Press digest sunday british business dec 22

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LONDON Dec 22 British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday. Reuters has not verified these reports and does not vouch for their accuracy. The Sunday TelegraphBANK OF ENGLAND'S BAILEY WARNS OF CONTROLS IF HOUSE PRICE BUBBLE EMERGES Andrew Bailey, deputy governor of the Bank of England has warned authorities could seek to cool a housing bubble by introducing controls such as tougher tests for mortgage applicants and higher bank capital requirements against household lending."We are watching the housing market very carefully. We've laid out the tools that we can use. That is hugely important - that we have set out our desire to see robust mortgage underwriting standards and that will be part of the approach," Bailey told the Sunday Telegraph. BANK LEVY IS UNFAIR, WARNS STANCHART FINANCE DIRECTOR The British government's bank levy, imposed after the financial crisis, is disproportionate and challenging for lenders such as Standard Chartered with most of their operations outside the UK, the bank's finance director Richard Meddings said in an interview."There's something awkward ... or challenging, when the UK Exchequer is taking a levy fundamentally on Singapore deposits being lent to fund Singapore deposits, or Bangladeshi deposits," Meddings said."Standard Chartered pays proportionally more than Lloyds, say, and so I think the structure of the levy is now clearly disproportionate."

UK BROADCASTERS JOIN FORCES TO TACKLE FREE GIVEAWAY OF THEIR PROGRAMMES Britain's BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will lobby in 2014 to make cable and satellite service providers such as BSkyB and Virgin Media pay to carry their channels. Under current rules, introduced in the 1980s to encourage the roll-out of cable networks, Virgin Media pays nothing to public service broadcasters. BSkyB received nearly 10 million pounds ($16.36 million) last year for carrying public service channels. The Sunday Times

RBS PLANS SALARY BOOST TO DODGE BONUS CAP Royal Bank of Scotland is considering raising the basic salaries of some senior executives to compensate for European Union curbs on bonuses due to be introduced in 2014. Tentative negotiations over the pay rises have begun with UK Financial Investments, the body responsible for the government's holding in the bank. PREMIER FOODS PLANNING 300 MLN STG RIGHTS ISSUE

Britain's Premier Foods is poised to launch a 300 million pound rights issue as part of a financial package to tackle debts and fight off Apollo, a Wall Street fund. DIAMOND EYES FIRST AFRICAN ACQUISITION Atlas Mara, a new shell company backed by the former boss of Barclays Bob Diamond, is considering a bid for African Development Corporation, a financial services firm with holdings that include African retail bank BancABC and Union Bank of Nigeria. The Mail on SundayM&S POISED TO OPEN FIRST STORE IN AUSTRALIA British retailer Marks & Spencer is expected to open a store in Australia next year as the country emerges as a new battlefront between leading clothing chains.