PRESS DIGEST: Sunday British business - Aug 19

LONDON Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:52am EDT

LONDON Aug 19 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday:

Sunday Times

LONMIN PLOTS $1BLN RIGHTS ISSUE

Platinum miner Lonmin is considering a $1 billion rights issue starting as early as next month to recoup losses after the closure of its Marikana mine in South Africa, where 34 workers were killed. Lonmin shareholder Xstrata has signalled it is ready to cover its part of the deal.

TYCOON GOES TO WAR WITH SHEIKH OVER SANTANDER HQ

Lawyer-turned-property investor Glenn Maud, who owns the freehold of Spanish banking group Santander 's headquarters in Madrid through Marme Inversiones, is threatening to put Marme into administration to avoid it being taken over by debtor Sheikh Mansour, the owner of Manchester City football club. The Sunday Times said such a move could force Santander to buy back the complex.

GAMING TYCOON SEEKS TO LIST GAS EXPLORER

Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi is set to launch a listing of his gas exploration company Genesis Energy, offering hope that the drought of London flotations could be about to end. The energy explorer intends to raise as much as 75 million pounds to fund a drilling programme.

RYANAIR TO SELL HEATHROW SLOTS

Ryanair has held talks with Virgin Atlantic and other international airlines about offloading Aer Lingus's landing slots at Heathrow airport. The budget carrier, which already owns 29.8 percent of Aer Lingus, has been looking to take over the company.

Sunday Telegraph

LORD ROTHSCHILD TAKES 130 MLN STG BET AGAINST EURO

Lord Rothschild has taken a near 130 million pound ($203.79 million) bet against the euro through RIT Capital Partners as fears continue to grow that the single currency will break up.

HSBC VOWS TO SAVE DIVIDEND

HSBC finance director Ian Mackay told analysts the bank was willing to "fight to the death" to prevent British regulators from attempting to force it to stop paying its dividend in order to preserve capital.

BANK OF ENGLAND IN EXTRAORDINARY CRISIS WARNING

Bank of England officials were so concerned about the potential for a financial crisis late last year they told bank bosses the whole sector could collapse "before Christmas."

CHINA'S WAHAHA EYES UNITED BISCUITS' SNACK UNIT

Chinese company Wahaha is in pole position to buy United Biscuit's 520 million pound snack business KP Snacks.

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