PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Aug 21

Aug 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

- Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday that parliament cannot stop Britain leaving the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31. He will warn the German chancellor over dinner in Berlin that there will be no Brexit agreement unless the European Union backs down and agrees to scrap the Irish backstop.

- The Hong Kong investor buying Greene King is under pressure to provide further assurances that it will not cut jobs. Union leaders have demanded an urgent meeting with CK Asset Holdings which on Monday agreed a 4.6 billion pounds ($5.60 billion) takeover of the pub operator and brewer.

The Guardian

- The online fashion retailer Asos Plc has asked its suppliers for a 3% discount on the clothes and accessories it buys from them, as the company struggles to repair its finances after issuing two profit warnings.

- NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc customers have been hit by computer problems preventing them from accessing credit card information, and the bank's call centres are unable to deal with credit card queries.

- Britain's nuclear watchdog has agreed to allow one of the country's oldest nuclear reactors to restart, one year after it was shut down to investigate cracks in its graphite core. EDF Energy, British arm of France's EDF, is expected to restart reactor 4 at its 40-year-old Hunterston B nuclear plant within weeks after the Office for Nuclear Regulation said the plant was safe.

The Telegraph

- China's Weichai, part of giant state-owned conglomerate Shandong Heavy Industry, is in detailed discussions to buy struggling bus company Wrightbus and has lodged a bid believed to be in the region of 50 million pounds ($60.84 million).

- A Turkish pension fund's deal to rescue British Steel from insolvency has come under fire from a major newspaper closely connected to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Monday's edition of Sabah said Oyak, a pension fund owned by the Turkish military, had numerous "unanswered questions" about its swoop on British Steel, including its failure to disclose how much it was paying for the troubled UK manufacturer.

Sky News

- National Grid Plc is facing an investigation by Ofgem over a major power cut earlier this month, as it blamed a lightning strike for the outage. The regulator, which has the power to fine firms up to 10% of UK turnover, said it was looking into whether the grid and other electricity companies breached their licence conditions.

- A French-led consortium is in advanced talks to buy a big chunk of Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc civil nuclear operations as part of a deal that will continue the transformation of one of Britain's most important industrial groups. Framatome, which is majority-owned by the French energy group EDF, is close to sealing a deal to buy Rolls-Royce's international instrumentation and control division

The Independent

- Boris Johnson will pull British officials and ministers out of most EU decision-making meetings from September as the government gears up for the Brexit deadline. Civil servants and ministers will now only attend EU meetings where the UK has a significant national interest in the outcome, such as on security. ($1 = 0.8219 pounds) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)