PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Jan 9

Wed Jan 8, 2014 8:19pm EST

Jan 9 (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

PREMIER LEAGUE AIMS TO PIT BSKYB AGAINST BT IN EARLY TV RIGHTS SALE

BT Group Plc and BSkyB may have to engage in a new multi-billion-pound battle for pay-TV supremacy as early as this year, because the Premier League wants to bring forward the next auction of football broadcasting rights by up to six months.

(link.reuters.com/baj85v)

ARM CHIEF SIMON SEGARS EXPECTS LOW-COST SMARTPHONES TO DRIVE SALES

ARM Holdings' chief executive has said the emergence of low-cost smartphones and Apple's move into China will drive sales at the British microchip designer. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Simon Segars said that as the price of mobile phones falls, billions of people are going to be able to upgrade to newer models.

(link.reuters.com/caj85v)

The Guardian

HOUSE PRICES RISE 7.5 PCT OVER YEAR DESPITE DECEMBER DIP

House prices went up 7.5 percent over 2013 - despite a dip in December, according to the country's biggest lender. Halifax, which bases it monthly index on mortgages it has agreed, had predicted movement of -2 percent to 2 percent over the course of 2013, but a stronger than anticipated recovery in the wider economy, combined with government stimulus including the Help to Buy scheme, led to stronger growth.

(link.reuters.com/daj85v)

MOTHERCARE SHARES PLUNGE 30 PCT ON CHRISTMAS TRADING PROFIT WARNING

Mothercare Plc shares plunged 30 percent on Wednesday after the mums and baby store admitted Christmas trading had been hit by heavy discounting and poor toy sales.

(link.reuters.com/faj85v)

The Times

'DIDDYAGEO' MARRIAGE IS SOAKED IN TEQUILA

Drinks giant Diageo Plc and the celebrity rapper turned business tycoon Sean "Diddy" Combs have joined forces to acquire DeLeón, an "ultra-premium" tequila brand, in an effort to replicate their success with the company's fast-growing Cîroc vodka.

(link.reuters.com/gaj85v)

SAINSBURY'S AHEAD, BUT ONLY JUST

J Sainsbury, the only one of Britain's big four supermarkets to defy the challenging grocery market in recent months, has cut its sales forecast for the year after a late burst of shoppers on the eve of Christmas failed to compensate for a weak autumn.

(link.reuters.com/haj85v)

The Independent

LOANS TO BUSINESSES SET TO RISE AS DEMAND FOR CREDIT INCREASES, SAYS BANK OF ENGLAND

Banks are finally turning on the credit taps to Britain's businesses after a "significant" surge in loans in the final quarter of last year, the Bank of England said on Wednesday. Its latest credit conditions survey said the overall availability of loans had "increased significantly" for both small and large businesses and that lenders were anticipating a further increase early this year.

(link.reuters.com/jaj85v)

EUROZONE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE REMAINS STABLE AT 12.1 PCT

Eurozone unemployment was stable in November, prompting some analysts to suggest that the region's problems might be beginning to abate. Although the jobless number rose 4,000 in the month, that followed a large fall in October and left the total rate at 12.1 percent for the eighth consecutive month, according to Eurostat.

(link.reuters.com/kaj85v) (Compiled by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Anand Basu)

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