PRESS DIGEST-Sunday British Business-Sept 15

LONDON, Sept 15 Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:23am EDT

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday. Reuters has not verified these reports:

The Sunday Times

CO-OP REBELS CHALLENGE BANK LOSSES

A group of rebel bondholders has accused Co-operative Bank of overstating losses in an attempt to force through a rescue deal. A letter highlighting their concerns about write-offs totalling 379 million pounds ($601 million) was sent to Richard Pym, the chairman of the bank, on Friday night.

SULTAN OF BRUNEI IN 500 MLN STG LONDON SWOOP

The Sultan of Brunei has secretly spent 500 million pounds buying about 75 percent of the property on Queensway, the west London thoroughfare.

TWITTER MAY SHUN NASDAQ

Twitter is considering shunning Nasdaq, the traditional home for growing tech companies, for its forthcoming float. The company is thought to be leaning towards a New York Stock Exchange listing after glitches marred Facebook's Nasdaq debut last year.

FOOD GIANT CARGILL HELPED KEEP LEHMAN ALIVE

Cargill, one of the world's biggest grain traders, played a key role in salvaging the London arm of Lehman Brothers. Two days after Lehman folded in 2008, Cargill provided a $100 million emergency loan so administrators could pay staff.

LENDERS THREATEN "HELP TO BUY" PLAN

Banks and building societies could derail the government's "help to buy" scheme amid concerns they may be saddled with too many high-risk loans. Lenders are warning privately that they plan to stick with their current lending criteria.

MINISTERS TRY TO RENEGOTIATE BAE DEAL

British ministers are trying to renegotiate a 5.3 billion pounds contract with BAE Systems to build two aircraft carriers in an attempt to force it to take more responsibility for spiralling costs.

Sunday Telegraph

LEGAL FIGHT THREATENS ROYAL MAIL

TNT Post UK, which is owned by Dutch mail group PostNL , is taking court action against Royal Mail's tax status in a move that could have a significant impact on the government's plans for a multibillion-pound float of the state-owned service. TNT Post UK is challenging the 20 percent VAT exemption the Royal Mail is granted as the "universal provider" of postal services in Britain.

IGAS IN TALKS OVER SHALE ENERGY DEALS

Shale gas explorer IGas Energy is in talks with major landowners and industrial firms in Lancashire and Cheshire about drilling access and gas supply deals.

AIR CHINA MOVE HITS GATWICK EXPANSION PLANS

Gatwick airport's bid to rival Heathrow as a gateway to long-haul destinations has been dealt a blow as Air China prepares to scrap its direct flights from Gatwick this winter.

Independent on Sunday

PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS PONDER MERGERMARKET BIDS

A host of private equity firms are considering bids for Mergermarket, the online news service that Pearson put on the block in July. Advent International, Exponent and HgCapital are all understood to be pondering offers.

INVESTEC TO LAUNCH $500 MLN AIRCRAFT DEBT FUND

Investec will launch a $500 million fund to invest in aircraft debt later this month, which the specialist asset manager claims is a world first.

Mail on Sunday

LONDON HOUSE BUBBLE "THREAT TO UK RECOVERY"

A crash in the soaring London housing market could derail the tentative recovery of the entire British economy, according to Paul Ballew, global chief economist at Dun & Bradstreet.

NEW RULES ON WAY FOR PAYDAY LENDERS

The third major investigation into payday lending in less than two years will be launched by the new Financial Conduct Authority next week and is expected to result in a complete overhaul of the sector with stringent new controls on lenders.

INVESTOR REVOLT BREWS OVER DIAGEO EX-BOSS

An investor revolt is brewing over the 18.2 million pounds pay package for Paul Walsh, the former chief executive of drinks group Diageo.

Sunday Express

ASDA AIMING FOR 500 MORE STORES

Andy Clarke, the chief executive of Wal-Mart's British unit Asda, is considering opening 500 more supermarkets as part of the company's plan to be within reach of the entire population.

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