The Week

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UP TO 10 million people looked forward to receiving a windfall of between £600 and £3,100 after the High Court approved plans for the Halifax and Leeds Permanent building societies to merge and form a bank that will later seek a Stock Exchange share quote.

In Japan, Mitsubishi and Tokyo banks announced a merger to form the world's biggest bank with combined assets of Y72,788bn (£514bn).

Commerzbank became the latest Continental institution to buy a stake in the UK financial services industry, when it took a 75 per cent stake in fund manager Jupiter Tyndall for £130m.

British Aerospace topped up its financial armoury with a £383m rights issue in case the Monopolies and Mergers Commission allows it to bid for VSEL, the submarine maker.

Scottish Power extended its retail chain south of the border by paying £16m for the retail operations of Manweb.