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WireTap 0900 30/01/12

A round-up of the key stories across the specialist financial media, including news that Stephen Hester, RBS chief executive, agreed on Sunday night to give up a bonus worth almost £1m.

Hester agrees to give up £1m bonus

Stephen Hester, Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive, agreed on Sunday night to give up a bonus worth almost £1m, bowing to an intense media and political campaign and averting what threatened to be a humiliation in the House of Commons. 

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Citigroup said to cut bonuses in investment bank by about 30% 

Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. lender by assets, cut 2011 bonuses in its investment banking division by about 30 percent on average amid slumping revenue, according to a person briefed on the matter. 

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Greek fury at plan for EU budget control 

Greece’s finance minister angrily rejected a German plan for the eurozone to impose a budget overseer onto Athens in return for a new €130bn bail-out, saying it would improperly force his country to choose between “financial assistance” and “national dignity”. 

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Longest S&P 500 valuation slump since Nixon discounts profit 

Valuations for U.S. equities have been stuck below the five-decade average for the longest period since Richard Nixon’s presidency, a sign investors don’t trust earnings even after a three-year bull market.

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Asian stocks weaken with Europe in focus 

Most Asian markets fell Monday as investors turned cautious ahead of a key summit of European leaders later in the day and as Chinese stocks were hit by disappointment over a lack of policy easing from Beijing.

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China premier downplays debt woes

China’s government debt is under control and remains at safe levels, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in comments released Monday, even as the National Audit Office highlighted potential risks for financial sectors this year. 

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