Business News in Brief: 19/12/2010

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Newsagents lobby against display ban on cigarettes

Proposals by the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley to hide the display of cigarettes in shops is expected to be given the go ahead this week despite opposition from retailers.

A spokeswoman for the National Federation of Retail Newsagents said: "Well over 50 Conservative and Lib Dem MPs have backed a strongly worded petition by Mike Weatherley MP calling on the Government to reconsider the ban, by undertaking a full and fair examination of the evidence."

Roy loses first place in Grosvenor House race

Sahara India Pariwar, the conglomerate run by the billionaire Subrata Roy, is no longer frontrunner to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's Grosvenor House Hotel. Sahara is still in talks with the bank but is one of three parties in talks. It is unlikely any deal will materialise until the new year. The five-star hotel on London's Park Lane had been up for sale for around £700m but the parties have bid at less than £500m. RBS bought the hotel in 2001.

BP shares dip as US issues suit over gulf oil spill

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, was told by a US judge on Friday that it must hand over its safety records. The move follow's Washington's decision on Wednesday to sue BP and eight others over the explosion and subsequent spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's share price wobbled on the earlier news, trading as low as 461p, though it recovered to close at 467.15p on Friday. BP's shares were worth 650p before the spill.