January 7, 2019 / 1:20 AM / 16 days ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Jan 7

Jan 7 (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

The Green Investment Bank's trustees said they were "disappointed" by its weak investment in the UK since it left state hands. bit.ly/2GYab72

Stagecoach has taken a 35 million pound ($45 million) dividend from its East Midlands Trains franchise, risking controversy amid the recent sliding performance on the route. bit.ly/2GVBy1z

A court has rejected an attempt by Anglian Water to get back 12 million pounds in VAT that it overpaid. Anglian said that it would have passed on the repayment to its customers through a reduction in their bills or reinvested it in the business. bit.ly/2RBJZ6m

The Guardian

A long-awaited fraud trial of four former Barclays Plc executives will begin this week over charges related to a 12 billion pound rescue package secured from investors at the height of the financial crisis. All four have pleaded not guilty. bit.ly/2GWNFvl

National Health Service leaders are to publish a long-term plan, outlining a future in which genomics, cutting-edge surgery and artificial intelligence help save lives and every area of care is improved in return for a major funding boost. bit.ly/2RDv8YU

The Telegraph

Most politicians want to see companies that repeatedly fail to pay their suppliers within 30 days hit with fines and back making the voluntary Prompt Payment Code a legal requirement for large businesses, a survey found. bit.ly/2GTTnho

British Airways' owner would be forced to "curtail" its dividend and "halt" share buybacks if it acquires debt-laden low-cost carrier Norwegian, analysts at Citi said. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA "will likely complete on M&A that will draw investor discomfort" in 2019, they said. bit.ly/2GYWlkV

The German owner of one of Britain's biggest rail franchises is demanding compensation from Network Rail for extensive delays in electrifying the Northern franchise. Deutsche Bahn, the parent company of Northern operator Arriva Rail North, blamed Network Rail, which owns tracks and stations, for plunging profits in accounts filed last week. bit.ly/2GUROji

Sky News

Competition watchdogs are facing a fierce backlash from finance directors over plans to force major listed companies to appoint two sets of auditors to oversee their accounts. bit.ly/2GVr0iZ ($1 = 0.7859 pounds) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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