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Rival Bids Due for Northern Rock

The British government will review three rescue plans for the mortgage bank. Shareholders favor the bid of investment fund Olivant

The Northern Rock crisis will inch a little further towards resolution today, as three bidders for the stricken mortgage bank submit their rescue proposals to the Government.

The Treasury, in consultation with the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority, is expected to spend a week to 10 days considering the proposals, before ruling on which bidder will take over the bank, whose debt to the taxpayer is to be repaid through the issue of Government-backed bonds. Of the three players left, Olivant, the investment fund run by Luqman Arn-old, is the clear favourite among shareholders, particularly RAB Capital and SRM Global, the two hedge funds that have bought large stakes in the bank.