Ryanair welcomes Greek merger plan
Ryanair has welcomed the announcement by the Greek airline Aegean that it intends to acquire the former Greek flag carrier Olympic Air, subject to EU competition clearance.
Ryanair says the merger mirrors the European Commission's clearance of the acquisition of British Midland by British Airways. The airline will be hoping that such mergers will pave the way for it to takeover Aer Lingus. That offer is currently being reviewed by the EU Competition Authorities.
UK banks prepare for new rule body
Britain's banks will have to provide detailed forecasts to a new supervisor which can then order them to change their business models or raise more capital, ending the "light touch" regulation of before the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
Britain's Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), based at the Bank of England, will be launched on April 1 to oversee banks as part of a shake-up of regulation aimed at preventing a repeat of the taxpayer bailout of banks during the crisis.
Rosneft in $55bn deal for TNK-BP
Rosneft tightened its grip on Russia's oil industry yesterday with a $55bn (€42bn) deal to buy TNK-BP that also makes Britain's BP a one-fifth shareholder in the state-controlled company.
Rosneft, already the top oil company in the world's biggest producing country, will be pumping more oil and gas than Exxon Mobil with TNK-BP under its wing. With BP as a partner with two seats on Rosneft's board, powerful chief executive Igor Sechin can also pursue his dream of rivaling the US-based industry number one on the world stage.
Caterpillar cuts earnings forecast
Caterpillar, the maker of earthmoving, construction and mining machines often seen as a barometer of economic activity, has cut its full-year profits forecast sharply, saying dealers were pulling back on orders in the face of economic uncertainty.
As it announced third-quarter financial figures, Caterpillar reduced its forecast for full-year revenues to $66bn from an earlier range of $68bn to $70bn. The earnings-per-share outlook, which had been in a range centred on $9.60, was cut to a range of $9.00 to $9.25. Caterpillar said dealers want to reduce inventory, so they were ordering fewer products than end users want.