February 6, 2017 / 12:34 AM / 8 months ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Feb 6

Feb 6 (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

Amazon hunts for London shops

Amazon.com Inc has begun searching for high street locations in prime areas of central London ahead of the potential launch of a checkout-free grocery chain later this year. The move suggests it is stepping up plans to bring futuristic convenience stores to Britain. The online retail giant is testing its first Amazon Go store near its base in Seattle, where the firm's employees are able to buy goods without queuing at a till. (bit.ly/2kDbPyC)

The Guardian

Rolls-Royce faces civil service inquiry over UK state funding

Civil servants are carrying out an internal inquiry to establish whether the engineering giant Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc fraudulently obtained financial support worth hundreds of millions of pounds from the government. The inquiry was launched after the multinational manufacturer admitted last month it had used multimillion-pound bribes to secure export orders across the world over four decades. (bit.ly/2ld9F5t)

RBS boss to unveil more cuts after receiving pay worth £3m in 2016

Ross McEwan, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, is preparing to unveil further cost cutting measures after receiving pay of around 3 million pounds ($3.75 million) in 2016. The cost-reduction measures - which will be unveiled alongside the bank's ninth consecutive annual loss later this month - are expected to coincide with confirmation of his pay deal for the 2016 financial year. McEwan could be paid more than 3 million pounds after 2.7 million pounds of salary and allowances are topped up with bonuses. (bit.ly/2ldcqU5)

The Telegraph

Barclays sparks job cuts fears with bank office overhaul

Barclays Plc is revamping its back office operations in a wide-ranging restructuring that has spurred speculation the bank is preparing to cut jobs. The lender is setting up a new internal company that will manage all back office services such as human resources, marketing, compliance, and IT support for the rest of the bank's businesses. (bit.ly/2kDblsg)

Booker woos shopkeepers over Tesco merger

Booker Group Plc bosses will launch a charm offensive this week in an attempt to convince Britain's shopkeepers of the merits of its shock 3.7 billion pound Tesco Plc merger, amid rising concerns that the deal will strangle competition in the convenience store market. (bit.ly/2kwx7v8)

Sky News

Wonga strikes 60 mln stg deal to sell European unit to Swedish suitor

Wonga, Britain's best-known payday lender, will this week announce the sale of a big chunk of its European operations, underlining its continuing international retrenchment in the wake of a torrid period for the business. Wonga will confirm that it has decided to sell BillPay to Klarna, a Swedish provider of e-commerce solutions for about 60 million pounds. (bit.ly/2l8vJ5c)

RBS to pay 340 mln stg bonus pot as it posts ninth successive loss

The state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is finalising plans to pay about 340 million pounds in bonuses to employees for last year, even as it prepares to announce one of its biggest annual losses since its 2008 bailout. RBS, which is just over 70 percent-owned by the government, has disclosed proposals for the bonus pot during recent discussions with UK Financial Investments, which manages the taxpayer's stake in the bank. (bit.ly/2kzurPX)

The Independent

Brexit: Germany’s Finance Minister says EU ‘should not punish Britain’ to keep City benefits

The EU should offer Britain a "reasonable" Brexit deal because financial services offered by the City of London benefit Europe as a whole, Germany's Finance Minister has said. Wolfgang Schaeuble told German newspaper Tagesspiegel London's financial centre "serves the whole European economy", so it was preferable to "keep Britain close to us". (ind.pn/2jOykfA) ($1 = 0.8009 pounds) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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