Irish fruit firm Fyffes and US rival Chiquita are to merge to create the world's largest banana company, worth about $1bn (�597m).
Britain's strengthening recovery will see the economy surpass its pre-crisis peak earlier than expected, according to two leading business bodies, with private-sector optimism now stronger than all other advanced economies.
In October, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, responded to the currency-manipulation claims by ordering a �full examination� of internal records.
"Caution" has been urged on new figures suggesting that the number of workers on zero-hours contracts has increased threefold since 2010.
Customers at nine bank and building societies will soon be able to pay people using a mobile phone number. A new service called Paym - pronounced "Pay Em" - was unveiled on Monday by the Payments Council.