PRESS DIGEST- British Business - April 29

April 29 Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:42pm EDT

April 29 (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

BANKS TO BE TESTED ON PROPERTY MARKET CRASH

The Bank of England is to test Britain's major banks on their ability to weather a housing market crash that could wipe more than a third off home prices. (link.reuters.com/zaj88v)

CITY WATCHDOG SAYS WON'T WASTE RESOURCES ON ROYAL MAIL PROBE

Martin Wheatley, the boss of the Financial Conduct Authority, has told Members of Parliament he saw no reason to investigate the flotation of Royal Mail or the bankers involved pouring water on claims that the historic privatisation was mismanaged. (link.reuters.com/gah88v)

SERCO SET TO LAUNCH RESCUE RIGHTS ISSUE

Serco's shares are expected to fall heavily on Tuesday after the embattled outsourcing firm warned that it is looking at launching a rescue rights issue to bolster its finances. (link.reuters.com/xaj88v)

ASSET SELL-DOWN LOOMS AS BG OUSTS CHIEF EXECUTIVE

A sell-down of BG Group's assets or even a break-up bid have moved a step closer after the ousting of Chief Executive Chris Finlayson just 16 months into the job. (link.reuters.com/jeh88v)

BP 'COMMITTED TO ROSNEFT' AS RUSSIAN ENERGY GIANT'S CHIEF IGOR SECHIN IS PLACED ON U.S. SANCTIONS LIST

BP has said it remains "committed" to Rosneft , after the U.S. placed sanctions on Igor Sechin, the president of the Russian energy giant, in which BP has a 20 percent stake. (link.reuters.com/cej88v)

FITNESS FIRST FLEXES ITS MUSCLES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Recovering gym chain Fitness First is investing $140 million to get Southeast Asia into shape and is eyeing a further 50 clubs in the region. (link.reuters.com/tah88v)

The Guardian

BRITAIN FILES FIRST CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST U.S.-BASED LIBOR TRADERS

Britain filed its first criminal charges against U.S.-based Libor traders on Monday, as the UK arm of a complex global investigation into alleged benchmark interest-rate rigging stretches across the Atlantic. (link.reuters.com/dej88v)

PFIZER ASTRAZENECA TAKEOVER PROMPTS JOB WARNING FROM VINCE CABLE

Battle lines are being drawn over what would be the biggest foreign takeover of a British company after pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca rejected a 60 billion pound ($100.85 billion) approach from U.S. rival Pfizer, prompting a warning on jobs from UK Business Secretary Vince Cable but receiving a warmer welcome from investors. (link.reuters.com/feh88v)

RBS PUT AT 'COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE' BY BONUS BLOCKING PLANS

Standard Life, one of London's biggest fund managers, has warned that the British government's decision to block Royal Bank of Scotland's bonus plans would put the bank at a competitive disadvantage. (link.reuters.com/heh88v)

HEATHROW CHIEF WARNS STRONG PROFITS WILL NOT BE SUSTAINED IN YEAR AHEAD

Heathrow recorded strong profits and record passenger satisfaction scores over a mild winter but warned it will feel the squeeze in the year ahead. (link.reuters.com/fej88v)

The Times

BASKIN-ROBBINS SCOOPS UP CINEWORLD DEAL

Dunkin' Brands, the group that owns Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops, has scored a victory over one of its biggest rivals after securing a franchise deal to replace Ben & Jerry's at 45 Cineworld cinemas across Britain. (link.reuters.com/kyg88v)

The Independent

UK ADVERTISING MARKET BUOYED BY MOBILE BOOM

A boom in smartphone and mobile advertising has spurred growth in the UK advertising market as industry forecasters reckon ad revenues should soar 5.5 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year to reach a record 20 billion pounds. (link.reuters.com/gej88v) ($1 = 0.5950 British Pounds) (Compiled by Richa Naidu in Bangalore)

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