PRESS DIGEST - British Business - Feb 18

Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:53pm EST

Feb 18 (Reuters) -

The Telegraph

CAMERON SET FOR QUESTIONS ON HELICOPTER BRIBES CLAIM

David Cameron is expected to be quizzed about bribery allegations linked to British-built helicopters and other issues ranging from Vodafone Group Plc's disputed $2.5 billion (1.6 billion pounds) tax bill to his meetings with the presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan during a three-day visit to India to boost trade.

WATCHDOG IS URGED TO INTERVENE IN BUMI BATTLE

The Takeover Panel is under pressure to make a potentially decisive intervention in the battle for control of Bumi ahead of Thursday's showdown meeting.

CENTRICA TRIES TO DRAW FIRE FROM PROFITS RISE BY STRESSING 1.1 BLN POUND TAX

British Gas owner Centrica plans to take the unusual step of drawing attention to the 1.1 billion pounds it pays in tax as it prepares for a backlash over a likely double-digit rise in profits from its consumer business.

The Guardian

SENIOR RBS BANKERS IN LINE FOR MULTIMILLION-POUND SHARE AWARD

Senior bankers at Royal Bank of Scotland are in line to share a multimillion-pound bonus windfall, in a move that risks stoking another pay row at the bailed-out bank in the wake of the 390 million pound Libor fine.

ROTHSCHILD PUTS REPUTATION AT STAKE IN BATTLE OF BUMI

The battle of Bumi will be fought at a shareholder meeting this Thursday, a climax to a City fiasco involving billionaires, feuds, whistleblowers, alleged computer hacking and claims that $1 billion (645 million pounds) is missing.

BRITAIN TO RELAX VISA RULES FOR INDIAN INVESTORS, SIGNALS PM

Britain is to relax visa rules for Indian investors as David Cameron uses a trade visit to the subcontinent to ensure the UK does not lose out to European competitors in one of the world's fastest growing economies.

AGUSTAWESTLAND DENIES CORRUPTION CHARGES OVER INDIA HELICOPTER DEAL

Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is to formally deny corruption claims over its 480 million pound defence deal with the Indian government and insists the contract will stand.

MORRISONS BUYS 49 STORES FROM FAILED BLOCKBUSTER

Supermarket Wm Morrison has bought 49 stores from failed DVD and games rental chain Blockbuster as it steps up plans to expand its convenience business.

The Times

ROTHSCHILD DECLARES VICTORY IN BUMI SHOWDOWN

Nat Rothschild has declared himself the winner in the battle for Bumi - four days before a crucial shareholder vote to decide the fate of the crisis-stricken coalminer.

WESTLAND SHOOTS AT BUNG CLAIM

Britain's only helicopter manufacturer, AgustaWestland, will this week reject claims that it bribed Indian officials to win a 480 million pound contract.

The Independent

BLEAK START TO 2013 AS POOREST UK HOUSEHOLDS FEEL THE SQUEEZE

A widening gap between rich and poor, people staying indoors rather than going shopping in the snow, and profits slumps at consumer goods companies paint a bleak picture for the start of this year.

BILLIONAIRE RADOVAN VITEK BATTLES BOARD IN ABLON BID

Czech billionaire Radovan Vitek is fighting for control of Ablon Group, a shopping centre, hotel and office building developer that is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

POSTIES COULD TAKE DELIVERY OF ROYAL MAIL SHARES IN FLOAT

Royal Mail staff could end up owning a tenth of the group when it becomes the biggest privatisation since the 1980s, according to reports over the weekend.

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