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PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British business - April 6
April 6, 2014 / 2:41 PM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British business - April 6

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday. Reuters has not independently verified these media reports and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Sunday Times

BANKS SQUEEZE LENDING AS HOUSING BUBBLE FEAR GROWS

Banks are planning the sharpest squeeze in mortgage approvals since the height of the euro zone crisis, on concerns that Britain is heading towards a housing bubble, according to the latest Bank of England credit conditions survey.

PREMIER OIL COULD CHOOSE KALLOS AS NEW CEO

Peter Kallos, the chief executive of a small Turkmenistan-focused developer, is the front runner to replace the head of oil explorer Premier Oil.

Premier Oil announced in February that CEO Simon Lockett was stepping down after nine years amid investor pressure.

BARCLAYS FACES SHAREHOLDER REVOLT OVER BONUSES

Barclays is facing a serious shareholder revolt over the rocketing bill for the bonuses of dealmakers and traders at its investment bank, sources said.

Up to a quarter of investors are likely to stage a protest this month, saying spiralling payouts have eroded profit margins.

MADE.COM CONSIDERS FLOAT TO FUND EXPANSION IN EUROPE

Online furniture retailer Made.com has held talks with advisors about a potential share offering as the company, which already operates in Britain, France and Italy, seeks funds to speed up its expansion in Europe.

The Sunday Telegraph

M&S CHIEF UNDER PRESSURE AS SALES FALL AGAIN

Pressure will grow on Marks & Spencer (M&S) and its chief executive Marc Bolland this week as the British retailer is expected to post another fall in clothing sales.

Analysts expect M&S to report a one percent fall in like-for-like quarterly clothing sales on Thursday, its 11th quarterly fall, despite having spent millions of pounds to revamp its clothing range and in marketing campaigns.

Food sales are expected to have risen by 0.1 percent.

AMEC CEO URGES SCOTLAND TO REJECT SEPARATION

Samir Brikho, the chief executive of engineering company Amec was the latest business leader to urge voters to reject Scotland’s separation from the UK.

Scottish independence would create uncertainty at a time when the North Sea required billions of pounds of investment to maximise oil and gas production.

UK FORMER CHANCELLOR SAYS BANKING RING-FENCE WILL NOT WORK

Lord Lawson, a former UK chancellor of the exchequer, said the government’s reform which proposes ring-fencing retail and investment banking should be scrapped.

Lawson said such reform would not prevent a new crisis and left banks too big and complex

ENERGY FIRM SEEKS FUNDS FOR NEW NORTH SEA GAS PROJECT

Newcastle-based Five Quarter is seeking government support and financial backers for a new energy project to produce gas from coal locked in seams under the seabed off the coast on northeast of England.

Work on the project - a $1.2 billion hybrid scheme between coal mining and gas drilling which could eventually provide cheap energy and raw materials to the Teesside industry, could begin within months.

Mail on Sunday

INVESTMENT COMPANY ZAMADINI OFFERS HELP TO MINER UK COAL

Zamadini, a resource investor whose founder is linked to a family of Indian mining tycoons, has offered help to Britain’s UK Coal, a mining company on the brink of insolvency, with 2,000 jobs under threat.

London-based Zamadini, headed by Muqit Teja, son-in-law of mining firm Zamin owner Pramod Agarwal, has offered “assistance and collaboration” to UK Coal, which owns two of Britain few remaining deep-pit coal mines and is seeking help for a managed closure of the sites.

Other parties that could be interested in buying assets or investing in UK coal are rival coal miner Hargreaves Services and investor Jon Moulton.

Sunday Express

CARLYLE CONSIDERS SALE OR LISTING FOR RAC

Private equity firm Carlyle is considering options including the sale or listing of roadside recovery specialist RAC.

Carlyle bought RAC for $1 billion in 2011 from insurance giant Aviva. Should a sale be chosen as the preferred option, the private equity firm would seek at least $1.7 billion.

US DEFENCE GROUP DYNCORP LOOKS TO BUY DEFENCE SUPPORT GROUP

U.S. defence group Dyncorp is looking to enter the UK market and is considering buying the government’s military vehicle maintenance group Defence Support Group (DSG).

Dyncorp is among nine bidders for DSG, which could fetch up to $300 million.

BP TO ASK JUDGES TO REVIEW OIL SPILL PAYOUT CLAIM

Oil giant BP is to ask U.S. judges to review a decision that the company says forces it to continue to pay to bogus compensation claimants in relation with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. (Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by David Evans)

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