PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Feb 5

Tue Feb 4, 2014 8:22pm EST

Feb 5 (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

FCA WIDENS RIGGING PROBE TO OTHER BENCHMARK RATES

Regulators are investigating allegations that several London-based benchmarks used to price financial products could have been rigged, according to Martin Wheatley, the chief executive Britain's Financial Conduct Authority. ()

PUNCH TAVERNS IN LAST MINUTE PLEA TO LENDERS OVER DEBT DEAL

Punch Taverns, Britain's second biggest pubs group, will warn its lenders on Wednesday that failure to pass a controversial debt restructuring deal could lead to at least five years of "mess" and "uncertainty". ()

CANDY BROTHERS PLAN MAJOR DUBAI DEVELOPMENT

Billionaire property developer brothers Nick and Christian Candy have plans to partner a development of 3 million square feet in Dubai that, if completed, would be about three times the size of the London Shard. ()

The Guardian

UK SHOP PRICES FALL FOR NINTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH

Prices in Britain's shops fell at the fastest rate in more than seven years in January as retailers resorted to aggressive discounting on clothing, furniture and electrical goods to encourage consumers back into stores after the festive period. ()

HOUSING CRISIS WILL CONTINUE FOR 10 YEARS, GEORGE OSBORNE WARNS

British Finance Minister George Osborne has warned that the country's housing shortage is likely to persist for at least 10 more years. He insisted the coalition's controversial planning shakeup was having a positive effect, and played down fears of a property bubble. ()

The Times

BP COULD CUT INVESTMENT IN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND

The chief executive of BP has waded into the row over Scottish independence by warning that the British oil group could cut investment in the North Sea if Scots vote "yes"in September's referendum. ()

LLOYDS PLANS FOR SHARE SALE DESPITE DIVIDEND SETBACK

Ministers are pushing ahead with plans for a 5 billion pound ($8 billion) sale of shares in Lloyds Banking Group by Easter, in spite of a tough stance from regulators that have dashed the bank's hopes it could resume dividend payments next month. ()

The Independent

TALKTALK UP TO 436 MLN STG AS MORE TUNE INTO VALUE DEALS

Telecom company TalkTalk's strategy of dodging the costly pay-TV wars between BSkyB and BT and offering "value" deals for customers who only want "a little bit" of premium TV content looks to be working. ()

MICROCHIP MAKER ARM HOLDINGS HIT BY SMARTPHONE SALES SLOWDOWN

Microchip-designer ARM added to fears of a slowdown in the smartphone market today, as it revealed flagging shipments of high-end smartphone chips in the fourth quarter. ()

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