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. bit.ly/3beR9nh

- 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. bit.ly/3bawdgZ

The Guardian

- Food retailers are drafting in an army of coronavirus temps to "feed the nation" as worried shoppers continue to panic-buy groceries. bit.ly/2xVbf7F

- 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. bit.ly/3bfHQmL

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. bit.ly/3dgLr68

- British online supermarket Ocado insisted it has no product shortages as it prepares to relaunch its beefed-up website with new rationing rules. bit.ly/2UkWQZY

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. bit.ly/2QsX0gv

- 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. bit.ly/2wmw8YV

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. bit.ly/33vny6p ($1 = 0.9376 euros) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)

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