PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British Business - July 14

LONDON, July 14 Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:34am EDT

LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday: The Sunday Times

GE TO CRASH BID BATTLE FOR INVENSYS General Electric, one of America's biggest companies, is plotting a 3.5 billion pound ($5.3 billion) counterbid for Invensys that could trigger a transatlantic battle for the British industrial software company.

CABLE TO MAKE RECKLESS BOSSES PAY FOR FAILURE Negligent directors could be held personally liable for failed companies' debts under a shake-up of corporate law to be unveiled by British business secretary Vince Cable on Monday.

TATA STEEL RACKS UP RECORD 1.2 BLN STG LOSS Tata Steel Europe, Britain's biggest steel producer, has revealed the scale of its financial problems by reporting a loss of 1.2 billion pounds for the year.

SCANDAL-HIT G4S WEIGHS RIGHTS ISSUE The boss of the security giant G4S, trying to repair the balance sheet, has ordered a sweeping review that could prompt a big rights issue within weeks.

BRITISH BANKS FACE 2 BLN STG BILL FOR CARD FRAUD Britain's banks are to be hit with an estimated 2 billion pound bill to compensate customers who were mis-sold protection against identify theft.

The consumer finance watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority is forcing banks to pay for policies they sold on behalf of CPP, the troubled card insurer.

IRN-BRU WANTS TO SWALLOW LUCOZADE AND RIBENA The maker of Irn-Bru, A.G. Barr, is weighing a possible 1 billion pound offer for two other well-known soft drinks, Lucozade and Ribena, and is expected to open discussions with private equity firms with a view to launching a joint bid.

THREAT TO CO-OP RESCUE Rebel bondholders in the Co-operative Group are threatening to derail the Manchester-based mutual's plans to bail out its banking business, arguing that the supermarkets-to funerals group should cut its bank adrift rather than put in more cash that could be used elsewhere.

The Sunday Telegraph

PENSIONERS 'MISLED' BY CO-OP BANK The Co-operative Bank reassured pensioners that their investments were safe a month before announcing plans to slash their savings as part of a last-ditch bail-out.

The Sunday Telegraph said it had seen emails in which a manager at the Co-op Bank told a worried pensioner that "there is no need to be concerned" about a 50,000 pound investment.

HEATHROW TO RULE OUT FOURTH RUNWAY UNTIL 2040 Heathrow, the UK's largest airport, is to rule out needing a fourth runway until 2040 as part of its bid to get the green light for a third runway despite local and political opposition.

WONGA HIRES EX-SKYPE CFO Payday lender Wonga has hired the former chief financial officer of Skype to its board as a non-executive director.

HANNAM CASE FACES DELAY A ruling in the appeal of Ian Hannam, the ex-JP Morgan Cazenove banker trying to overturn a 450,000 pound fine for market abuse, may not be delivered until next year after a significant delay in the case.

CENTRICA's 1.4 BLN STG GAS STORE COULD BE SHELVED Centrica's 1.4 billion pound plan to convert an empty gas field into a storage facility to help with any future energy crisis could be shelved after the UK government signalled that it did not believe Britain needs more storage.

PAYDAY FOR SPORTS DIRECT STAFF AS SALES, PROFITS RISE Staff at Sports Direct are in line for a one-off payout worth about 68,000 pounds each after a surge in sales - expected to be 18 percent up on last year - and profits for the retailer.

The Mail on Sunday

GOLDMAN STAFF GET 17 PCT PAY BOOST Pay at Goldman Sachs rose by one sixth in the second quarter of the year, the U.S. investment bank is set to declare this week, meaning that the bank's 32,000 staff will have earned an average of $106,000 over the three months to the end of June.

ROYAL MAIL 'MUST BE FREE TO BUY FOREIGN POST FIRMS' A privatised Royal Mail should use its freedom from state control to take over foreign postal companies, said British business minister Michael Fallon, who also ruled out a government 'golden share' to protect Royal Mail from a foreign predator.

UK SHALE RICHES MAY CUT PRICE OF NUCLEAR DEAL WITH FRENCH The UK government is taking a tougher stance in its long-running talks with power company EDF Energy over a 14 billion pound scheme to build two new reactors after recent surveys suggested Britain may have huge reserves of cheap shale gas.

BARCLAYS WON'T RUSH TO FILL 3 BLN STG HOLE British lender Barclays is likely to be given until the end of 2015 to deal with a shortfall in its capital reserves identified by the UK's new banking regulator.

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