Jan 21 - 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.
GOVERNMENT TOLD AIRPORTS COMMISSION NOT TO REPORT UNTIL AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
Ministers told the body investigating where to build a new runway not to deliver its findings until after the 2015 General Election, MPs are told, as the Airports Commission’s chairman accuses Boris Johnson of “vulgar abuse”.
The Co-operative Group has opted to hold onto its general insurance business, 10 months after putting it up for sale. The decision was made as the mutual no longer needs the money the sale could have brought in, following a revision of the plans to fill the Co-op Bank’s 1.5 billion pound black hole.
The casual fashion chain Fat Face is set for a stock market flotation in the first half of this year after appointing two advisers. The retailer, which is chaired by former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose, has hired Citi and Jefferies to sound out potential investors as it seeks a London listing, with March the earliest likely date.
MORRISONS EXECUTIVE ARRESTED IN INSIDER TRADING INVESTIGATION
Morrisons’ group treasurer and head of tax is under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority over allegations relating to the trading of shares in Ocado before a tie-up was announced between the companies. Paul Coyle was arrested in December in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and was taken in for questioning in connection with alleged insider dealing and market abuse.
BRITAIN‘S RECOVERY FASTEST OF ALL - IMF
Britain’s economy is bouncing back faster than any major trading nation, the International Monetary Fund will say on Tuesday. Underlining the strength of the recovery, the Washington-based fund is set to raise its forecast for the UK economy for the second time in less than four months, lifting Britain from one of the world’s laggards to among its fastest growing developed countries.
“BLACK HOLE” SPARKS CLOSE SCRUTINY OF CO-OP BANK AUDITS
The accountancy watchdog has opened an investigation into KPMG’s audits of the Co-operative Bank in the years leading up to the lender’s collapse. The Financial Reporting Council said on Monday that it was examining the “Big Four” firm’s audits up to and including 2012 but did not say how far back its investigation would go.
The agency which manages taxpayers’ stake in Lloyds Banking Group is attempting to secure a knockdown price from City bankers vying to work on a share sale that will return it fully to the private sector. Sky News understands that UK Financial Investments has asked investment banks in recent days to present fee proposals for executing a sale of part or all of the government’s remaining 20 billion pound stake in Lloyds.
IMF UPGRADES UK GROWTH FORECAST ABOVE RIVALS The International Monetary Fund is on the brink of upgrading its growth forecast for the UK more than any other major economy, Sky News has learnt. The Fund is poised to increase its projection for UK growth in 2014 from 1.9 percent to 2.4 percent. Although the Fund will also lift its forecasts for world economic growth, the UK upgrade is significantly stronger.