PRESS DIGEST- British Business - May 27
May 27 (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.
PFIZER BOSS IAN READ HITS BACK OVER ASTRAZENECA
Ian Read told the Telegraph that the rules capping drug prices are discouraging investment in Britain, and are "inconsistent" with the government's apparent desire to attract research and development.
LLOYDS POISED TO LAUNCH TSB FLOAT
Lloyds Banking Group is poised to fire the starting gun on the highly anticipated stock market flotation of TSB IPO-TBS.L, which will try to win the support of retail investors by giving them bonus shares.
VINCE CABLE VOWS GOVERNMENT WILL TACKLE ZERO-HOURS CONTRACT ABUSES
The business secretary, Vince Cable, has said the government will tackle abuses of zero-hours contracts once a fuller picture of the number of employers using the controversial labour-hiring system becomes available.
COLES AND WOOLWORTHS URGE DEREGULATION OF RETAIL TRADING HOURS
The supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths have called on the federal government to lead the states towards a deregulation of retail trading hours, citing bizarre rules that dictate when a shop can or cannot trade.
ASTRA PINS HOPES ON TRIALS AFTER PFIZER EXIT
(link.reuters.com/pud69v) Pfizer's official declaration that it had withdrawn its offer will shift the spotlight on to Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, to justify his reasons for blocking a deal as he is set to attend the unveiling of the trial results of two lung cancer treatments at the American Society of Clinical Oncology this weekend.
TSB SWEETENS THE PILL OF NO DIVIDENDS WITH FREE SHARES
Lloyds Banking Group will promise one free TSB IPO-TBS.L share for every 20 bought and held for a year by retail investors as it formally sets out the intention to float announcement.
PFIZER WALKS AWAY FROM 69 BLN STG ASTRAZENECA DEAL
U.S. firm Pfizer has confirmed it will not make another offer for British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca as a deadline expired for it to lodge a formal bid.
BLACKSTONE IN JOINT BID FOR FRIENDS' TAX ARM
The private equity giant Blackstone has joined forces with a US-based specialist insurer to table a bid for the tax planning arm of Friends Life, the FTSE-100 financial services group.
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)