PRESS DIGEST - Financial Times - Nov 16

Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:07pm EST

Financial Times

EU'S BARNIER PLANS TO BAN IDEA OF RATINGS BLACKOUT

Plans to ban sovereign credit ratings in "exceptional circumstances" have been shelved by Europe's top financial regulator after he came under pressure to retreat from the controversial measure to rein in the agencies that issue the assessments of national financial strength.

EUROZONE BONDS HIT BY MASS SELL-OFF

Eurozone bond markets suffered a mass sell-off on Tuesday as investor fears spread beyond Italy and Spain to triple A rated France, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands.

EASYJET TO TRIAL FLIGHT SEAT ALLOCATIONS

EasyJet is breaking with one of the key principles of low-cost airlines as it begins a trial of allocating seats on some routes.

CONTROVERSIAL HEAD OF CWW STEPS ASIDE

John Pluthero is leaving Cable & Wireless Worldwide following another round of dire results, wiping more than a quarter off the troubled telecoms operator's market value.

OSBORNE TO SET OUT BANK REFORM PLANS

British finance minister George Osborne is to set out in mid-December detailed plans to shake up Britain's banking sector, setting in train what is likely to be a detailed consultation with banks over the erection of a firewall between retail and investment operations.

GREEK DEBT HOLDERS IN BOND SWAP OFFER

Negotiators for Greek debt holders have offered to swap their bonds for new ones worth half their current face value, but only if the new bonds contain high interest rates and have extra incentives, including annual payments if Greece's economy recovers.

ERMOTTI TO PRESENT UBS PLAN TO INVESTORS

UBS is preparing to provide investors with details of a strategic plan that will shrink its investment bank's balance sheet by half following the anointing of Sergio Ermotti as permanent group chief executive.

HGCAPITAL IN TALKS TO BUY BACK IAS

HGCapital, the mid-market private equity group, is in talks to buy back the main part of Iris Software Group four years after it sold the UK's largest private business software maker to Hellman & Friedman.

UK OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO OLYMPUS

The UK's Serious Fraud Office has joined other prosecutors around the world in formally opening an investigation into suspect payments of $1 billion at Olympus.

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