REFILE-PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Jan 20

Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:17pm EST

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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

ROYAL MAIL CHIEF MOYA GREENE NEEDS HIGHER PAY, SAYS CHAIRMAN

Chairman of newly-privatised postal service Royal Mail says Moya Greene is "lowest paid chief executive in the FTSE-100" and that a pay rise is a "necessary part of making sure we keep her."

MORRISONS TREASURER HELD OVER 'INSIDER DEAL'

A senior Morrisons employee bought shares in online grocer Ocado Group Plc before a transformational 216 million pounds tie-up between the two retailers was announced, it has been alleged. The Telegraph can reveal that Paul Coyle, Morrisons' group treasurer and head of tax, was arrested in December after an insider trading investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Guardian

TOTAL PLEDGES TIGHTER SAFETY STANDARDS OVER UK SHALE GAS OPERATIONS

Total, the first major oil company to join the race to find shale gas in Britain, has promised to bring high safety standards to the controversial industry and shrugs off any fears of damage to its reputation.

DANNY ALEXANDER SCORNFUL OF RBS PLANS TO PAY BUMPER BONUSES TO SENIOR STAFF

The chief secretary to the Treasury has poured cold water on plans being hatched inside Royal Bank of Scotland to pay bumper bonuses to senior staff. Danny Alexander said he was sceptical about whether any application to double maximum payouts at the mostly state-owned bank could be justified.

The Times

VODAFONE AND SKY IN TALKS TO HALT BT BROADBAND BLITZ

Vodafone Group Plc and BSkyB have held high-level talks aimed at curbing BT's growing power in the broadband market. The former telecoms monopoly is spending more than 3 billion pounds on a high-speed fibre-optic network that should reach 90 percent of homes by next year, and a further 2 billion pounds on sports broadcast rights.

L&G PLOUGHS 5 BLN STG INTO NEW TOWNS

Britain's biggest pension fund manager Legal & General Group Plc will on Monday reveal plans to build five new towns across Britain in the next decade at a cost of up to 5 billion pounds.

Sky News

EX-BARCLAYS EXECUTIVE PLOTS NEW BUSINESS BANK

A former Barclays executive is setting up a new bank to target small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in a test of the City regulator's pledge to accelerate approvals for new lenders. Sky News understands that OakNorth, which has secured backing from a group of prominent investors, is one of 20 fledgling banks which are pursuing licences from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

EX-HBOS BANKERS ENGINEER 400 MLN STG POLYPIPE FLOAT

Sky News has learnt that Caird Capital, a firm set up in the aftermath of the banking crisis, is working with Deutsche Bank, Numis Securities and Canaccord Genuity on a public listing that could value Polypipe at more than 400 million pounds.

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