Government Bonds Correspondent
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May 14, 2014

UK’s Osborne: Scottish nationalist leader Salmond is misleading Scots

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – British finance minister George
Osborne on Wednesday accused the leader of Scotland’s
independence campaign of misleading the Scottish public by
continuing to base his plans for independence on sharing the
pound with the United Kingdom.

In a 90-minute cross-examination by parliament’s Scottish
Affairs Committee Osborne hammered home the British political
establishment’s message that there was no prospect of an
agreement to share sterling with an independent Scotland.

May 13, 2014

Pfizer hints at improved Astra offer as CEO heads into political grilling

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) hinted it could make a higher offer for Britain’s AstraZeneca as the New York-based group’s boss went into a meeting with UK lawmakers on Tuesday at which he was expecting to be grilled over promises on British jobs.

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 13, 2014

Conservatives in poll lead for first time in over two years

LONDON (Reuters) – 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 Labour party in a national opinion poll for more than two years.

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

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.