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Larger public sector banks may acquire smaller peers

Larger public sector banks may acquire smaller peers

Finance
NEW DELHI: The government has resumed discussions on public sector bank consolidation with some of the "larger and stronger" players such as Bank of Baroda (BoB), Canara Bank and Union Bank of India seen as potential candidates with which the smaller ones can be merged. Sources said that lenders such as IDBI Bank and Dena Bank are among those on the radar for a possible merger with some of the discussions in the banks having already started. "There are various options that are being explored but nothing has been finalised so far," said an official source, who did not wish to be identified. While the Narendra Modi government has been discussing the possibility of consolidation, it has failed to move beyond the merger of State Bank of India's (SBI's) associate banks with the parent. In addi...
East Coast train line to be put into public control

East Coast train line to be put into public control

Business
Media playback is unsupported on your device Rail services on the East Coast Main Line are being brought back under government control, following the failure of the current franchise.Operators Stagecoach and Virgin Trains will hand over control from 24 June.The Department for Transport will run the service until a new public-private partnership can be appointed in 2020.Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said it would smooth the transition to a new operator, but critics said it was evidence of private sector failure.Mr Grayling said the franchise had failed because Stagecoach and Virgin Trains had "got their bid wrong", overestimating the profitability of the line.It is the third time in a just over a decade that the government has called a hal...
Kim Jong Un keeps out of public eye following summit announcements

Kim Jong Un keeps out of public eye following summit announcements

World
SEOUL, March 20 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have kept out of the public eye for about two weeks, indicating that he is occupied with preparations for upcoming summits with Seoul and Washington, Yonhap reported.Pyongyang's state-run media has not reported on any of Kim's public activities since his meeting with South Korea's presidential envoys on March 6.After the meeting, the envoys announced that Kim had called for an inter-Korean summit in late April, as well as a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.South Korean observers believe the North Korean leader has withdrawn from public events to focus on summit preparations."It looks like he is concentrating on preparations for summits with South Korea and the United States, weighing Washington's intentions, Seoul'...
Iranian women arrested for removing mandatory hijabs in public protest

Iranian women arrested for removing mandatory hijabs in public protest

World
Tehran police arrested 29 people on Thursday after an unprecedented protest against the legal requirement that women must wear headscarves in public took place this week, according to Iranian media reports. In a symbolic move, at least six women climbed on utility boxes on busy streets in Tehran on Monday, took off their headscarves, or hijabs, put them on sticks and waved them for some minutes. The photos went viral on social media networks with the hashtag #NoToCompulsaryHijab. Omid Memarian, an Iranian journalist, tweeted, "A growing number of women are removing their mandatory head scarves & waving them on the streets of Tehran: a courageous symbol of civil protest against the hijab; forced on women in Iran for decades. Six women so far and it seems they're just starting!" The ...
Sky-Fox deal not in public interest, says regulator

Sky-Fox deal not in public interest, says regulator

Business
Fox's proposed takeover of Sky is not in the public interest on grounds of media plurality, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said.The CMA has provisionally found that if the deal went ahead as planned, it would give the Murdoch family too much control over news providers in the UK.However, the CMA found the deal would not be against the public interest on the grounds of broadcasting standards.Disney has agreed to buy most of Fox's business, so may end up owning Sky.Disney's proposed takeover, which still has to be approved by US regulators, includes Fox's current 39% stake in Sky.And if the Sky-Fox deal does finally go through, the whole of Sky would be likely to transfer to Disney's ownership.Wide influenceFox has been trying to buy the 61% of Sky that it does not curr...