PRESS DIGEST-British Business – April 3

April 3 (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

– Ovo Energy has said that 3,400 of its staff would be put on furlough and receive 80 per cent of their salary.

– Hays Plc has become the first business to raise equity capital under the new rules that give less protection to retail investors, tapping institutional shareholders for 200 million pounds through a placing.

The Guardian

– British Airways is to suspend more than 30,000 staff until the end of May under the government furlough scheme for companies hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

– Ursula von der Leyen has laid out plans to borrow and spend 100 billion euros to stop firms in the European Union laying off staff during the coronavirus epidemic, and has apologised to the Italian people for the bloc’s lack of solidarity.

The Telegraph

– Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has has furloughed about 14,500 of its 16,000 employees, while also putting them on taxpayer-funded leave to help keep the business afloat.

– Chancellor Rishi Sunak relaxed rules governing the Coronavirus Business Interruption programme, while also announcing that he will give more backing to so-called “squeezed middle” companies.

Sky News

– Richard Branson is to defer millions of pounds in fees owed by the hardest-hit Virgin-branded companies as the coronavirus epidemic decimates revenues across his leisure and travel operations.

– Pets at Home Group Plc said it had seen “exceptional demand” in online and store sales, with animal lovers rushing to stock up on products for their pets as the coronavirus outbreak took hold.

The Independent

– Casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp is to pay a fine of 13 million pounds ($16.09 million)after a series of failures over money laundering, social responsibility and customer interaction in the U.K., in the Gambling Commission’s biggest penalty package.

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