PRESS DIGEST- British Business – April 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.

The Times

– Managing director of the International Monetary Fund
Christine Lagarde has called on countries to pull together in
the fight against a damaging retreat into protectionism amid
mounting evidence that a global trade war is already under way.

– A U.S. crackdown on steel imports is looming after
President Donald Trump ordered an investigation into unfair
export practices, setting up a potential showdown with China.

The Guardian

– A consortium led by Macquarie Group Ltd agreed to
buy the Green Investment Bank, which was established in 2012 by
the coalition government to fund green infrastructure projects.
The decision to sell Green Investment Bank for 2.3 billion
pounds ($2.94 billion) has been attacked by critics including
the Liberal Democrats and Greenpeace as “politically dubious”
and a “disaster”.

– President of World Bank Jim Kim told Theresa May that
cutting the United Kingdom’s aid budget could lead to an
increase in conflict, terrorism and migration and would damage
Britain’s international reputation.

The Telegraph

– British engineering firm WS Atkins Plc has agreed
to a 2.1 billion pound ($2.7 billion) takeover by Canadian rival
SNC-Lavalin. Atkins’ board last night agreed to a cash takeover
at 20.80 pounds a share and the deal would see the company’s
chief executive step aside.

– Sky Plc suffered a marked slowdown in its core UK
pay-TV business, sparking renewed claims that increasingly
cautious consumers are rejecting expensive packages in favour of
cheaper entertainment options such as Netflix. Its takeover by
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc was likely to be delayed
by the General Election.

Sky News

– Marks and Spencer Group Plc has confirmed plans to
close six stores in a move that will affect almost 400

– Debenhams Plc will consider closing up to 10 of
its 176 stores under a review announced by its new chief
executive, Sergio Bucher.

The Independent

– Inc has been accused of setting
workers against each other to ensure they turn up for work even
when they are sick and should be at home. The company gives its
workers in Germany a monthly bonus of 6 percent to 10 percent of
their salary, only if their co-workers have good enough
attendance records.

– GMB union has accused the UK government of “gross
betrayal” after drinks company Diageo Plc announced
plans to cut more than 100 jobs across its Scottish operations
because of concerns over Brexit.

($1 = 0.7813 pounds)
(Compiled by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa