Saturday 26 May 2018

Der Spiegel

GERMANY'S finance minister says tax cuts could be on the table for workers in Europe's biggest economy. Wolfgang Schaeuble said he won't oppose changes to the tax system that reduce so-called "cold progression", a reference to how leaving tax brackets unchanged over time leads to more people paying the higher tax rates as wages rise.


THE UK's influential banking lobby will not take sides in the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence after its members declined to back the campaign's unionist side.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) found little appetite among its member banks to join the 'No' side, which is campaigning to retain the union. The BBA membership includes Scottish-registered banks such as Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).


Merck is in the final stages of selling its consumer healthcare unit for close to $14bn, with Bayer AG and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc among final contenders to clinch a deal as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.

Germany's Bayer and UK consumer products giant Reckitt have emerged as frontrunners to win the auction after each offering roughly $13.5 billion for the Merck consumer unit, best known for Coppertone sunscreen and Claritin medicine, sources said.

Both bidders are very keen to buy the asset and the price tag could go higher in the final days, one person added. All the people asked not to be named because the matter is not public.


RBS is to kick off a search for a private equity house to invest in some or all of Ulster Bank, after hiring Morgan Stanley to advise on the process. The bank is preparing to approach big firms including KKR, Blackstone and Carlyle about a possible deal.

Deep pockets are required to help shore up the bank and ideally remove its balance sheet from that of its UK state-owned parent. Since the crash, the cost of propping up Ulster Bank has accounted for around a third of the total cost to UK taxpayers of bailing out banking giant RBS.

Irish Independent

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