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Press Round-up – March 7

By Reuters Staff
March 7, 2012

RBS should be split up, says Cable
British Business Secretary Vince Cable has called for state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to be broken up to create a vehicle for lending to small companies, as ministers scramble for ways to unblock credit lines to the sector.  (FT)

Osborne makes budget pledge to small firms
British finance minister George Osborne has promised businesses that credit easing, the government’s long-awaited plan for getting cheap loans to small businesses, would be under way by the budget, as anxious financial markets suffered their worst day’s trading since December. (Guardian)

Statoil leading race for Anadarko assets
Norway’s state-controlled energy group Statoil is in pole position to buy the Brazilian business of U.S.-listed explorer Anadarko for about $3 billion, which would mark the latest big foray by a global oil group into the South American country. (FT)

Toyota commits to hydrogen-powered cars
Toyota said it aimed to sell hydrogen-powered cars in the “tens of thousands” a year by 2020, signifying a big commitment to fuel-cell technology by one of the industry’s top-selling carmakers. (FT)

Cable: Britain lacks a coherent growth strategy
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has admitted in a leaked letter that the government lacks “a compelling vision of where the country is heading” after the financial crisis. (Telegraph)

TXU buyout facing rising financial pressure
The world’s biggest private equity deal is facing rising financial pressure during the next two years with the expiry of contracts that underpinned the takeover of utility TXU. (FT)

NAMA chief signals move to vendor finance
Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency has admitted it could provide vendor finance for every loan sale it makes this year, highlighting the pressure the retrenchment of bank lending is putting on transactions in the property sector. (FT)

Minerals search hindered as funds dry up
Mining exploration budgets are being reined in this year as companies struggle to raise capital to fund the search for new reserves to meet surging Chinese demand for commodities from copper to iron ore. (FT)

EU drugs watchdog to set up scrutiny
Europe’s new chief medicines regulator wants to step up scrutiny of experimental drugs and reassess their value within four years after launch, adding fresh pressures on the pharmaceutical industry. (FT)

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