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By Jenny Lowe | Published Aug 15, 2012

Morning papers: Greece seeks two-year austerity extension

Greece is seeking a two-year extension of its latest austerity programme aimed at improving the country’s debt sustainability and prospects for a return to growth, according to a document obtained by the Financial Times.

Antonis Samaras, the centre-right prime minister, is expected to outline the proposal during talks next week with Angela Merkel, German chancellor, in Berlin and French President François Hollande in Paris, the paper reports.

QE could fund a £20bn tax giveaway

The government could fund a £20bn tax giveaway to boost growth next year by releasing the profits made by the Bank of England’s money-printing programme, a leading economist has suggested, reports The Telegraph.

Stocks ease back from recent highs

Stock benchmarks are dipping into the red but moves are relatively mild and mixed across asset classes in early European trading, reports the Financial Times.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 is down 0.5 per cent after the Asia-Pacific region shed 0.5 per cent and as S&P 500 futures suggest Wall Street will ease 0.2 per cent at the opening bell.

Standard Chartered to pay $340m settlement over Iran investigation

Standard Chartered agreed to pay a $340m (£217m) fine on Tuesday in a humbling settlement with a United States regulator over Iranian money-laundering charges, reports The Telegraph.

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