Date: Friday 17 Jun 2011
The economic crisis in Greece threatens the survival of the euro, the common destiny of Europe and its peace and stability, President Sarkozy of France said yesterday. Europe’s two most powerful leaders, Mr Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, meet today to try to save the single currency from destruction, says the Times.
Traders feared that the political chaos and riots across Greece would cause a default, which in turn would trigger a tsunami through the financial system – as the collapse of Lehman Brothers did in 2008. Neil Mackinnon, an economist at VTB Capital in London and a former Treasury official, said: "The probability of a eurozone Lehman moment is increasing, according to the Telegraph.
Standard Chartered has warned that the Chancellor's array of banking reforms will not do their job unless the new Financial Policy Committee is prepared to intervene directly to stop markets overheating. Richard Meddings, the bank's highly respected finance director, said Asian regulators had protected their economies as Britain and the US had let markets boom before the crisis, the Independent says.
The chairman of Santander and 12 members of his family — including the woman who runs the bank’s British business — are under investigation for income tax evasion, a Spanish judge said yesterday. Ana Patricia Botín, 50, who is the head of Banco Santander UK, and her father, Emilio Botín, 76, are at the centre of the investigation into Spain’s most illustrious banking family, reports the Times.
Guardian Media Group (GMG) yesterday announced plans to cut the size of its newspapers to save costs and admitted it will eventually do away with print for good after reporting a £33 million annual loss. Chief executive Andrew Miller announced the losses in a series of presentations to the newspapers’ staff in which he admitted the charitable foundation that owns The Guardian and The Observer, the Scott Trust, could run out of cash in three to five years if significant changes are not made, reports the Times.
"Financially vulnerable" pensioners have called on the Financial Services Authority to investigate the Bank of Ireland (BoI) over what they argue are attempts to plunder their savings. The BoI has asked holders of Bristol & West permanent interest-bearing shares (pibs) to hand them over for 20 per cent of their face value, or risk losing virtually everything, as part of a wider, €2.6bn (£2.3bn) financial restructuring, the Independent reports.
The future of Britain's last remaining train factory was thrown into doubt on Thursday after the government named an overseas consortium as the preferred bidder for a £3bn contract to make carriages for the upgraded Thameslink route. The decision to sideline Bombardier Transportation's factory in Derby in favour of a group led by Siemens means one of Britain's largest train orders is likely to be made in Germany at a time when Britain desperately needs to boost its own manufacturing, says the Guardian.
Global regulators are poised to set a new tiered regime of additional capital requirements for about 30 of the world’s biggest banks, in the latest effort to ensure the next financial crisis can be contained. The regulators plan to place each institution into a “bucket” carrying a particular surcharge based on bank size, global reach, structural complexity and whether other banks could absorb its business, reports the Financial Times.
Budget airlines have increased ticket prices for infants by up to a third in just a year. Research by the website travelsupermarket.com found easyJet and Jet2 have increased the price of infant tickets from a flat fee of £15 each way last year to £20 each way in 2011. It also found that while Ryanair is currently offering adult flights from £9.99 each way, the minimum cost for an infant on a flight is £20 each way – a mark-up of 100%.
A consortium led by Stagecoach co-founder and chief executive Sir Brian Souter has snapped up a Turkish ferry group in a deal worth $86m (£538m). The transport mogul’s family investment vehicle Souter Investments will own 30% of the firm, Istanbul Deniz Otonuslen, with co-investors including his sister and fellow Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag, Scottish businessman Sir Angus Grossart and a clutch of Turkish companies Tepe, Alden and Sera, says the Daily Express.
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