Government Bonds Correspondent
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Jul 12, 2013

UK government delays decision on cigarette branding ban

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government on Friday delayed plans to ban company branding on cigarette packets in England, saying it wanted to first see the impact of a similar decision in Australia.

The move was welcomed by the tobacco industry which says plain packaging would hit jobs and encourage cigarette smuggling, but strongly criticized by health campaigners.

Jul 11, 2013

Government woos Royal Mail workers with free shares

LONDON (Reuters) – The government will list a majority stake in the Royal Mail postal service on the stock market in the next nine months, promising free shares for workers fiercely opposed to the country’s biggest privatisation in around 20 years.

Analysts expect the initial public offering to value Royal Mail, which traces its roots to a service founded by King Henry VIII in 1516, at 2-3 billion pounds, so selling a majority stake could raise over 1 billion pounds to help the country’s stretched finances.

Jul 10, 2013

UK to list Royal Mail, woos workers with free shares

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – Britain will list a majority
stake in the Royal Mail postal service on the stock market in
the next nine months, promising free shares for workers fiercely
opposed to the country’s biggest privatisation in around 20
years.

Analysts expect the initial public offering (IPO) to value
Royal Mail, which traces its roots to a service founded by King
Henry VIII in 1516, at 2-3 billion pounds ($3-$4.5 billion), so
selling a majority stake could raise over 1 billion pounds to
help the country’s stretched finances.

Jul 7, 2013

Britain’s Labour leader seeks to limit damage from union row

LONDON (Reuters) – The leader of Britain’s opposition said he wanted to ‘mend, not end’ Labour’s links to trade unions on Sunday in a bid to limit the damage from a row over outside influence.

Two years ahead of an election, the row has put the Labour party and Ed Miliband under pressure and handed some political momentum back to the ruling Conservative Party, which has been struggling with its own divisions and flagging in opinion polls.

Jul 7, 2013

Britain deports cleric Abu Qatada after legal marathon

LONDON/AMMAN (Reuters) – A radical Muslim cleric once called “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe” was deported from Britain to Jordan on Sunday, ending years of British government efforts to send him back home to face terrorism charges.

A police convoy collected Abu Qatada from London’s Belmarsh prison after midnight and drove him through the streets of the capital to a military airport. Soon after arriving in Jordan, he was taken under heavy guard to a nearby military court.

Jul 2, 2013

Cable says Scottish independence would put jobs and growth at risk

LONDON (Reuters) – Growth and jobs could be at risk if Scotland hinders access to its biggest export market by voting to split from the rest of Britain in a referendum next year, British business secretary Vince Cable said on Tuesday.

Businesses operating in an independent Scotland would face reduced access to the British market, extra regulatory and administrative costs and increased uncertainty, analysis by the government due to be released on Tuesday will show.

Jul 2, 2013

Payday lenders to face new regulator ‘with real teeth’

LONDON (Reuters) – A regulatory crackdown on Britain’s payday lenders could include an advertising ban, rules on how quickly loans can be made and better data sharing among lenders, MPs and regulators said after an industry conference on Monday.

The market for short-term loans, designed to be repaid when borrowers receive their wages, has grown rapidly in Britain and other countries like the U.S. as traditional bank credit lines have withered following the 2008 financial crisis.

Jul 1, 2013

UK says Scotland independence would put jobs and growth at risk

LONDON (Reuters) – Growth and jobs could be at risk if Scotland hinders access to its biggest export market by voting to split from the rest of Britain in a referendum next year, British business secretary Vince Cable said on Tuesday.

Businesses operating in an independent Scotland would face reduced access to the British market, extra regulatory and administrative costs and increased uncertainty, analysis by the government due to be released on Tuesday will show.

Jul 1, 2013

Britain’s payday lenders to face new regulator ‘with real teeth’

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – A regulatory crackdown on
Britain’s payday lenders could include an advertising ban, rules
on how quickly loans can be made and better data sharing among
lenders, lawmakers and regulators said after an industry
conference on Monday.

The market for short-term loans, designed to be repaid when
borrowers receive their wages, has grown rapidly in Britain and
other countries like the U.S. as traditional bank credit lines
have withered following the 2008 financial crisis.

Jun 28, 2013

Roads and rail top targets as government seeks economy boost

LONDON (Reuters) – The government promised on Thursday to upgrade roads and carry out what it said was the biggest rail investment in more than 100 years in a strategy to get the economy growing while keeping spending tight.

A day after Chancellor George Osborne announced the latest round of budget cuts, his deputy, Danny Alexander, detailed 100 billion pounds in capital investment plans, calling them “the most comprehensive, ambitious and long-lasting” ever.