Press Round-up – March 26

March 26, 2012

Merkel set to allow euro zone firewall to increase
Germany is poised to bow to international pressure and allow a temporary increase in the euro zone’s financial “firewall” this week, to prevent the crisis in the region’s periphery spreading to other member states. (FT)

NBNK set to bid for Lloyds branches
British banking venture NBNK is on Monday expected to launch a bid for 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches in a move that could torpedo the Co-op’s efforts to buy the assets and reopen the sale process. (Telegraph)

Staff face the axe amid efforts to save Game
Thousands of Game Group staff face dismissal this week as it plunges into administration, kick-starting the process of closing down its least attractive stores. (Times)

Banks set to cut $1 trillion from balance sheets
Investment banks are to shrink their balance sheets by another $1 trillion or up to 7 percent globally within the next two years, says a report that foresees a shake-up of market share in the industry.   (FT)

Oil tanker boss holds firm amid risk of strike by drivers
The boss of Wincanton, one of Britain’s biggest haulage companies, has refused to give into the “political” demands of oil tanker drivers, entrenching the stand-off that looks set to lead to strike action and possible petrol shortages. (Telegraph)

Hedge funds face higher trading costs
Leading prime brokerages are preparing to hit clients with across-the-board increases in the cost of trading, which could dry up liquidity and cause niche global markets to shut down.  (FT)

Fracking could bring UK 50,000 jobs, says former BP chief
Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive, said England has the potential to be the capital of Europe’s emerging shale gas industry, in a scenario he predicted could help to create as many as 50,000 jobs across the UK. (Independent)

Luxembourg faces EU rap on investment rules
Luxembourg, the main home for one of Europe’s most popular investment products, is to be singled out as a regulatory weak link in an unusually undiplomatic European Commission proposal.

Royal Mail to deliver IPO in 2013
Britain’s coalition government aims to begin the privatisation of Royal Mail by selling or floating at least part of it in autumn 2013 if the state-owned postal operator’s finances continue to improve.   (FT)

IAG weighs North Atlantic options
The owner of British Airways, IAG, is close to appointing an adviser to help safeguard its north Atlantic joint venture with American Airlines. (FT)

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