PRESS DIGEST - British Business - July 29

July 29 Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:26pm EDT

July 29 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Telegraph

BARCLAYS TO SEEK CASH AS 7 BLN STG CAPITAL HOLE LOOMS

Barclays PLc could on Tuesday announce plans to raise billions of pounds from shareholders as provisions against past mis-selling scandals continue to rise.

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HEATHROW TO TRACK CUSTOMERS THROUGH AIRPORT TO CUT COST OF DELAYS

Passengers at Heathrow are being tracked through the airport to reduce delays to planes and help save airlines millions of pounds.

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BEING IN EU IS GOOD FOR BRITAIN, SAYS DARROCH

Jeremy Darroch, the chief executive of BSkyB, has cautioned against an exit form the European Union, arguing that membership of the bloc remains good for British business. However, he said that cutting ties to the EU would have little impact on BSkyB as a business because it competes for rights deals only against UK rivals.

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The Guardian

SPORTS DIRECT: 90 PCT OF STAFF ON ZERO-HOUR CONTRACTS

Britain's biggest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International Plc's entire 20,000 part-time workforce are employed on zero-hour contracts at a time when 2,000 full-time staff are about to cash in bonuses of up to 100,000 pounds.

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The Times

RIVALS THROW DOWN GAUNTLET TO SORRELL WITH $35 BLN MERGER

Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP Plc faces the loss of its position as the world's biggest advertising and marketing company after Omnicom and Publicis unveiled plans for a $35.1 billion merger.

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IDLE RIGS POUR COLD WATER OVER NORTH SEA BOOM

Oil and gas platforms in the North Sea are spending an average of 146 days a year idle, twice as long as four years ago, threatening to stymie a forecast mini production boom and leave a giant hole in the Treasury's coffers.

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The Independent

CUTS AFTER 2015 ELECTION 'WILL SLOW GROWTH'

The Centre for Economics and Business Research revised its 2013 growth forecast to 1 per cent as a recovering housing market buoys consumer spending. But delayed spending cuts will bite in 2016, slowing growth from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent, it added.

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MEGA-PROJECTS CROSSRAIL AND HS2 FACING COST HIKE ON SKILLS GAP

The Crossrail and High Speed Two mega-projects could be "thousands" of engineers short during peak periods of construction, a leading recruitment firm to both infrastructure projects has warned.

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