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PRESS DIGEST- British Business - March 27
March 27, 2017 / 12:00 AM / 9 months ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - March 27

March 27 (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

- Hurricane Energy has made another oil discovery near the Shetland Islands, bolstering hopes that it may have the biggest find in British waters this century. The Surrey-based oil company is expected to announce today that surveys of its Halifax well in an area off the west of the Shetland Islands have identified a “kilometre-deep oil column” linked to its existing Lancaster find.

- OPEC ministers are to consider extending their agreement to curb supplies for a further six months, it said yesterday as it reported high levels of compliance with the deal to date. A committee of OPEC and non-OPEC ministers met in Kuwait to monitor compliance with the November accord, under which the cartel and other countries, including Russia, agreed to cut output by a combined 1.8 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2017.

The Guardian

- British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland on Monday at the start of the week in which she will trigger Britain’s departure from the EU, and argue that the four nations of the UK represent an “unstoppable force”. May is visiting Scotland as part of a tour of all four UK nations before she formally triggers Brexit, starting the two-year EU withdrawal process.

- Talks aimed at restoring Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government have broken down after Sinn Féin said that the party would not be nominating Michelle O’Neill, its leader in Northern Ireland, for the post of deputy first minister. An option for the British and Irish governments who are overseeing the talks would be to hold fresh elections just weeks after the previous electoral contest in March. Another option would be to impose direct rule on the region from Westminster.

The Telegraph

- US shared offices company WeWork will almost double its space in London this year, as it launches a 1.2 million pound ($1.50 million) award scheme to back UK start-ups. It is launching an award scheme for companies at three stages: those in “incubation” stage with a specific project needing research and development funding; those wanting to launch an existing business; and companies who want to scale up their activities.

- Investments giant Old Mutual is selling a $446 million stake in its asset management arm in the latest stage of its plan to split itself up into four independent companies. The finance firm is cutting its stake in OM Asset Management in half, losing its majority position by selling down from a 50.8 percent shareholding to 25.9 percent.

Sky News

- Supermarkets are cutting fuel prices just days after official figures showed sharp increases at the pumps had helped pushed inflation to a three-and-a-half year high. Tesco , Britain's biggest supermarket, said it was cutting the cost of petrol and diesel by 2 pence per litre at all of its petrol stations. The cuts come after a barrel of Brent crude slipped below $50 this week for the first time since November. Sainsbury's and Asda also said they were cutting prices by 2 pence a litre.

- EasyJet will announce within weeks the location of a new European base as Britain's airline industry grapples with the potential consequences of a 'hard Brexit'. The low-cost carrier's board has pencilled in an April decision on the location of a new air operator's certificate (AOC), which will allow it to continue flying between EU member states. The decision will effectively entail the establishment of a new legal headquarters for easyJet.

The Independent

- Theresa May’s suggestion that no Brexit deal was better than a bad deal risked condemning UK manufacturing to a “painful and costly” exit from the EU, an employers’ body EEF has warned. It said that losing access to the single market and the customs union would be “simply unacceptable”. Without a favourable trade deal, average tariffs for manufacturing exports to the EU could be expected to increase by approximately 5.3 per cent, the body said.

- Cadbury will consider shrinking the size of its products or raising its prices after Brexit, the company has said. Cadbury would follow other food manufacturers in using an industry tactic known as “shrinkflation” to offset the cost of Brexit.

$1 = 0.7990 pounds Compiled by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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