PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Feb 21

Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:09pm EST

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Feb 21 - 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

STANDARD LIFE TO WARN OF RISKS OF SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

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Standard Life is poised to warn that Scottish independence poses a significant risk to its business in yet another blow to Alex Salmond and the SNP.

SAM LAIDLAW FUELS SPECULATION OVER CENTRICA EXIT AND HINTS BRITISH GAS COULD CUT PRICES

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Sam Laidlaw fuelled speculation over his exit from Centrica on Thursday by refusing to say how long he anticipated remaining at the energy giant's helm, as he unveiled a 2 percent fall in annual profits.

The Guardian

LLOYDS CREATES HOLDING COMPANY FOR TSB BANK FLOAT

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Lloyds Banking Group is gearing up for the flotation of its TSB arm later this year by registering a new holding company in advance of the 1 billion pound share sale.

UK PRODUCTIVITY GAP WITH DEVELOPED NATIONS NOW WIDEST FOR 20 YEARS

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Britain's productivity gap with its main developed country rivals is at its widest in 20 years, following the flat-lining of the economy after the deep recession of 2008-09.

The Times

LLOYDS BONDHOLDERS SHAKEN BY TALK OF CHEAP BANK BUYBACK

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Lloyds Banking Group is facing a run-in with retail and institutional bond investors after threatening to buy back billions of its high-interest-bearing debts at less than their face value.

BOOTS TO SELL E-CIGARETTES IN DEAL WITH IMPERIAL TOBACCO

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Boots the chemist, founded by Quakers in 1849, has signed an exclusive deal with a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco that means the high street chain will be selling electronic cigarettes from Monday.

Sky News

RBS PLOTS OVERHAUL OF CORPORATE BANKING ARM

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Royal Bank of Scotland will next week launch a radical restructuring of its corporate banking division as part of a wider overhaul of the taxpayer-backed lender.

CITY HEAVYWEIGHT'S FURY OVER ESSAR ENERGY BID

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A major City investor in Essar Energy, Capital Research Global Investors, which owns about 3.5 percent of Essar Energy , is furious at a proposed 70 pence a share bid from a vehicle controlled by the Ruia family.

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