November 5, 2013 / 2:02 AM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Nov 5

Nov 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 Telegraph

BLACKBERRY SALE COLLAPSES

Shares in BlackBerry Ltd collapsed to their lowest level in a decade after the smartphone maker abandoned hopes of finding a buyer and drew up a radical new investment scheme instead.

(link.reuters.com/tyq44v)

SFO OPENS PROBE INTO G4S AND SERCO ‘TAGGING’ OF CONVICTS

The Serious Fraud Office has launched a criminal investigation into G4S Plc, the world’s biggest security group, and rival Serco Group Plc over alleged breaches of government contracts and claims they overcharged for tagging criminals.

(link.reuters.com/vyq44v)

UK CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY EXPANDS AT FASTEST PACE IN 6 YEARS

British housebuilders, boosted by government schemes including Help to Buy, drove October’s broad-based expansion, according to Markit’s latest survey of the construction sector, although the level of activity eased from September’s 10-year high.

(link.reuters.com/wyq44v)

The Guardian

TWITTER CLAIMS $13.6 BLN MARKET VALUATION AS TECH RIVALS TAKE AIM

Twitter, after canvassing professional investors for a week on how much they would be willing to pay for its shares, raised the asking price of its stock by 25 percent on Monday. The company said it would value its IPO at between $23 and $25 a share, up from the $17 to $20 range, indicating that it was a popular potential investment.

(link.reuters.com/xyq44v)

RYANAIR BLAMES LOWER FARES FOR LATEST PROFIT WARNING

Budget airline Ryanair Holdings Plc issued a second profit warning in as many months after average fares fell 2 percent during the first half of the financial year.

(link.reuters.com/zyq44v)

The Times

PRESSURE ON RIVALS AS CENTRICA BOSS SAM LAIDLAW WAIVES 3.5-MLN-STG BONUS

The boss of British Gas owner Centrica Plc said he would forgo his bonuses of up to 3.5 million pounds this year in a move that will put pressure on other utility bosses to make similar sacrifices.

(link.reuters.com/bar44v)

INTEREST RATES SET TO RISE ‘SOONER THAN EXPECTED’

The cost of borrowing will have to rise a year earlier than planned, a think-tank has forecast. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said interest rates would rise from their historic low of 0.5 percent in the second half of 2015.

(link.reuters.com/car44v)

The Independent

CO-OP BANK TO CLOSES 50 BRANCHES AS IT ANNOUNCES REVISED RESCUE PLAN

The Co-operative Bank is to close around 50 of its branches as control of the lender is handed to a group of powerful investors as part of a rescue plan.

(link.reuters.com/dar44v)

SAC CAPITAL PLEADS GUILTY TO INSIDER TRADING AND AGREES TO PAY RECORD $1.8 BLN FINE

The dramatic fall from grace of what was once among Wall Street’s most powerful hedge funds was sealed on Monday after SAC Capital, founded by the billionaire investor and art collector Steve Cohen, agreed to plead guilty and pay fines totalling $1.8 billion to resolve charges stemming from a rare insider trading case brought by U.S. prosecutors.

(link.reuters.com/far44v)

HSBC OPTIMISTIC ON GROWTH

HSBC Holdings Plc’s chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, said on Monday that Europe’s biggest bank was optimistic about growing signs of economic recovery in its major markets. His upbeat comments came as HSBC revealed that headline profits grew by 10 percent to $5.1 billion in the three months to September.

(link.reuters.com/gar44v)

Compiled by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee

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