PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Aug 5

Mon Aug 4, 2014 7:17pm EDT

Aug 5 (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 Times

'CHARNEY CAME UP CLEAN SO WE INVESTED,' SAYS INVESTOR LEA

Lyndon Lea, the millionaire polo-playing boss of British private equity group Lion Capital, has defended his decision to invest in American Apparel, the U.S. fashion retailer that is embroiled in a bitter dispute with its founder.

DEMAND FOR HOUSES FUELS BOOM IN BUILDING

House building in Britain is increasing at the fastest rate in more than a decade, creating record numbers of jobs as demand for property continues to soar, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

BT SPURNED IN 5 BLN STG BATTLE OF AIRWAVES

BT has been shunned by the government for a lucrative deal to upgrade the way the emergency services communicate during a major incident in a bitter disappointment for the country's oldest telecoms operator.

The Guardian

EAST COAST MAINLINE PAYS TAXPAYERS 1 BLN STG SPARKING FRESH REPRIVATISATION FURY

Anger is growing over the return of the east coast mainline to private hands after it emerged that it had generated 1 billion pounds for UK taxpayers since 2009.

PENSION EXPERT CALLS FOR TAX-FREE ISAS TO BE MADE LIFETIME SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Tax-free Isas should be transformed into "lifetime" savings accounts topped up with Treasury cash, according to Michael Johnson, a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies think tank.

HELP FOR HOUSING COSTS IS FORCING UP THE UK BENEFITS BILL, WARNS LABOUR

The growing housing benefit bill, particularly for those in work, is responsible for much of the increase in welfare costs, rather than out of work benefits for the idle poor, Labour will say on Tuesday.

The Telegraph

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE'S CUTS LEAVE FRANCE TRAILING BEHIND THE UK, SAYS MOODY'S

Francois Hollande's efforts to tackle France's ballooning deficit and kick-start its flagging economy have left the country trailing behind rivals such as the UK, Moody's has warned.

MET SIGNS 90 MLN STG IT DEAL WITH LOCKHEED-CAPITA-KPMG PARTNERSHIP

Defence group Lockheed Martin, along with out-sourcer Capita and consultancy KPMG, has signed a 17-year, 90 million pound ($152 million) deal to upgrade the Metropolitan Police's command-and-control system.

Sky News

RAC GEARS UP FOR FLOAT WITH RAKE APPOINTMENT

CBI President Mike Rake is in talks to become chairman of the RAC breakdown recovery service ahead of a potential 2 billion pound stock market listing.

EX-WILLIAM HILL CHIEF BACKS SCOTTISH YES VOTE

The former boss of Britain's biggest bookmaker, Ralph Topping, will declare his support on Tuesday for an independent Scotland, arguing that pro-union campaigners have been guilty of "political posturing" whose arguments lack economic logic. ($1 = 0.5930 British Pounds) (Compiled by Esha Vaish in Bangalore)

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