PRESS DIGEST- Financial Times - Oct 2

Reuters

Oct 2 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in theFinancial Times. Reuters has not verified these stories and doesnot vouch for their accuracy.

Headlines

Banks turn uneasy on Help to Buy

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Europe's banks undervalued, says ECB deputy Vítor Constâncio

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Intesa keeps ousted CEO for six months

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BP had method to seal blowout sooner, safety expert tellscourt

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Dividend cover drops at FTSE 350 groups

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European groups buffeted by emerging market currencyvolatility

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Overview

Mortgage lenders in the UK are wary of the government'slatest 'Help to Buy' government loan initiative with onlystate-backed banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds as the only pair to have endorsed the scheme.

Vítor Constâncio, vice-president of the European CentralBank, says European banks are being unjustly undervalued byinvestors and are just as strong as their U.S. rivals.

Italy's stock market regulator has demanded an explanationfrom Intesa, the country's largest retail bank, why CEOEnrico Cucchiani, who quit on Sunday, is being kept on foranother six months as an employee with no specificresponsibility.

BP had equipment available that could have sealedits well in the Gulf of Mexico within a month of it blowing outin April 2010, two months earlier than the spill was actuallyended, a safety consultant appearing as an expert witness told aU.S. court on Tuesday.

Pressure from shareholders on companies to provide them withincome, even as profitability falls, has led to a fall individend cover - the ratio of profits to dividends - among FTSE350 companies, according to a study.

European multinationals, which have long relied onfast-growing sales in emerging markets, are realising that theyare not immune to the sharp currency falls in such regions.

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