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PRESS DIGEST- Financial Times - Oct 2

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


Banks turn uneasy on Help to Buy


Europe's banks undervalued, says ECB deputy Vítor Constâncio


Intesa keeps ousted CEO for six months


BP had method to seal blowout sooner, safety expert tells court


Dividend cover drops at FTSE 350 groups


European groups buffeted by emerging market currency volatility



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

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

Italy's stock market regulator has demanded an explanation from Intesa, the country's largest retail bank, why CEO Enrico Cucchiani, who quit on Sunday, is being kept on for another six months as an employee with no specific responsibility.

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

Pressure from shareholders on companies to provide them with income, even as profitability falls, has led to a fall in dividend cover - the ratio of profits to dividends - among FTSE 350 companies, according to a study.

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