Chancellor George Osborne has signalled the prospect of the first stages of the privatisation of Lloyds Banking Group, The Telegraph reports. He hinted the sale of the state-backed lender’s shares within months, saying the bank was in a good position for selling down the taxpayer’s 39% internet. However, he warned that he would urgently look into a break-up of tax-payer backed Royal Bank of Scotland into a “good bank and bad bank”.
Ian Livingstone, BT’s Chief Executive has stepped down to join the Government as its Trade and Investment Minister, The Times reported. Livingston will replace Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, the former HSBC chairman, when he steps down this year.
Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were given suspended prison sentences of a year and eight months and fined nearly half a billion euros by a court in Milan for evading millions in taxes, the Financial Times said. The pair, owners of the luxury fashion group, were found guilty of selling their brand to a Luxembourg-based holding company in 2004 in order to avoid declaring more than €100m in royalties.
Royal Mail employees have voted against the government’s plan to sell off the postal service, The Guardian writes. More than 96% of postal workers who voted opposed the privatisation despite the government promising them each about £1,500 in shares as part of the flotation plan.
The US Federal Reserve looks set to end monetary easing in mid-2014, based on an optimistic economic outlook, says the Financial Times. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, said it would be “appropriate to moderate the monthly pace of purchases later this year” as long as the economy grows as expected.