PRESS DIGEST - British Business - Jan 31

LONDON Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:19pm EST

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LONDON Jan 31 (Reuters) - The Telegraph GOVERNMENT TO SCRAP SECOND RAIL FRANCHISE BID The department for transport will announce it is scrapping the bidding competition for a rail line, extending the contract to current operator First Group.

SMARTPHONES HIT NINTENDO AS GAMES SHUN CONSOLES Nintendo slashed its sales forecasts as customers switched from traditional consoles to smartphones and tablets for their gaming needs.

MORTGAGE LENDING 'AT STRONGEST SINCE CRISIS' December saw an 11-month peak in mortgage approvals for house purchases in the UK, taking the level to 55,785 new mortgages.

The Independent MARTIN WEALE: NGDP TARGET IS PLAYING WITH FIRE Martin Weale, member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, said that the cons outweigh the pros on nominal GDP targeting and further quantitative easing was "certainly not parked."

FSA TO INVESTIGATE PENSIONS ANNUITY MARKET AMID FEARS The FSA will announce an investigation into the multi billion-pound pensions annuity market due to fears people are losing out on thousands of pounds of income upon retirement. The Guardian OFT REJECTS NEED FOR COMPETITION INQUIRY INTO PETROL PRICING The UK fuel market is working well and does not need a full-blown investigation by the Competition Commission, Britain's watchdog said.

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