Press Round-up – February 20

By Reuters Staff
February 20, 2012

U.S. hedge funds to take control of Travelodge
The budget hotel chain Travelodge is set to be taken over by two American hedge funds in a deal designed to prevent the company collapsing under heavy debts. (Times)

Pfizer plans to raise $3 billion through IPO
Pfizer is weighing plans to raise about $3 billion this year through a part-flotation of its animal health division, as the drugs giant examines the best way to spin off a business valued at as much as $18 billion. (FT)

Lloyds to strip bank chiefs of bonuses
Lloyds Banking Group  is to strip five directors of more than 1 million pounds in bonuses as a penalty for a financial scandal that cost the taxpayer-backed bank 3.2 billion pounds ($5.06 billion) last year. (Telegraph)

Green Investment Bank will play it safe
Hopes that the UK’s 3 billion pound Green Investment Bank will encourage development of early stage renewable technologies have been dashed by the man picked to oversee the project. (Times)

Resource groups aim to counteract anti-corruption rules
Royal Dutch Shell and other natural resources companies have stepped up efforts to counteract planned anti-corruption rules that would force them to disclose payments to governments in countries where they operate.  (FT)

Fujitsu to launch mobile devices in EU market
Fujitsu will launch a wide range of smartphones and tablets for the first time in Europe, as the Japanese electronics company seeks to stake a claim in the fast-growing and high-margin mobile device market. (FT)

Report finds NHS hospitals offer value for money
Contentious moves to stimulate competition in the health service have been bolstered by a groundbreaking study of 2 million patients that shows forcing NHS hospitals to compete with one another saves money and improves efficiency.  (FT)

UK banks question ‘credit easing policy’
Several of the UK’s biggest banks have raised doubts as to whether a flagship government scheme aimed at boosting demand for credit will result in cheaper loans for small and medium-sized enterprises. (FT)

Investors hedge against euro split with new currency products
Leading investment banks are considering creating currency products that would protect companies and investors in the event of a partial break-up of the euro.  (FT)

Overcrowding puts pressure on fees, say bankers
Investment banking in Asia is overcrowded, with too many institutions putting too much pressure on fees, according to senior bankers, giving the industry a longer-term problem than the fall in market activity at the end of 2011. (FT)

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