Press digest sunday british business july 27

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LONDON, July 27 British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday. Reuters has not independently verified these media reports and does not vouch for their accuracy. SUNDAY TELEGRAPH HESTER TO ANNOUNCE MAJOR RSA WRITE-DOWNS Stephen Hester, the new chief executive of RSA Group , is believed to be planning hundreds of millions of pounds of write-downs as the next step on the road to recovery of the troubled insurance giant. He is planning to revalue intangible assets such as intellectual property in a number of parts of the business at the insurer's half-year results next month. Although he would not comment on the size of the write-downs, he told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview that he believes it is right for a new management team to rebase a business on arrival. RETAIL VETERANS ON SHORTLIST TO BECOME NEW MORRISONS CHAIRMANRetail grandees Archie Norman and Allan Leighton, who led a turnaround at Asda in the Nineties, are in the frame to become the new chairman of struggling supermarket chain Wm Morrison . Two other names being considered are John Gildersleeve, who was a director at Tesco for 20 years and is chairman of British Land, and John McAdam, chairman of Rentokil Initial, and the senior independent director at J Sainsbury. HALF OF BRITAIN TO BE OPENED UP FOR FRACKINGMinisters are this week expected to offer up vast swathes of Britain for fracking in an attempt to lure energy companies to explore shale oil and gas reserves. The Department for Energy and Climate Change is expected to launch the so-called "14th onshore licensing round", which will invite companies to bid for the rights to explore in as-yet untouched parts of the country. LUTON AIRPORT OWNER POISED FOR EUROPE'S BIGGEST FLOAT AT 7 BLN STGThe company that owns Luton Airport is preparing for a bumper 7 billion pounds float that would be Europe's biggest this year.

Aena Aeropuertos, the Spanish state-backed airports operator, has appointed a roster of heavyweight investment banks to oversee a privatisation, scheduled for the autumn. SHAKE-UP AT MALAYSIA AIRLINESMalaysia Airlines is likely to change its name as part of a radical overhaul in the wake of the death of 298 passengers in a missile attack on a flight over Ukraine. The Malaysian flag carrier, majority-owned by the government, will also seek new investors to rebuild its business after two major tragedies within six months. Malaysia Airlines is also calling for a single global body to monitor threats and decide where civilian aircraft are allowed to fly.

SUNDAY TIMES TCHENGUIZ TO SUE GRANT THORNTON AFTER SFO CLIMBDOWN The property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz is to sue accountants Grant Thornton for several hundred million pounds over a bungled Serious Fraud Office investigation. MONARCH AIRLINES SEEKS NEW BACKERSThe billionaire Mantegazza family behind Monarch Airlines is preparing to sell a stake as part of plans to reinvigorate the budget carrier to take on rivals easyJet and Ryanair . AUSTRALIANS SEEK BUYER FOR 50 PCT STAKE IN BRISTOL AIRPORTA stake in Bristol airport is on the block after Australian bank Macquarie started sounding out buyers for its 50 percent share.

MAIL ON SUNDAY HOME RETAIL MAY SPIN OFF HOMEBASE CHAIN Home Retail Group is considering a plan to spin off its 1.5 billion pounds DIY chain Homebase so it can concentrate on developing its more prosperous Argos chain. The most likely exit for the Homebase business is for it to go to a private equity firm rather than spinning it off on the stock market. FINANCIAL TIMES TOP UK CHAIRMEN BACK EU RENEGOTIATION A group of FTSE 100 chairmen surveyed for a poll have overwhelmingly backed renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU, with many calling for economic and social power to be returned to nation states. The survey, which covered one in three chairmen of the UK's biggest companies, shows that disenchantment with the EU status quo stretches right to the top of corporate Britain, although support for withdrawal from the bloc remains minimal.