IRISH BANKS FACE LOANS SELL OFF
Ireland will have to accelerate the shrinking of its troubled banks’ balance sheets in return for gaining continued access to emergency European funding. According to people briefed on the details of Ireland’s €85bn (£72bn) bail-out by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the banks will have to sell tens of billions of euros worth of legacy loans in a matter of months.
FSA FORCES RISE IN PROBES BY EXPERTS
The City watchdog is forcing a record number of financial services companies to hire outside experts to investigate their inner workings, prompting complaints over the rising costs of regulation. Since April, the Financial Services Authority has ordered 90 companies to commission and pay for “skilled persons reports” into areas such as capital adequacy, governance and complaint handling.
PANEL SET UP TO DRIVE PROPERTY SAVINGS
Top property professionals have been approached by the government to advise on a strategy to drive cost savings across its £370bn real estate portfolio. Leading real estate bankers and advisers have been invited to sit on a panel of experts to help the Cabinet Office gain efficiencies across the government estate.
RUSSIANS TO GAIN US URANIUM FOOTHOLD
A Russian state-owned company is set to control up to half of US uranium output by the middle of the decade, after American authorities gave the go-ahead to the partial takeover of Uranium One of Canada by ARMZ. The deal is a sign of how, after a three-decade hiatus in new reactor projects, the US has lost control of key parts of the nuclear supply chain.
FIGHT AGAINST BRIBERY BECOMES WAR WITHOUT FRONTIERS
The Serious Fraud Office is targeting foreign companies suspected of paying bribes under new laws that significantly increase the regulator’s international reach. Richard Alderman, the director of the agency, said that the SFO would use sweeping powers under the new Bribery Act to pursue non-British multinationals that use bribes to secure contracts, even if their illicit deals have little or no connection to the UK.
FEE TO HELP BANKS WAS SET TOO LOW, SAYS AUDIT OFFICE
The Government will be criticised for not charging Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland a high enough fee for the giant insurance scheme for their toxic loans. The criticism will be contained in a report this week on the scheme by the National Audit Office.
The Daily Telegraph
BERNANKE’S QE3 FACES STIFF RESISTANCE
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, was expected to open the way for a third blast of bond purchases in a 60 Minutes interview, but any such move is likely to face resistance from Fed hawks and mounting criticism in Congress. Transcripts suggest that Mr Bernanke is sufficiently worried about the risk of an economic relapse next year – and a slide towards deflation – that he is already mulling further “credit easing” or QE3 as it is dubbed.
QATAR SHARES HIT TWO-YEAR HIGH ON WINNING WORLD CUP BID
Qatar's stock market index surged to a two-year high yesterday, the first trading day after the Gulf state won the bid to host the 2022 football World Cup. The Qatar Exchange index closed up 292 points at 8,477.32 points.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
INDIA PRESSES FOR ACCESS TO KEY BLACKBERRY DATA
India’s government is in discussions with companies that use Research in Motion’s BlackBerry to gain access to employees’ secure communications when seen as necessary, said a top Indian official. Home Secretary GK Pillai also dismissed reports that the smartphone maker’s services will be blocked if the government’s surveillance demands aren’t met by the end of January.
SPAIN REOPENS AIRSPACE
Spanish airports and airlines were operating at full capacity on Sunday after the government reopened the country's airspace and forced striking air-traffic controllers to return to work. The government decreed a state of alarm after controllers throughout the country walked off the job on Friday afternoon.