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Press Round-up – January 19

By Reuters Staff
January 19, 2012

RBS tests Cameron’s resolve on pay-outs
David Cameron’s pledge to curb executive pay and stop “rewards for failure” is set to face its biggest test, as Royal Bank of Scotland prepares to offer a bonus of more than 1 million pound to its chief executive, even though the state-controlled bank’s share price has almost halved in a year. (FT)

Fears rise over looming Commerzbank and MPS fiscal plans
European regulators are convinced that two of the continent’s banks, Commerzbank  and Monte dei Paschi, will fail to produce credible plans to plug capital deficits by Friday’s deadline, exposing both to the risk of full or partial nationalisation. (FT)

Cameron to reveal vision for ‘moral markets’
British prime minister David Cameron will spell out his vision of “moral markets” on Thursday, as he enters the intense political debate over how to create a more “responsible capitalism.” (Independent)

RBS is fined £2m over file tampering
Two insurance companies owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, Direct Line and Churchill, have been reprimanded by the UK financial regulator for a series of internal failings, including the forgery of signatures on documents. (Times)
Cairn investors criticize chief’s bonus
Some of the biggest shareholders in Cairn Energy, the oil group, are marshalling support to vote down a pay award worth nearly 2.5 million pounds for the Edinburgh-based oil group’s chief executive-turned-chairman Bill Gammell. (FT)

BA won’t abandon Heathrow for “Boris Island”
British Airways would not move to a Thames Estuary airport unless Heathrow was closed by the government, the chief executive of BA-owner International Airlines Group Willie Walsh has said. (Telegraph)

LSE in U-turn on Italian stocks
The London Stock Exchange plans to shift the trading system used for trading Italian stocks back to Milan after complaints from Italian banks and brokers that their trades had been slowed down by taking place in the UK capital. (FT)

UK Prison Service makes late bid for private jails
The controversial 2 billion pound privatisation of nine English prisons took a surprise turn on Wednesday after the UK Prison Service put in a late bid to run the jails in a joint venture with the private sector. (Times)

WPP hoping for U.S. election boost
WPP  saw a stronger than expected finish to 2011, according to Martin Sorrell, chief executive, as the marketing services group looks forward to improving conditions in the U.S. ahead of a lucrative period of election campaign spending. (FT)

Goldman Sachs enters £8 billion “parallel pay universe”
Bankers at Goldman Sachs were accused on Wednesday night of living in a parallel universe after the Wall Street firm announced it had set aside 8 billion pounds to pay its staff in 2011 – an average of 238,000 pounds each. (Guardian)

Seven charged over Wall Street insider trading
Seven hedge fund portfolio managers and analysts have been charged in a $61.8 million insider trading scheme as U.S. authorities escalate their crackdown on Wall Street corruption. (FT)

IMF requests $500 billion for bailout loans
The International Monetary Fund has asked its member countries for an extra $500bn in firepower to combat the world’s spreading fiscal emergencies, which it estimates will generate demand for bail out loans totalling $1 trillion over the next two years. (FT)
Germany’s central bank to sell Lehman loans
Germany’s central bank is set to sell almost 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of property loans left over from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, in a deal that marks the latest sign of the growing appetite for distressed real estate debt.  (FT)

PayPal drives Ebay’s growth
Ebay reported strong revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2011, driven mainly by its payment arm, PayPal, which the company expects to be at the centre of its innovation in the coming year. (FT)

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