March 20, 2020 / 1:04 AM / 5 months ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - March 20

March 20 (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

- The European Central Bank has embarked on a 750 billion euros ($799.95 billion) bond-buying operation to support sovereign and corporate debt in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

- Next Chief Executive Officer Simon Wolfson has said the retail industry is facing the toughest time since the oil crisis of 1973 but claimed the fashion chain could survive a 1 billion pound slump in sales.

The Guardian

- Food retailers are drafting in an army of coronavirus temps to "feed the nation" as worried shoppers continue to panic-buy groceries.

- London-based coffee shop chain Pret a Manger is to cut staff working hours and pay by a quarter across its 550 branches as customers follow government advice to stay at home to dampen the spread of coronavirus.

The Telegraph

- Cineworld Group Plc has begun laying off staff with immediate effect after closing all its cinemas as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

- British online supermarket Ocado insisted it has no product shortages as it prepares to relaunch its beefed-up website with new rationing rules.

Sky News

- The UK government has drafted in City bankers to scrutinise the finances of Britain's biggest airlines as they put the finishing touches to a multi-billion pound rescue plan.

- The UK government is working with mobile network O2 to analyse anonymous smartphone location data to see whether people are following its social distancing guidelines, Sky News has learned.

The Independent

- Gas and electricity suppliers will help up to four million vulnerable customers to make sure they do not get cut off during the coronavirus outbreak. ($1 = 0.9376 euros) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)

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