Banking vow

European Union leaders have pledged to take further steps to set up common banking rules for the bloc, but they delayed plans for a shared budget for eurozone nations. At the end of a two-day summit the leaders endorsed a deal, reached by finance ministers, to place the region's biggest banks under the supervision of the European Central Bank. The leaders agreed on the need to put in place by 2014 a central means for shutting down failing eurozone banks.


Power plays

British bank Barclays said the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's record $US470 million ($444 million) in proposed penalties against it for alleged power-market manipulation are unjustified and would not withstand a court challenge. Barclays and four of its former traders denied the commission's charge that they gamed electricity markets in the western US from late 2006 to 2008 and vowed to fight the allegations in federal court. "The commission should terminate this proceeding without any further action," Barclays said.


First charges

US prosecutors are planning to file charges this week against multiple bankers associated with UBS AG's rigging of Tokyo interbank lending rates. The charges would be the first brought by the US Department of Justice against individuals alleged to have manipulated the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and comparable lending rates in Europe and Japan.


Limits raised

China scrapped a ceiling on investments by overseas sovereign wealth funds and central banks in its capital markets, part of government efforts to encourage long-term foreign ownership and shore up slumping equities. Sovereign wealth funds, central banks and monetary authorities can now exceed the $US1 billion limit that still applies to other qualified foreign institutional investors, according to revised regulations posted on the State Administration of Foreign Exchanges website.

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