boosted by a review which could see creditors given a grace period to challenge the controversial deals.

Japan cracks seabed ice gas
Japan has extracted natural “ice” gas from methane hydrates beneath the sea off its coasts in a technological coup, opening up a super-resource that could meet the country’s gas needs for the next century.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

EU pushes new vote system
EU leaders, in a bid to burnish their democratic credentials, have proposed that parties running for the European Parliament should nominate candidates to serve as the EU’s top executive.

Google gives bonuses to top execs
Google is giving executive chairman Eric Schmidt a $6m (£4m) cash bonus for 2012, alongside other multimillion dollar payouts. Google co-founders Larry Page, and Sergey Brin will not receive bonuses.