PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British business - Dec 16

LONDON Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:20am EST

LONDON Dec 16 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday:

Sunday Telegraph

COMET COLLAPSE LEAVES TAXPAYER WITH 26 MLN STG LOSS

Stricken electricals retailer Comet collapsed under almost 200 million pounds ($322 million) of losses which will leave the taxpayer facing a 26 million pounds hit.

BANKS FACE FRESH SPLIT THREAT AS PARLIAMENT EYES NEW LEGISLATION

Banks face the threat of being broken up if they do not implement reforms aimed at improving their behaviour.

WE MUST BACK THE CITY, SAYS ITV CHIEF

Archie Norman, the chairman of ITV, has made a passionate plea in defence of Britain's banks and described critics of the City of London financial district as "First World War generals hell-bent on fighting the last war."

OFGEM ACCUSED OF SERIOUS ERRORS IN BATTLE OVER NATIONAL GRID SPENDING

National Grid has accused energy regulator Ofgem of making "numerous errors and questionable judgements" in deciding that almost 5 billion pounds should be slashed from the company's 33.5 billion pounds spending plans.

CARLSBERG RAMPS UP PRESSURE ON PM OVER ALCOHOL PRICE PLAN

Danish brewer Carlsberg has become the latest drinks group to oppose government proposals to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol to tackle Britain's binge-drinking culture.

Sunday Times

AMERICAN VULTURE FUND SWOOPS ON STRICKEN HMV

American vulture fund, Apollo Global Management, is plotting to seize control of HMV after the high street chain's warning that its future is hanging by a thread.

EXXON EYES UK SHALE

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil company, is considering a bet on Britain's nascent shale gas revolution.

Independent on Sunday

MOTHERCARE CHIEF FACES INVESTOR BACKLASH OVER 6.7 MLN STG BONUS DEAL

Mothercare's chief executive Simon Calver, is bracing himself for a backlash over his highly incentivised pay package, which could see him pocket 6.7 million pounds.