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Britain's Dixons, Carphone Warehouse in merger talks

British electrical goods specialist Dixons Retail Group and mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse are in merger talks, the pair announced on Monday. "The boards of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse... confirm that the two companies are in preliminary discussions regarding a possible merger of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse," they said in a joint statement. The pair stressed the discussions are at a "very preliminary" stage, adding there was no certainty that they would result in a deal.

Britain's Dixons, Carphone Warehouse in merger talks

British electrical goods specialist Dixons Retail Group and mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse are in merger talks, the pair announced on Monday. "The boards of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse... confirm that the two companies are in preliminary discussions regarding a possible merger of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse," they said in a joint statement. The pair stressed the discussions are at a "very preliminary" stage, adding there was no certainty that they would result in a deal.

RBS to shed up to 30,000 jobs, shrink investment bank -sources

By Matt Scuffham LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland <RBS.L> is to shrink its investment banking and international operations in a revamp in which the group could shed up to a quarter of its 120,000 workforce, sources familiar with the matter said. The part-nationalized bank has given in to demands from politicians that it focuses on lending to British households and businesses and maintains only a downsized investment banking business to service corporate clients, one source said.

RBS shares gain on reports bank could axe 30,000 jobs

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland gained on Friday as reports said the state-rescued bank will next week announce about 30,000 job cuts in a major cost-cutting exercise. RBS stock climbed 1.15 percent to 359.8 pence on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was up 0.43 percent in early deals. Newspapers said the announcement of a jobs cull, which could total at least 30,000 according to the Financial Times following a shake-up of the lender's investment banking and international divisions, would be made alongside its annual earnings statement due on Thursday.

RBS bank shares gain on jobs cull reports

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland gained on Friday as reports said that the state-rescued lender will announce next week that it is cutting its headcount by tens of thousands. RBS stock climbed 1.15 percent to 359.8 pence on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was up 0.43 percent in early deals. Newspapers said the announcement of a jobs cull, which could total at least 30,000 according to the Financial Times following a shake-up of the lender's investment banking and international divisions, would be made alongside its annual earnings statement due next Thursday.

UK inflation falls below BoE target for first time since Nov 2009

LONDON (Reuters) - British inflation last month fell below the Bank of England's target level for the first time in over four years, further bolstering the BoE's message that there is no rush to raise interest rates. Consumer prices rose 1.9 percent on the year in January, slowing from December's rate of 2.0 percent, making it the smallest increase since November 2009, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists taking part in a Reuters poll had expected inflation to stay at 2.0 percent.

Lloyds seeks 'lower' ringfence to save investment banking business: FT

(Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group Plc <LLOY.L> is in talks with Britain's Prudential Regulation Authority over "ringfencing" rules in an attempt to save its investment banking functions, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. The state-backed group is concerned that the cost of operations after ringfencing takes effect may outweigh the benefits, forcing the group to shut investment banking activities and operate as a retail business alone, sources familiar with Lloyds' plans told the newspaper.

British bank Lloyds cuts annual net loss

Britain's state-rescued bank Lloyds cut net losses in 2013 and ramped up staff bonuses, but its performance was hit by a vast compensation bill for mis-selling, it reported on Thursday. Losses after tax stood at £838 million ($1.39 billion, 1.01 billion euros) last year. That compared with a net loss of £1.471 billion in 2012, Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) said. The bank took a vast provision of £3.5 billion, primarily relating to compensation for customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance.

British bank Lloyds cuts annual net loss

Britain's state-rescued bank Lloyds said Thursday that it cut net losses in 2013 and ramped up staff bonuses, but its performance was hit by a vast mis-selling compensation bill. Losses after tax stood at £838 million ($1.39 billion, 1.01 billion euros) last year, compared with a net loss of £1.471 billion in 2012, Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) said in a results statement. The lender took a vast provision of £3.5 billion, primarily relating to compensation for customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance.

Bank of England hikes outlook for British economy

The Bank of England ramped up its economic growth forecasts on Wednesday as Britain's recovery picks up speed, but vowed to keep interest rates low after tweaking its guidance. Gross domestic product (GDP) was set to grow by 3.4 percent this year, the central bank said in its latest quarterly report. That was up sharply from an earlier estimate of 2.8 percent. The BOE predicted the economy would grow by 2.7 percent in 2015 and 2.8 percent in 2016. That also marked upgrades from the prior forecasts of 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent respectively
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