And in the real world... Emap, Thomas Cook, Lloyds and more

LONDON - Today's round-up of the biggest business stories.

World news... round-up
World news... round-up

The chief executive of BT Vision, Dan Marks, who heads up the pay-TV service, quit the company last night. Marks, who has been with BT for five years and heads up BT's Consumer division, struggled with a low take-up of the service – a problem he blamed on its limited access to Premiership football. Source: The Daily Telegraph

Apax, a private equity investor in Emap, has written off its stake in the company, which it jointly owns alongside Guardian Media Group. After paying a combined £1 billion with GMG two years ago, Apax announced it had reduced its investments in the business-to-business publisher to zero. Source: The Daily Telegraph

Lloyds Banking Group is gearing up to close 400 of its branches, including all 164 branches of Cheltenham & Gloucester. The decision will see the loss of 1660 jobs at the bank. Source: The Times

Thomas Cook is facing a merger with Rewe, its German rival, after its majority shareholder, the German retail group Arcandor, filed for insolvency. Arcandor, which owns 53 per cent of Thomas Cook, was forced to file for insolvency after being refused state aid from the German government. Source: Financial Times

The US government is set to receive a combined $68 billion in repayments from financial groups including JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. Ten financial companies in total were informed that they could buy back preference shares and warrants issued to them, freeing them from government control. Source: The Independent