<strong>FINANCIAL TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>ARCELORMITTAL ATTEMPTS TO EASE DEBT BURDEN</strong><br />ArcelorMittal has started talks with its banks about making conditions for re-paying its $26bn (£16.2bn) of debt less onerous, in a bid to reduce financial pressure on the company as the global downturn continues. The world’s biggest steelmaker has taken this step as an insurance policy against its profits failing to recover by more than a small amount over the next six months, so triggering a technical breach of its borrowing covenants.<br /><br /><strong>HAPAG-LLOYD SEEKS €1.75BN FROM SHAREHOLDERS</strong><br />Germany’s largest container shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd, has been forced to ask its shareholders for €1.75bn in fresh capital and could yet seek state aid, in the latest sign of the depth of the crisis facing the sector.<br /><strong><br />TULLOW DECIDES ON MORE WEST AFRICAN DRILLING</strong><br />Tullow Oil, the FTSE 100 listed exploration and production company, plans to drill more wells off the west coast of Africa in the second half of the year, to explore one of the world’s most promising regions for oil discoveries, its chief executive said. Aidan Heavey told the Financial Times that Tullow had been acquiring licenses for areas showing similar geological patterns to the Jubilee field in Ghana. He added that the development of Jubilee, thought to hold 1.2bn barrels of oil, remained on track to begin production next year. <br /><br /><strong>CO-OP LAUNCHES OWN-BRAND HOLIDAYS</strong><br />The Co-operative Group is taking a plunge into the package holiday market in spite of turbulent industry conditions, with the hope that its brand will attract customers concerned about airline and tour operator failures in the recession.<br /><br /><strong>THE TIMES</strong><br /><strong><br />ANGLO AND XSTRATA HOPES FOR MERGER OF EQUALS DASHED</strong><br />Xstrata’s proposed £40bn merger with Anglo American has effectively collapsed after Anglo’s shareholders rejected the approach. All of Anglo’s leading institutional investors are understood to have turned down Xstrata’s nil-premium merger of equals. Those shareholders that have expressed an opinion on pricing have told The Times that they want a premium of between 30 per cent and 50 per cent to complete the deal.<br /><strong><br />ANALYSTS FORECAST AVIVA DIVIDEND CUT</strong><br />Aviva shares were under renewed pressure last night after it emerged that 12 leading insurance analysts had forecast that it would cut its dividend next month by between 25 and 50 per cent. Aviva reports its interim results on 6 August.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph</strong><br /><br /><strong>UK FACING ENERGY CRUNCH AS NORTH SEA OIL AND GAS CASH DRIES UP</strong><br />The UK is heading for an “energy crunch” after new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea dropped 57per cent in the first half of this year. A report by Oil & Gas UK, the industry group, showed that companies are cutting back on new projects as costs rise and funding is scarce during the recession. Investment in the industry fell to £4.8bn last year, down £1.2bn over the last two years, and it could drop below £3bn next year. <br /><br /><strong>SIBIR OFFICES RAIDED BY RUSSIAN POLICE</strong><br />Sibir, the UK-listed oil company which is majority owned by Gazprom, has been raided by police looking for documents at its offices and refinery in Moscow. Police said the searches related to commercial activities in 2006, according to Russian news wires.<br /><br /><strong>WALL STREET JOURNAL</strong><br /><strong><br />GE INVESTS IN LIMPING DIVISIONS</strong><br />GE is turning its attention and investment dollars back to its appliance business, since it can't unload it. GE last month said it would add 400 jobs to build hot-water heaters at its appliance division in Louisville. The company is also upgrading its line of high-end refrigerators and opening a sales showroom in Brussels.<br /><strong><br />SUBPRIME RESURFACES AS A WOE</strong><br />The US housing market is facing new downward pressure as holders of subprime-mortgage bonds flood the market with foreclosed homes at prices that are much lower than where many banks are willing to sell. A review of thousands of foreclosures in the Atlanta area shows that trusts managing pools of securitized mortgages sold six times as many homes as banks during the six months ended 31 March.