PRESS DIGEST- British Business - May 19

Sun May 18, 2014 8:01pm EDT

May 19 (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

HEATHROW NOISE COMPLAINERS BEING 'FUSSY' CLAIMS BOARD MEMBER

(link.reuters.com/wem49v)

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker, who is also on the board of Heathrow, has said that European airports should open 24 hours a day if they want to compete with the emerging Gulf hubs in Dubai and Doha.

CO-OP CHIEF WARNS IT WILL TAKE FIVE YEARS TO STEADY THE MUTUAL

(link.reuters.com/xem49v)

The head of the troubled Co-operative Group has warned that it will take five years to stabilise the mutual even after members voted unanimously to support wholesale reform of its failed governance structure.

The Guardian

BT TO HIRE 1,600 STAFF AMID INTERNET CONNECTIONS CRITICISM

(link.reuters.com/zem49v)

BT Group Plc is hiring 1,600 engineers amid criticism from regulators over the speed at which new internet connections are installed and faults are repaired.

GLENCOREXSTRATA FACES QUESTIONS OVER DEALS MADE WITH FRIEND OF DRC LEADER

(link.reuters.com/cum49v)

Glencore Xstrata Plc, the world's largest commodities trader, enriched a friend of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's president by tens of millions of dollars while also giving him loans in excess of $500m (£298m), a report has claimed.

The Times

HSBC FINDS POLITICAL UNEXPLODED BOMB IN LONDON BRANCH

(link.reuters.com/dum49v)

Staff and customers at HSBC's Victoria Street London branch are expected to be told within days that it is being closed, as HSBC rushes to prevent a potentially explosive row with American regulators and jeopardising a landmark $1.9 billion (1.13 billion pounds) deferred prosecution deal agreed two years ago.

BRITAIN'S TOP RETAIL PROPERTY GROUPS EYE UP BLUEWATER STAKE

(link.reuters.com/fum49v)

Land Securities, British Land in partnership with Norges Bank, the sovereign wealth fund of Norway, Hammerson and Westfield Group, of Australia, are understood to be the final bidders to buy a stake in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent for about 600 million pound.

Sky News

CARNEY AGREES TO HELP TO HEAL BANKERS' IMAGE

(link.reuters.com/gum49v)

Mark Carney has agreed to chair a selection panel that will be responsible for identifying the inaugural chairman of the organisation, which insiders said would be called the Banking Standards Review Council (BSRC).

BRITAIN'S RICHEST 1,000 PEOPLE NOW WORTH 519 BLN STG

(link.reuters.com/hum49v)

The 1,000 richest people in Britain saw their wealth rise 15 percent last year to 519 billion pounds ($873.44 billion), latest figures have revealed. The Sunday Times' annual Rich List suggests the most well-off Britons now own the equivalent of a third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

($1 = 0.5942 British Pounds) (Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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