Morning in brief: Euro rises on Merkel comments, Papademos eyes Greek growth

Angela Merkel says discussions are taking place to combine the eurozone’s bailout funds, while UPS agrees to take over one of its major rivals.

Markets

The euro hits its highest point against the yen since October after German chancellor Angela Merkel suggests the eurozone’s bailout funds may be combined to strengthen the bloc’s financial firewall, according to Bloomberg.

Companies

Apple will decide what to do with its $98 billion (£61.6 billion) cash pile today, Reuters reports, adding to expectations that the technology giant may pay out a dividend for the first time since 1995.

Package delivery firm UPS agrees to buy rival TNT for €5.2 billion (£4.3 billion), or €9.5 a share, as it looks to expand its operations in Europe, the BBC says.

International

Greek caretaker prime minister Lucas Papademos tells the Financial Times that the country is “more than halfway along the path to economic recovery” and claims it will return to growth in “less than two years”.