Category Archives: Business

China economy: Slow output fuels global economic recovery fears

China’s industrial output has slowed to its weakest growth since the financial crisis, prompting concerns over the global recovery. Production rose by 5.4% in January and February – the worst since 2008. China is trying to refocus its economy from investment and export-led growth to consumer spending. UK finance minister George Osborne said China’s slowdown is one of a “dangerous Read More


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G4S warns of potential £57m loss over asylum-seeker housing deal

The private security giant G4S has warned its shareholders that it may lose £57m if the Home Office extends its contract to house destitute asylum seekers for a further two years. The warning came as its shares dropped by more than 10% after reporting a 40% fall in its pre-tax profits due to rising losses on a series of contracts Read More


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Gin consumption soars amid boom in new UK distilleries

The British gin industry had a record-breaking year in 2015 after 49 new distilleries opened their doors and and consumers spent nearly £1bn on their favourite tipple. The value of gin sold in the UK’s supermarkets and off-licences hit the £400m mark for the first time while sales topped £500m in pubs, restaurants and bars, according to a report from Read More


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UBS and Deutsche Bank lose bonus tax challenge

Supreme court backs HMRC and rules bonus schemes operated by investment banks are not exempt from tax City of London, the capital’s financial district. The supreme court ruling on UBS and Deutsche Bank covers bonuses paid out as far back as 2004. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images UBS and Deutsche Bank may have to pay tens of millions of pounds to Read More


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Sunday trading change ‘dead’ after Commons defeat for Cameron

Number 10 has conceded that its plans to relax Sunday trading laws are dead in the water, after David Cameron suffered his first House of Commons defeat since the election at the hands of his own Conservative MPs. The government’s attempt to let shops trade for longer than six hours each Sunday was voted down after 26 Tory backbenchers teamed Read More


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More than a third of 8.4m BHS loan went to four directors

Guardian understands quartet from Retail Acquisitions Limited shared £3m days after buying struggling department store chain BHS could implement job cuts as part of effort to turn company fortunes around. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA More than a third of an £8.4m loan taken out of BHS by its new owners in March last year went to four directors who were part Read More


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Bank pledge adds to fears that EU referendum will cause market turmoil

Central bank will open lending facility on three extra days to prevent financial sector suffering a credit squeeze at time of vote Bank of England governor is to face questions on Brexit. Photograph: Luke Macgregor/Reuters The Bank of England has heightened fears that Britain’s referendum on EU membership will destabilise already fragile financial markets, pledging to provide extra funds to Read More


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Npower confirms 2,400 job cuts as it makes £99m loss

German-owned business said it would cut jobs in the UK and overseas in the next two years Npower employs 11,500 people directly and through outsourced services, 7,500 of whom work directly for Npower in the UK. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters Npower plans to cut 2,400 jobs – a fifth of its workforce – to reduce costs after losing customers, offering bad Read More


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BP chief receives 20% pay hike despite record loss and 7,000 axed jobs

High Pay Centre says £14m earned by Bob Dudley last year during crisis at oil firm shows it is ‘losing contact with reality’ The High Pay Centre asked if Dudley was being rewarded for getting rid of people. Photograph: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images Bob Dudley, the chief executive of BP, earned nearly $20m last year – at a time when the Read More


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Selling off Network Rail power lines is ‘thin end of wedge’, says union

Network Rail’s hiring of KPMG to market its substations to global investors marks start of privatisation, says RMT’s Mick Cash A train leaves London King’s Cross station. Only the NHS procures more electricity than Network Rail in the UK. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian Rail campaigners have denounced moves to potentially sell off Network Rail’s power assets as the Read More