|Government may need to sell Lloyds Banking Group or Royal Bank of Scotland stake at a loss|
|Wednesday, 16 May 2012 08:14|
News round up: Lloyds, RBS, Greece, Welfare cuts, Manufacturers, AstraZeneca and JP Morgan.
As leaders in Athens accepted the need for a new general election to end a national stalemate, the International Monetary Fund said Europe’s leaders should prepare for the possibility of a Greek departure from the single currency. Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, warned she was "technically prepared for anything" and said the utmost effort must be made to ensure any Greek exit was orderly.
David Cameron is considering ordering billions of pounds in extra welfare cuts proposed in a confidential Downing Street policy paper, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. The plans include a new crackdown on housing benefit and a "mark two" system of universal credit to help push people off benefits back into full-time, rather than part-time, work.
Manufacturers have delivered a withering judgment on the Government’s industrial policy, accusing the coalition of empty rhetoric that has delivered stagnating economic growth. According to one of the largest studies of Britain’s engineers and manufacturers, an overwhelming majority believe that the Government is not delivering the right policies to support industry.
AstraZeneca is understood to be considering a potential $4bn bid for an American maker of diabetes medicines. The Anglo-Swedish drug group is believed to be among a number of the world’s largest pharmaceuticals companies to have requested financial information on Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Amylin, which is based in San Diego, makes the diabetes drugs Bydureon and Byetta, has a market value of more than $4bn (£2.5bn) and generated $650m of sales last year.
JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon was hit with a fresh blow on Tuesday after the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a criminal investigation into the bank's $2bn (£1.2bn) trading loss that has stunned Wall Street. The FBI and the US Department of Justice are examining whether there was any criminal wrongdoing in losses that have damaged the reputation that JP Morgan and Mr Dimon have built for risk management.
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