By Ray Fleming

FOR a change there has been good news about the City of London in the past few days -- three helpings of it, in fact. First came word from Brussels -- yes, that Brussels, to say that the European Commission was unlikely to approve the proposed stock exchange merger between New York Stock Exchange, Euronext and Deutsche Bourse which has been under negotiation for some time. The merger would unite exchanges in New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Brussels and consolidate competition with the London Stock Exchange which has opposed it. The EU's decision is not final, but likely.

Then the Treasury announced that top of Chancellor George Osborne's agenda during his current visit to Beijing is an agreement with the Chinese government to make London the leading international centre for trading the Chinese currency, the yuan, or renminbi as it also known. If this is confirmed without too many qualifications it will be very important news indeed for the City of London. New York and Singapore were also in the race but apparently have been beaten. Finally, came the decision of Aon, the world's second biggest insurance broker and principal Manchester United sponsor (in that order of importance),to move its headquarters from Chicago to London so that it has what it described as “greater access to emerging markets in one of the key international hubs of insurance”.

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