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Europe News London

  • Most banks in Europe are not likely to be hit very hard by the recent turmoil in credit markets, and the Northern Rock crisis is not likely to spill in the U.K. mortgage sector, two top ratings agencies said Wednesday.

  • U.K. insurer Standard Life is considering a cash-and-shares bid for Resolution, it said on Wednesday, once again throwing into doubt Resolution's agreed nil-premium merger with rival Friends Provident.

  • Shares in embattled British bank Northern Rock tumbled 20% to an all-time low on Wednesday as speculation of a cut-price takeover bid combined with stake sales from two investors stoked concerns over its future

  • All nine members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep interest rates at 5.75% earlier this month, judging it was too soon to tell how financial market troubles would play out.

  • harry_potter_sold_1.jpg

    Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury Publishing saw first-half sales jump 36.5% as export orders for the seventh Harry Potter book and 34 international bestsellers kept bookworms flocking to stores.

  • There is a "one-in-10 chance" of a 1990s-style U.K. housing market crash, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said on Tuesday, after scaling back its expectations for British house price inflation.

  • British finance minister Alistair Darling said on Monday that authorities would considerevery option to solve the crisis at mortgage lender Northern Rock.

  • Europe's largest low-cost airline Ryanair said Thursday it plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand service to Milan.

  • The Bank of England made on Thursday its biggest concession yet to banks caught up in the credit crisis, giving them greater flexibility on how much cash they can borrow without penalty to manage daily cashflow.

  • Singapore's Temasek became the latest investor to lose interest in buying Nasdaq's 31% stake in the London Stock Exchange, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

  • A case of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed at a British farm Wednesday, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

  • Abbey, the U.K. arm of Spanish banking giant Banco Santander, is the first high street bank to raise its mortgage rates in the wake of the turmoil in the financial markets.

  • ITV, Britain's largest commercial television broadcaster, said Tuesday it plans to expand its Internet and TV productions to bring in more viewers.

  • Body Shop founder Anita Roddick in 1994.

    Anita Roddick, founder of the international Body Shop cosmetics chain, died Monday night after suffering a major brain hemorrhage, her family said. She was 64.

  • British subprime specialist Victoria Mortgages became the latest victim of the credit crisis on Monday, as the lender said it had gone into administration and was no longer funding new loans after its costs escalated.

  • British firms' costs fell more than expected in August, while prices at the factory gate rose as forecast, official data showed on Monday.

  • The Qatari Investment Authority is considering teaming up with three Italian partners to win over Nasdaq's 31% stake in the London Stock Exchange, Italian daily Il Sole 24Ore reported.

  • An investigation into an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Britain last month has highlighted biosecurity breaches at a government-funded laboratory.

  • Music and books retailer HMV Group reported a 5.8% rise in first-quarter sales on Thursday, as wet summer weather increased demand for CDs and readers devoured the final chapter in the Harry Potter series.

  • Representatives of the Qatari Investment Authority have indicated a willingness to pay as much as 15 pounds ($30)  a share for Nasdaq's 31% percent stake in the London Stock Exchange the Sunday Times newspaper said.