PRESS DIGEST - British Business - Feb 25

Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:22pm EST

Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Telegraph

CHANCELLOR MUST 'EASE PACE' OF AUSTERITY IN WAKE OF UK CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADE

One of the biggest global fund managers, Fidelity Worldwide Investment, has called for the Government to "ease the pace" of austerity in the wake of the UK's credit rating downgrade.

FRANCE MORE OPEN FOR BUSINESS THAN US AND GERMANY

France is more open to foreign investment than the United States or Germany, the country's industry minister has claimed, as he singled out Britain as being in "even bigger difficulty than France over its budget deficit".

ABERTIS MAY SELL ITS BRITISH REGIONAL AIRPORTS AFTER REVIEW

Some of Britain's leading regional airports could be about to change hands after the world's largest toll road operator ordered a review of its transport division.

LONDON HIGH STREETS ENJOY INCREASING DEMAND FROM RETAILERS

A group of high streets in London outside of the core tourist destinations are growing in popularity and stature as retailers struggle to find affordable sites on Oxford Street and Bond Street.

The Guardian

UK ECONOMY IS VULNERABLE AFTER CREDIT RATING FALL

Two former Conservative chancellors have issued grave warnings about the British economy as the government braced itself for the pound to slide following the loss of the UK's coveted AAA credit rating.

ICIS CONSULTS ENERGY INDUSTRY OVER HOW TO IMPROVE OPERATIONS

ICIS, the price reporting agency at the centre of the wholesale gas market rigging allegations, has opened a formal consultation with the energy industry about how to improve its operations.

The Sunday Times

CHANCELLOR: NO PLAN B DESPITE DEBT DOWNGRADE

George Osborne yesterday vowed that there would be no Plan B to kickstart the economy as he fought to shore up market confidence following the loss of Britain's AAA credit rating.

CARLYLE POISED TO PILE INTO AXMINSTER

A giant American private equity firm is preparing to sweep up the historic Axminster Carpets business, which will plunge into administration this week.

The Independent

RBS TO OFFLOAD U.S. BANKING BUSINESS

The Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to cave in to the demands of its regulator and outline plans to put its American retail arm, Citizens, on the market next week.

MARKS & SPENCER SUFFERS FASHION SALES SLUMP

Marks & Spencer failed to pull in new year sales shoppers, with reports suggesting it lost ground to rivals Primark and Zara.

VINCE CABLE PLAYS DOWN LOSS OF PRIZED AAA RATING

Vince Cable dismissed the loss of Britain's prized AAA credit rating as "background noise."

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