|HSBC Holdings plc acts to stem scandal over mis-selling long-term care bonds|
|Thursday, 08 December 2011 09:30|
News round up: HSBC, European banks, UK economy, AstraZeneca, Marks & Spencer and monetary union.
Estimates from accountants Deloitte found that European banks hold more than £1.5 trillion of non-core and non-performing assets on their balance sheets. Deloitte estimates that while banks will have to drastically reduce the size of their asset books, they will probably encounter major challenges in doing so given the scale of the bad loan problems they face.
Britain's economy will have lost five years of growth by 2013, a leading economic think-tank said today, as it will only then be back to the same size as it was in 2008. UK economic growth slowed in the three months up to November, with gross domestic product growing by 0.3 per cent - down from 0.4 per cent in the three months ending in October, said respected forecaster the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
AstraZeneca, one of Britain's biggest drugs companies, is cutting almost a quarter of its sales staff in America as it tackles a slowing market. he move will see about 1,150 staff lose their jobs in the US, which remains the biggest single market for the pharmaceutical industry.
Marks & Spencer
The Prime Minister of India was facing humiliation last night after he was forced to abandon a long-awaited plan to allow foreign chains such as Tesco to open supermarkets in the country. The U-turn, announced by Manmohan Singh in Parliament, followed two weeks of mounting street protests by shopkeepers who feared that the big multinational chains would drive them out of business.
The fate of Europe’s monetary union hangs in the balance today as its leaders struggle to revamp its broken machinery amid British demands that could force them to forge a pact outside the group’s 27-member structure.
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