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Press Round-up – March 15

By Reuters Staff
March 15, 2012

Fitch warns that UK could lose coveted AAA credit rating
Britain’s hopes of retaining its prized triple-A credit rating were dealt a blow last night after Fitch put the country on watch for a downgrade. (Telegraph)

UK’s austerity drive cut 270,000 jobs in 2011
More than 30,000 NHS workers and 71,000 in education were among more than a quarter of a million public sector staff who lost their jobs in 2011 in Britain as the government’s austerity measures started to bite. (Guardian)

BP alerted to ‘bribery’ at its tanker division
Oil giant BP is investigating a “serious case of bribery and corruption” alleged to have been taking place in the company’s tanker chartering division. (Telegraph)

Pay-TV probe to include Netflix
UK regulators examining British Sky Broadcasting’s position in the pay-TV movies market have expanded the scope of their investigation to include online providers such as Netflix and Lovefilm. (FT)

MF Global clients’ details published
Private clients of MF Global reacted angrily on Wednesday to what several said was a severe breach of privacy, after KPMG, administrator to the UK arm of the failed futures broker, published their identities, home addresses and the sums owed to them. (FT)

Codelco steps up Anglo American legal conflict
Codelco is preparing new legal action in its dispute with Anglo American that could inhibit the London-listed miner’s ability to pay dividends. (FT)

MUFJ weighs up European bank assets
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has weighed up close to 100 billion euros of European bank asset portfolios that shrinking rivals are seeking to offload, according to the man in charge of the Japanese group’s global expansion. (FT)

UKFI looks at early sale of RBS stake
Privatisation of Royal Bank of Scotland could start sooner than expected after the organisation charged with managing the government’s bank stakes said shares could initially be sold at a loss. (FT)

Johnson and Johnson CEO to leave with $140 million
Johnson & Johnson has said that William Weldon, the healthcare company’s outgoing chief executive, will receive retirement pay worth more than $140 million after he steps down next month. (FT)

UK coalition not seen as business-friendly
One in three of the UK’s biggest companies think that the coalition government is not business friendly, according to the first FT/ICSA Business Bellwether survey. (FT)

New powers for UK price-fixing probe
A new super-regulator will be given enhanced powers to prosecute people for price-fixing as part of the overhaul of British competition law. (FT)

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