PRESS DIGEST - British business - Dec 4

Mon Dec 3, 2012 8:46pm EST

The Times

UK PROPERTY TAX LOOPHOLE WORTH 5 BLN POUNDS

Thousands of offshore companies are exploiting a loophole which allows them to buy up some of Britain's most expensive homes and avoid paying taxes on them - Times investigation.

UK LENDING SCHEME MISFIRES AS BANKS HOLD ONTO CASH

A flagship lending scheme in the UK misfired in its first three months as top banks drew on the cheap funding but failed to pass the benefits on to their customers.

The Telegraph

PFI REBORN WITH PLEDGE PROTECTING TAXPAYER

UK finance minister is expected to announce a new generation of Private Finance Initiative schemes, but with safeguards to ensure the taxpayer shares in any profits.

BSKYB CHIEF TO HEAD MURDOCH'S UK NEWSPAPER OPERATION

The chief operating officer at BSkyB was brought in to News Corp's UK newspaper operation, News International on Monday, as Rupert Murdoch set out plans to carve News Corp in two.

FINANCIAL CRISIS "LIKE WORLD WAR" - HALDANE

Leading Bank of England official, Andrew Haldane, has warned that the financial crisis has been as economically devastating as a world war and may still be a burden on "our grandchildren".

FORMER TESCO BOSS TERRY LEAHY NAMED CHAIRMAN OF B&M

Terry Leahy is to return to the retail industry as chairman of B&M Bargains after the discount chain was bought by private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice.

The Guardian

VAT LOOPHOLE COSTS UK 1.6 BLN POUNDS A YEAR

Lost tax revenue from services bought from suppliers based overseas is more than 1.6 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) a year, says report, adding to pressure on George Osborne to close tax loopholes.

UN PREPARES FOR SYRIAN PULLOUT

The United Nations is preparing to evacuate all non-essential staff from Syria, citing the "prevailing security situation" amid fears that the regime may use chemical weapons.

The Independent

BANK BOSS SOLD OFF SHARES ON EVE OF CRASH

James Crosby, the former HBOS chief executive sold two-thirds of his shares in the bank in the two years before its near-collapse.

HMV SELLS CHUNK OF MAMA GROUP FOR 7.3 MLN POUNDS

HMV sold a major chunk of MAMA Group, the live-music business on Monday to LDC, the private-equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group for 7.3 million pounds.

NEWS CORP SPLIT AS MURDOCH REJIGS TOP JOBS

Rupert Murdoch has split his publishing and TV businesses sooner than expected, making a string of sweeping changes across News Corp, including at News International.