LONDON Feb 2 British newspapers reported the
following business stories on Sunday:
The Sunday Times
BANKS USE NEW LOOPHOLE TO DEFY BONUS PLAN
Banks could still pay top staff bonuses worth eight or nine
times their basic salary after finding a way to sidestep
European limits on annual payouts. The loophole hinges on the
payment of monthly "allowances" that will boost bankers'
take-home pay and multiply bonus payments.
BAE HANDS EX-CHAIRMAN OLVER 14,000 POUNDS ($23,000) A WEEK
The former chairman of BAE Systems is to be paid
for another three and a half months despite stepping down from
the board last week. Sir Dick Olver, who has been succeeded by
the former Centrica chairman Sir Roger Carr, will
continue to receive fees and perks until the middle of May,
including a car and a chauffeur.
VODAFONE HAMMERED BY CURRENCY TURMOIL
Mobile phone group Vodafone is braced for a dramatic
slide in overseas revenues because of the chaos engulfing the
emerging economies of Africa and Asia. Britain's second-largest
company has operations in India, South Africa and Turkey - three
of the "fragile five" nations at the centre of financial markets
WALL STREET TITANS VIE FOR 9 BILLION POUND RBS DEAL
Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon, the two most powerful
bankers on Wall Street, made personal sales pitches to Royal
Bank of Scotland (RBS) last week as they battled for a
role in the $15 billion listing of its American business
Citizens. Taxpayer-owned RBS is accelerating the sale of
Citizens to shore up its capital base.
TAX RULES TIGHTENED IN NEW BLITZ ON OFFSHORE PROFITS
Multinationals will be forced to reveal how much tax they
pay in each country as part of a crackdown on shifting profits
offshore. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and
Development (OECD) is to announce in the next fortnight that it
will impose "country by country" reporting as part of its plan
to prevent companies moving profits to tax havens.
SON OF WOOLWORTHS LINES UP BLOCKBUSTER MARKET DEBUT
A discount retailer described as a modern-day Woolworths is
set for one of the biggest stock market listings of the year.
B&M Retail is based in Liverpool and has 350 stores, 15,000
staff and two million customers a week. It is expected to go
public in a deal that will value it at about 2 billion pounds.
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
BANK CALLS RBS CHIEF TO CRUNCH MEETING
Ross McEwan, chief executive of RBS, is to be called to a
crunch meeting with the Bank of England over the state-backed
bank's capital position.
The Sunday Telegraph understands that Mr McEwan is to meet
the two most senior staff at the central bank's Prudential
Regulation Authority (PRA) within the next fortnight. The
meeting will consider RBS's capital position in light of Mr
McEwan's strategy review, due to be unveiled on February 27.
OCADO SEEKS SITE FOR THIRD DISTRIBUTION WAREHOUSE
The online grocery retailer Ocado is to proceed
with plans for a third distribution centre in the UK after its
tie-up with Morrisons got off to a promising start.
Tim Steiner, the chief executive of Ocado, is expected to
confirm in the company's annual results this week that it is
looking for a site for a third "customer fulfilment centre".
BRITISH GAS FEELS HEAT AS PROFITS FALL
The warmest December since 2006 is expected to have hit
profits at British Gas - the latest setback for investors in its
parent, the embattled energy giant Centrica.
Britain's biggest energy supplier had been expected to
return household supply profits of 592 million pounds in 2013,
down 2 percent on the previous year, according to analysts'
forecasts in the wake of a profit warning in November.
GOVERNMENT FIGHTS FOR AUGUSTAWESTLAND'S INDIA DEAL
British government officials have waded into a dispute
between Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland
and Indian authorities to try to salvage a 465 million
A British government spokesman confirmed to the Sunday
Telegraph that officials have held regular meetings with their
counterparts in India after the Indian government decided to
terminate a deal to buy 12 AW101 transport helicopters amid
claims that officials were bribed to win the contract.
BARCLAYS TOPS LISTINGS LEAGUE IN IPO SURGE
Barclays has emerged as the top bank for new stock
market listings in the City last year amid signs that 2014 could
see a surge of initial public offerings (IPOs).
The British bank was ranked ahead of international rivals
such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
and Citi by data services company Dealogic in
terms of the number of IPOs it acted on as bookrunner in 2013.
MAIL ON SUNDAY
Lloyds Banking Group is hammering out a deal with
regulators to pay its first dividend since the financial crisis
began, which could result in the bailed-out bank returning 350
million pounds to the taxpayer. Analysts expect a dividend of up
to 1.5 pence a share in the bank's results next week.