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QFINANCE weekly news round up

Bringing to you the top finance and business news stories of the week. This week, Project Merlin takes a blow, mega mergers in the stock exchanges, and Mubarak steps down.

Project Merlin, an agreement made between banks and government to make banking more transparent, was brought into question when UK Chancellor George Osborne raised the bank levy to £800m this year. Ian Fraser wrote in his blog on the subject, "Project Merlin seems to me to be meaningless and shallow PR drivel, a charade designed to give the impression the government is doing something to sort out the UK's dysfunctional banking sector - when in fact it is not doing very much at all."

Visits to Brazil made by the US Treasury secretary Tim Geithner could suggest efforts to fend off the influence of China on the economy of the Americas. Geither emphasized the surge of imports into Brazil, saying, 'These flows have been magnified by the policies of other emerging economies that are trying to sustain undervalued currencies with tightly controlled exchange rate regimes.' (Source: FT). This week, the benchmark interest rate of China's central bank was raised again, to 6.06%, in efforts to tackle inflation.

Later in the week Deutsche Borse and NYSE Euronext announced that they were in advanced talks to create a $24 billion merger - just after LSE and TMX in Canada revealed their own combination.

Finally, Friday afternoon brought news from Egypt that President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and handed power to the armed forces. Thousands of people gathered and celebrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square, chanting 'The people have brought down the regime'.

Tags: banking , Brazil , China , currency wars , Egypt , mega merger , Mergers and Acquisitions , regulation , UK , US
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