March 26, 2020 / 1:16 AM / 2 months ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - March 26

March 26 (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

- A home finger-prick test for the coronavirus will be offered to millions of people and delivered by Inc if checks this week show that it works.

- Doubts have been raised about whether UK's Barclays will pay a promised 1.03 billion pound ($1.22 billion) dividend next week, as the chancellor and the governor of the Bank of England made plain that they expected banks to conserve cash and play their part in lending to struggling firms.

The Guardian

- The hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has claimed his firm, Pershing Square Holdings Ltd, made $2.6 billon betting that the coronavirus outbreak would cause a market crash, barely a week after warning that "hell is coming" for U.S. companies.

- UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announce that the taxpayer will pay self-employed workers up to 80% of their recent earnings to help contain the economic impact of coronavirus, as 470,000 extra benefits claims sparked warnings of an "unemployment crisis".

The Telegraph

- Vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson is gearing up to produce 15,000 life-saving ventilators to treat people suffering from the coronavirus.

- British retailer Primark has refused to pay its rent bill as it seeks more support from its landlords in a sign of the chaos sweeping the high street.

Sky News

- UK airline companies have called on the government to underwrite hundreds of millions of pounds in regulatory and air traffic control charges as they seek to navigate through the escalating coronavirus crisis.

- Spotify Technology SA said on Wednesday it has pledged up to $10 million to help musicians hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Independent

- Rachel Reeves, chair-elect of UK parliament's business committee, has ordered Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley and Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin to explain by the end of the week how they will protect their staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

$1 = 0.8447 pounds Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom

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