PRESS DIGEST - British business - Dec 7

Thu Dec 6, 2012 8:11pm EST

The Times

BRANDING MOVE HITS MULBERRY IN THE POCKET

Profits at Mulberry have sunk by 36 percent in the first half to 10 million pounds on the back of rising costs associated with operating its own stores and making the brand more exclusive.

The Telegraph

STARBUCKS 20 MLN POUND "MAKES JOKE" OF TAX SYSTEM

Starbucks took the "unprecedented" step Thursday of pledging to pay £20m corporation tax, even if it makes no profit - only for the move to appear to backfire and fuel the fiasco surrounding its UK operation. Politicians warned that the move underscored the view that the UK's tax system is being treated as a "complete joke".

"UNREALISTIC" BANK MISSION

ECB MULLS NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES

Mario Draghi, the ECB's president, said the governing council had discussed a cut in overnight deposit rate to below zero for the first time, and was "operationally ready" to do so if needed.

BARCLAYS LINES UP FORMER FSA CHIEF FOR SENIOR ROLE

Hector Sants, who is also in talks to join Deloitte as a partner, has been offered a job by Barclays just months after the FSA fined it nearly 60 million pounds over its attempts to rig Libor.

UK DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT BROKE OWN RULES

A report into the West Coast rail fiasco by Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw found that government officials gave "inaccurate reports" to ministers, broke their own rules and persisted with a flawed bid process they knew risked legal challenge.

The Guardian

BANK ROLE IN GAS TRADE CONTROVERSY REVEALED

One of the banks being investigated over the Libor lending rate scandal was behind some of the unusual deals that triggered a separate inquiry into suspected attempts to manipulate the wholesale gas price. US investment bank Citigroup has confirmed that traders in its London office made two of a series of six gas deals that prompted inquiries by the UK's financial and energy regulators.

ROLLS-ROYCE FACES PROSECUTIONS AND FINES IN ASIA PROBE

Rolls-Royce faces the threat of a multimillion pound fine on both sides of the Atlantic after the industrial group revealed that concerns about bribery and corruption have been flagged to Britain's Serious Fraud Office and the US Department of Justice.

The Independent

US STARTS NEW "COLD WAR" OVER MAGNITSKY AFFAIR

The US Senate voted last night to name and shame Russian officials involved in corruption and to forbid them from travelling to America or investing there.

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