Morning in brief: Chancellor confirms £20bn credit easing scheme, growth forecast increase eyed

The UK’s official growth forecast is likely to be increased slightly tomorrow, it has been claimed, while the chancellor will confirm plans to help the country’s small businesses.

Markets

Asian shares dip after underwhelming corporate earnings in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to Reuters, although the euro manages to stay near to its highest level in a week.

Companies

Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, a senior executive with Hong Kong construction company Sun Hung Kai Properties, is arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption over suspected bribery, the BBC says.

UK 2012 Budget

The Office for Budget Responsibility is expected to marginally increase its forecast for UK economic growth tomorrow, lifting it from 0.7% to about 0.8%, sources tell the Financial Times.

Chancellor George Osborne confirms that Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander UK and Royal Bank of Scotland have signed up to the National Loan Guarantee Scheme – the government’s credit easing scheme – to offer up to £20 billion in cheap loans to small businesses, according to the Telegraph.