PRESS DIGEST- British Business - May 2

Thu May 1, 2014 8:45pm EDT

May 2 (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

PFIZER MULLS HIGHER BID FOR ASTRAZENECA

Pfizer Inc is mulling a bid in excess of 63 billion pounds ($106.44 billion) for its smaller British rival AstraZeneca Plc, according to reports. (link.reuters.com/ceh98v)

SCOTTISH 'YES' VOTE COULD IMPROVE UK CREDIT, SAYS MOODY'S

Britain could end up with a better credit rating if Scotland votes for independence, with a "yes" providing the catalyst for an upgrade of the remaining UK's debt, according to Moody's. (link.reuters.com/beh98v)

'DANGEROUS' TO IGNORE HOUSE PRICE BOOM, WARNS BOE DEPUTY

Surging house prices pose the single biggest threat to UK financial stability, the deputy governor of the Bank of England has warned. (link.reuters.com/deh98v)

The Guardian

ELECTORAL COMMISSION VOIDS CBI LISTING AS NO CAMPAIGNER IN SCOTLAND VOTE

The Electoral Commission has nullified the Confederation of British Industry's controversial registration as a no campaigner in the Scottish independence referendum, after ruling that the application was made by the wrong CBI official. (link.reuters.com/hah98v)

FAT FACE AND PIZZAEXPRESS UP FOR AUCTION AS FIRMS TEST BUYERS' APPETITES

Fat Face and PizzaExpress are the latest consumer brands to go under the hammer as private equity firms look to cash in on rising consumer confidence and buoyant financial markets. (link.reuters.com/feh98v)

The Times

ROLLS CONFIDENT OF RETURN TO GROWTH

Rolls-Royce insisted yesterday that it would not be knocked off course despite a surging pound and a 30 million pound charge to fix a product defect. (link.reuters.com/heh98v)

HENDERSON INVESTORS IN REVOLT OVER CHIEF'S PAY

This year's bout of shareholder revolts over pay appeared to escalate yesterday after Henderson Group was given a bruising in the wake of a 4.5 million pound annual payout for Andrew Formica, its chief executive. (link.reuters.com/jeh98v)

The Independent

POUND LEAPS AFTER SURGE IN MANUFACTURING OUTPUT

The latest stunning evidence of a UK manufacturing revival sent the pound surging to a five-year high yesterday as the City upped its bets on early interest rate rises. (link.reuters.com/meh98v)

HERITAGE OIL FOUNDER SELLS TO QATARI SHEIKH IN 1 BLN STG DEAL

The former prime minister of Qatar is buying Heritage Oil in a deal that values the explorer founded by the former mercenary Tony Buckingham at nearly 1 billion pounds. (link.reuters.com/peh98v) ($1 = 0.5919 British pounds) (Compiled by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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