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PRESS DIGEST- British Business - April 21

April 21 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.



The Times


- Managing director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has called on countries to pull together in the fight against a damaging retreat into protectionism amid mounting evidence that a global trade war is already under way. http://bit.ly/2oWbAOU


- A U.S. crackdown on steel imports is looming after President Donald Trump ordered an investigation into unfair export practices, setting up a potential showdown with China. http://bit.ly/2oW8wlT



The Guardian


- A consortium led by Macquarie Group Ltd agreed to buy the Green Investment Bank, which was established in 2012 by the coalition government to fund green infrastructure projects. The decision to sell Green Investment Bank for 2.3 billion pounds ($2.94 billion) has been attacked by critics including the Liberal Democrats and Greenpeace as “politically dubious” and a “disaster”. http://bit.ly/2oW3G85


- President of World Bank Jim Kim told Theresa May that cutting the United Kingdom’s aid budget could lead to an increase in conflict, terrorism and migration and would damage Britain’s international reputation. http://bit.ly/2oW4RUQ



The Telegraph


- British engineering firm WS Atkins Plc has agreed to a 2.1 billion pound ($2.7 billion) takeover by Canadian rival SNC-Lavalin. Atkins' board last night agreed to a cash takeover at 20.80 pounds a share and the deal would see the company's chief executive step aside. http://bit.ly/2oW161O


- Sky Plc suffered a marked slowdown in its core UK pay-TV business, sparking renewed claims that increasingly cautious consumers are rejecting expensive packages in favour of cheaper entertainment options such as Netflix. Its takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc was likely to be delayed by the General Election. http://bit.ly/2oW7J4b



Sky News


- Marks and Spencer Group Plc has confirmed plans to close six stores in a move that will affect almost 400 employees. http://bit.ly/2oW4ZUx


- Debenhams Plc will consider closing up to 10 of its 176 stores under a review announced by its new chief executive, Sergio Bucher. http://bit.ly/2oVVRzp



The Independent


- Amazon.com Inc has been accused of setting workers against each other to ensure they turn up for work even when they are sick and should be at home. The company gives its workers in Germany a monthly bonus of 6 percent to 10 percent of their salary, only if their co-workers have good enough attendance records. http://ind.pn/2oW5w8Z


- GMB union has accused the UK government of “gross betrayal” after drinks company Diageo Plc announced plans to cut more than 100 jobs across its Scottish operations because of concerns over Brexit. http://ind.pn/2oVWSaq

($1 = 0.7813 pounds) (Compiled by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)