PRESS DIGEST - Financial Times - Aug 20

Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:14pm EDT

Aug 20 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Financial Times. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Headlines

Rising bond yields hit equities

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Fed advises US banks to lift capital targets

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Decision on RBS branches likely within two weeks

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Blackstone builds Europe fund

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KKR wades into maritime finance

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OMV buys North Sea oil and gas stakes from Statoil

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Overview

Fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin scaling back its quantitative easing programme as early as next month triggered further losses for highly rated government bonds and put global equity markets on the back foot at the start of the week.

The U.S. Fed wants the biggest banks in the country to hold regulatory capital beyond their own internal targets in order to help them withstand periods of market stress.

State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to make a decision within two weeks on the possible sale or floatation of its branch network as bidders step up their efforts to win over the bank.

Private equity firm Blackstone's real estate arm has quietly begun raising a new European fund, targeting up to $5 billion according to prospective investors.

Buyout group KKR has set up a finance company to supply credit to maritime borrowers, including offshore oilfield services and traditional shipping companies as it seeks to build a presence in maritime finance.

Austria's OMV bought stakes in North Sea oil fields from Norway's Statoil for $2.65 billion as it shifts focus to more stable markets in the west.

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