|Thomas Cook Group plc warns investors that the tour operator could fall into administration|
|Monday, 14 May 2012 08:10|
News round up: Thomas Cook, Lloyds Banking Group, Marks & Spencer, Angela Merkel, Economic impact, Benefits and Greece.
Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group and the Co-operative are thought to have moved a step closer to a deal for the sale of the 632 "Project Verde" branches after putting a hybrid proposal to the City regulator. Under the proposal, which is understood to have received interest from the Financial Services Authority, the mutual would buy the Verde branches through a quasi-reverse takeover process of the Co-op Bank.
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer is expected to admit this week that it is struggling to meet chief executive Marc Bolland’s grand plan to add £3bn to sales over three years. Bolland revealed the plan 18 months ago to increase turnover from £9.7bn in the year to April 2011. In his first presentation on the strategy, he said M&S would reach £11.5bn to £12.5bn in sales by 2014. The plan would have seen £1bn added to each of the international, online and British stores divisions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered an electoral setback yesterday as opposition to European austerity measures spread across the continent. The German chancellor may be tempted to rethink her approach after her allies in the country's largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, lost 9 per cent of the vote in their worst showing since the Second World War.
A “massive” economic impact awaits Britain should the Eurozone fail to contain the turmoil sweeping the Continent, Vince Cable warned yesterday. In the bleakest prediction of the UK’s economic vulnerability to date by a senior minister, the Business Secretary said that there was little Britain could do apart from hope the Eurozone’s economic firewalls were strong enough to stop Greece’s problems from spreading.
Half a million people are set to lose disability benefits as the Government pushes ahead with plans to rid the system of abuse and fraud, Iain Duncan Smith says. In an interview with today’s Daily Telegraph, the Work and Pensions Secretary says that he is determined to introduce radical reforms to disability benefits which will see more than two million claimants reassessed in the next four years.
Germany has drawn up plans to make Britain pay a share of the multi-billion pound clean-up costs if Greece is ejected from the euro, risking a clash with Downing Street. A finance ministry draft shows that Berlin is preparing a fresh bail-out to stabilise the Greek economy and stem EMU-wide contagion after a return to the drachma, should the country reject EU austerity demands.
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