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Europe markets: bank earnings, M&A steal the limelight

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Europe markets: bank earnings, M&A steal the limelight

Europe markets: bank earnings, M&A steal the limelight

Swiss giant UBS makes gains on Europe's markets after its first-quarter results surpassed expectations.

But Britain's Barclays slips, as does Swedbank after the Swedish lender admitted to shortcomings in combating money laundering.

David Pollard reports.

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Europe markets: bank earnings, M&A steal the limelight

In the battle for headlines on Thursday, Deutsche and Commerzbank were clear champions on Thursday .... Announcing the end of merger talks.

But others heavyweights were in the ring .... Despite a plunge in investment bank earnings, Swiss giant UBS saw its shares make gains after first-quarter results beat expectations.

Britain's Barclays disappointed after reporting a 10 percent drop in quarterly profit, as its investment bank struggled with tough markets.

Swedbank profits topped forecasts - but its shares fell over 3 percent anyway as the Swedish lender admitted to previous shortcomings in dealing with money laundering.

And - back in Germany - payments service Wirecard had a message of wanting to move on with a refocussing on growth .... After securing audit approval for results delayed by allegations of fraud and false accounting - as reported by the Financial Times.

It has denied wrongdoing.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) WIRECARD CEO MARKUS BRAUN, SAYING (ABOUT SINGAPORE ACCUSATIONS): "Even if those accusations mostly concerning Singapore have not proven true at all in their legal perspective, we still have quality defects, especially in the area of accounting of a side issue in our business, in the so called software licensing business, while at the core we are rather a processing company." Commerzbank slipped as the merger talks were abandoned.

The two banks spoke of the risks of doing a deal, restructuring costs and capital demands.

Deutsche shares rose... Even though it could mean pressure for more radical changes - such as cuts to its U.S. investment bank.




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