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The European Union's markets regulator has fined Moody's 1.24 million euros ($1.4 million) for failing to give investors sufficient information about how ratings on major institutions such as the EU were compiled. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said Moody's German and UK branches "negligently committed two infringements of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation regarding their public announcement of certain ratings," ESMA said in a statement on Thursday. The failures relate to 19 ratings issued between June 2011 and December 2013 for nine international bodies, including the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the European Stability Mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility, and the European Union itself.
The European Union's securities watchdog has proposed tougher conditions on the use of credit ratings compiled outside the bloc, potentially making it harder for rating agencies in Britain to offer their services in the EU after Brexit. London hosts the world's "Big Three" rating agencies, Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch, which dominate ratings on companies and countries globally. Under EU rules, ratings compiled in a "third country" can be used by European customers only if they are endorsed by an EU-regulated rating agency.
French police searched presidential candidate Francois Fillon's office in parliament on Tuesday as an inquiry into alleged fake work by his wife threatened his campaign and party leaders began to consider a 'Plan B' without him. Fillon had been favourite to win the presidency for the conservative Republicans party until a week ago, when it was reported that his wife Penelope had drawn hundreds of thousands of euros in pay from state funds without doing any work. Fillon has said his Welsh-born wife, with whom he has five children, did real work for her pay as a parliamentary assistant.
By Emile Picy and Chine Labbé Financial police searched French presidential candidate Francois Fillon's office in parliament on Tuesday, a parliamentary source said, part of an inquiry into his wife's income that has thrown the election wide open. Fillon had been favourite to win the presidency for conservative party The Republicans until a week ago when a newspaper reported that his wife Penelope drew hundreds of thousands of euros in pay without doing any work. Fillon has said she did work for the money, but an official inquiry has been opened, and an opinion poll published on Sunday showed rival independent centrist Emmanuel Macron has caught him up.