|Taxpayers' Alliance: Government must start sale of state holding in Lloyds Banking Group & RBS|
|Wednesday, 04 April 2012 08:23|
News round up: Lloyds Banking Group plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, Spain, US Federal Reserve, Whitbread, JJB Sports.
Spain has set off further alarm bells among bond investors and its crisis-hit eurozone neighbours by conceding that its debts will balloon this year to their highest level for two decades. The admission fanned fears that the recession-bound country will lose its battle to stay on top of its debts without reaching for outside bailout funds and knocked Spanish government bond prices.
US Federal Reserve
The US Federal Reserve has stepped back from another round of quantitative easing, with only two out of 10 voting members saying it 'could become necessary', according to the minutes of its March meeting.
Leisure giant Whitbread yesterday down-played speculation that it would demerge its Costa Coffee chain despite highly- regarded financial director Chris Rogers being put in charge of the fast-growing brand. Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said there was no 'hidden agenda' behind the management change and added that Costa’s future lay within Whitbread. However, he declined to rule out a demerger at some stage, writes the Scotsman.
The market value of JJB Sports surged by more than a half yesterday after the embattled chain said it was in talks with a 'potential strategic partner' that is understood to be a US sports equipment giant. Dick's Sporting Goods, which has nearly 500 shops in the US, is thought to be in negotiations with JJB about acquiring a minority stake, which would provide it with funds to help safeguard its medium-term future, reports the Independent.
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