European banking correspondent
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Sep 20, 2013

Unitech told to repay Deutsche, Libor dispute goes to trial

LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – India’s Unitech must repay a
$150 million loan to Deutsche Bank, but a smaller dispute can go
to trial, a UK judge ruled on Friday, in a case which could set
a precedent for whether a Libor interest-rate rigging scandal
can invalidate some deals.

Deutsche Bank sued Indian property firm Unitech
last year for the repayment of a loan made in 2007 by
a consortium of lenders and also for repayment of $11 million
owed for a related interest-rate swap.

Sep 19, 2013

RBS to sell 630 mln pounds of insurer Direct Line’s shares

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – State-backed Royal Bank of
Scotland is selling shares worth about 630 million
pounds ($1 billion) in insurer Direct Line Group,
putting it on course to shed all of its holding well before a
regulatory deadline to do so.

RBS said late on Thursday it is selling 300 million Direct
Line shares, including an over-allotment option set aside to
meet strong demand, which in total represents 20 percent of the
insurer.

Sep 17, 2013

Future glory, not short-term fees lure Lloyds dealmakers

LONDON (Reuters) – Prestige, not pay, was the main goal for banks who completed Europe’s biggest equity capital market deal so far this year, in the shape of Britain’s sale of 3.2 billion pounds ($5 billion) worth of shares in Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

The Treasury and UK Financial Investments (UKFI) – which holds Britain’s stakes in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) – did not pay any fees to the banks and advisers who handled the sale of the 6 percent stake.

Sep 17, 2013

Lloyds share sale raises prospect of UK’s complete exit by 2015

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain could have sold the 6 percent stake in banking group Lloyds (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) it placed with investment institutions nearly three times over, sources said, raising the prospect it could sell all its shares before the 2015 General Election.

The 3.2 billion pounds divestment, five years after Lloyds and rival Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) were bailed out at the height of the credit crunch with a combined 66 billion pounds of taxpayers’ cash, represents a milestone in the economy’s recovery from the financial crisis.

Sep 17, 2013

UK raises 3.2 bln pounds in Lloyds share sale

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Britain has raised 3.2 billion
pounds ($5.1 billion) from the sale of a 6 percent stake in
Lloyds Banking Group, marking a milestone in the
economy’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.

Britain pumped a combined 66 billion pounds into Lloyds and
Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008, leaving it with a 39
percent shareholding in Lloyds and an 81 percent stake in RBS.

Sep 16, 2013

UK kicks off Lloyds bank share sale

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will sell a 6 percent stake in part-nationalized Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) at a price of at least 75 pence per share, raising over 3.2 billion pounds ($5.1 billion), three sources familiar with the transaction said.

UK Financial Investments launched the sale of the government’s shares in Lloyds earlier on Monday, a milestone in the country’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, during which taxpayers pumped a combined 66 billion pounds into Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Sep 16, 2013

Horta-Osorio vindicated by Lloyds Bank share sale

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – For Chief Executive Antonio
Horta-Osorio, Britain’s move to sell a 3.3 billion pound ($5.3
billion) stake in Lloyds Banking Group is a vindication
after his leadership was nearly derailed by health issues just
months into his tenure.

The Lloyds share sale, announced after Monday’s close, caps
a remarkable 12 months for the 49-year-old, named 2013′s “Banker
of the Year” as Lloyds returned to profit and the value of its
shares more than doubled, a turnaround all the more striking
following his rocky first year in the role.

Sep 16, 2013

Credit Suisse veteran tasked with sale of UK bank stakes

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Britain’s government has brought
in the UK boss of Credit Suisse to manage the sale of its stakes
in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, hoping
for a successful turnaround after it had to bail both out with
taxpayers’ money in 2008.

James Leigh Pemberton, currently UK chief executive of
Credit Suisse, has been named head of UKFI, the
institution set up to manage the state’s banking investments. He
was one of the main advisers to the government when it pumped 45
billion pounds ($71 billion) into RBS and 20 billion into Lloyds
to keep them afloat during the 2008 financial crisis.

Sep 16, 2013

Barclays called reckless over $511 mln payments to Qatar investors

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Barclays has revealed a
watchdog’s finding that it acted recklessly in failing to
disclose payments of 322 million pounds ($511 million) in
advisory fees to Qatari investors who helped bail it out during
the credit crunch.

In its prospectus for a 5.95 billion pound ($9.4
billion)share issue, the British bank said the Financial Conduct
Authority (FCA) planned to fine Barclays 50 million pounds for
its failure to adequately disclose the fees.

Sep 14, 2013

“You work for Lehman? I thought that went bust”

LONDON (Reuters) – From his 23rd floor office of Citi’s Canary Wharf tower, Tom Bolland can see the old European HQ of Lehman Brothers, where five years ago hundreds of his former colleagues were abruptly turfed out onto the street carrying their belongings in boxes.

The investment bank’s collapse was the symbolic moment of the financial crisis, and it is a surprise to many that Lehman Brothers in Europe still lives on. It is under administrators, but two-thirds of its 500 staff are former Lehman employees helping to clear up the mess that is left.

    • About Steve

      "Responsible for overseeing coverage of the European bank sector and direct coverage of the international UK-based banks, based in London. Have been in current role for three years, and for previous three years was UK banking reporter. Have over 15 years experience as a financial newswire journalist in London and New York."
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