Government Bonds Correspondent
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May 13, 2014

Pfizer boss enters lion’s den of UK politics to sell AstraZeneca deal

LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) – The boss of U.S. drugmaker Pfizer
faces UK lawmakers on Tuesday with a promise and a
threat – to protect British jobs in his proposed joint creation
with AstraZeneca of a global powerhouse upon which he
says the latter’s future depends.

Ian Read faces hostile questions in parliament over his
proposed $106 billion play for AstraZeneca. He goes into
committee hearings having pledged to keep a fifth of research
jobs in Britain, and warned the country’s second biggest
drugmaker could wither without Pfizer’s financial muscle.

May 12, 2014

UK Cameron’s party in poll lead for first time in over two years

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party took the lead in two opinion polls ahead of European elections, the first time it has led the opposition Labor party in a national opinion poll for more than two years.

Two polls put the Conservatives ahead of Labor on Monday, giving the right-leaning party an unexpected morale boost before European elections later this month and a national election next year.

May 12, 2014

UK needs new watchdog for its spies, ex-MI6 chief says

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should create a new body to oversee its intelligence agencies to reassure the public after revelations from ex-U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the former head of the British foreign intelligence service said on Monday.

Documents leaked by Snowden exposed the vast scale of surveillance carried out by Britain’s intelligence agencies and their close collaboration with America’s National Security Agency, sparking a public debate about how they operate.

May 7, 2014

Cameron tells Pfizer wants more commitments for AstraZeneca deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron demanded U.S. drugmaker Pfizer give stronger guarantees it will keep jobs and investment in Britain in order to secure his government’s blessing for a takeover of AstraZeneca.

By proposing the biggest ever foreign takeover of a British firm, New York-based Pfizer has sparked fierce debate on whether the government should let outsiders buy a pharmaceuticals group seen as a national champion in a strategically vital industry.

May 7, 2014

British PM tells Pfizer wants more commitments for AstraZeneca deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron demanded U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) give stronger guarantees it will keep jobs and investment in Britain in order to secure his government’s blessing for a takeover of AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

By proposing the biggest ever foreign takeover of a British firm, New York-based Pfizer has sparked fierce debate on whether the government should let outsiders buy a pharmaceuticals group seen as a national champion in a strategically vital industry.

Apr 29, 2014

UK minister says no regrets, no apologies for Royal Mail sale

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – British ministers in charge of
the privatisation of Royal Mail said on Tuesday they had
no apologies to make over criticism that it was sold off too
cheaply, but said they may look at different ways to sell off
public assets in future.

The government sold 60 percent of the postal firm last
October at 330 pence per share, ending 500 years of state
control and raising 2 billion pounds ($3.36 billion) for the
public purse.

Apr 28, 2014

UK regulator says will not investigate Royal Mail sell-off

LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator
will not investigate the government’s sale of Royal Mail
, it said on Monday, rejecting calls from lawmakers who
said a sharp rise in the firm’s share price should have set
alarm bells ringing.

Last October, Britain sold 60 percent of the postal firm at
330 pence per share, ending 500 years of state control and
raising 2 billion pounds ($3.36 billion) for the public purse.

Apr 25, 2014

AstraZeneca bid talk ‘a commercial matter’ – Osborne

CAMBRIDGE, England (Reuters) – Talk of a $100 billion bid by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) for its British rival AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is “a commercial matter between the companies”, Britain’s chancellor George Osborne said on Friday.

Shares in Britain’s second biggest drugs group hit record highs this week on the bid speculation. Both companies have declined to comment on a weekend newspaper report that AstraZeneca spurned an approach from Pfizer earlier this year.

Apr 25, 2014

AstraZeneca bid talk ‘a commercial matter’: UK finance minister

CAMBRIDGE, England (Reuters) – Talk of a $100 billion bid by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for its British rival AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is “a commercial matter between the companies”, Britain’s finance minister George Osborne said on Friday.

Shares in Britain’s second biggest drugs group hit record highs this week on the bid speculation. Both companies have declined to comment on a weekend newspaper report that AstraZeneca spurned an approach from Pfizer earlier this year.

Apr 24, 2014

Britain’s Conservatives to end onshore wind farm subsidies

LONDON (Reuters)2 – British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party pledged to end government subsidies for onshore wind farms if it wins a national election next year, increasing uncertainty for investors in renewable energy.

Michael Fallon, a Conservative energy minister, said that onshore wind still had a role to play in helping Britain meet its energy needs and renewable energy targets but that the industry no longer required government subsidies.