GREECE has secured the blessing of its lenders on an additional chunk of cuts in a nearly €12bn austerity plan, a govern-ment official confirmed last night.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's government has been wrangling for weeks over the package, both internally and with the troika of EU, ECB and IMF lenders.
It must be approved before Athens can hope to get further aid under its latest bailout.
The lenders initially rejected measures worth more than €4bn in the €11.7bn package, but have since given the green light to cuts totalling €9.5bn.
The good news on Greece came as the European Banking Authority said new rules were urgently needed for home loans and other products given mis-selling scandals, poor compliance with anti-money laun- dering rules and the manipulation by Barclays of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) used to help price some consumer loans.
"We are working at a higher speed and envisage issuing important guidelines in the area of mortgage lending," EBA chairman Andrea Enria told the European Parliament's economic affairs committee yesterday.
In the bond markets Irish bonds were the most volatile in euro area markets yesterday, with the nine-year bond yield dropping as much as 25 basis points to 5.01pc.
Spain will sell as much as €4.5bn of debt due in 2015 and 2022 today as investors wait to see whether the government in Madrid will seek a bailout.
Spanish bond yields dropped yesterday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government was committed to cutting the budget deficit and his deputy hinted that a bailout was close.
German two-year bonds also rallied as investors bid for more than the maximum target at a debt sale in Frankfurt yesterday. (Additional reporting Bloom-berg and Reuters)