The 10 biggest business stories on Tuesday February 16

RBS used Harry Potter films to 'make £1bn in tax breaks'; EDF extends life of UK nuclear plants; Anglo American full-year loss doubles as revenue slumps on lower commodity prices

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The Independent Online

1.    Royal Bank of Scotland made up at least £1 billion ($1.45 billion) in tax breaks by investing in controversial financing deals for Harry Potter movies and several other blockbuster titles that involved no risk to the bank. The transactions, which RBS has never disclosed, are revealed in hundreds of public filings by at least 25 companies set up by the bank to take part in movie “sale and leaseback” arrangements a decade ago, Bloomberg reveals.

2.    HSBC could switch up to 1,000 jobs to Paris if Britain votes to exit the EU in the forthcoming referendum.

3.    Oil prices have staged a rally with Brent breaking past $34 a barrel on expectations that energy heavyweights Russia and Saudi Arabia will discuss the global oversupply issue in a Doha meeting, the Telegraph reports.

4.    Vodafone, the British mobile phone giant and Liberty Global, a US cable group are merging their Netherlands operations to create a company worth €19 billion (€21 billion).

5.    Anglo American on Tuesday posted a full-year net loss and announced plans to sell assets as commodity prices slump. The company lost $5.62 billion in 2015, a 55 per cent drop from the $2.51 billion loss the previous year.

6.    EDF Energy is to extend generation from four of its UK nuclear power stations by up to seven years, the company has announced. The move will safeguard 2,000 jobs and help with tight energy supplies. The announcement, revealed alongside annual results from its parent firm, comes with EDF yet to make a final decision over the construction of a vast new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in southwest England. 

7.    European Union state aid regulators will examine a report by a group of EU lawmakers accusing Swedish furniture retailer IKEA of avoiding paying at least €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in taxes over a six-year period.

8.    Orange,  France's biggest telecoms operator, said on Tuesday that it beat its own profit targets in 2015 as it continued to cut labour costs and benefited from the stabilization of its total sales.

9.    Pensions are still the most tax-efficient form of savings, despite forthcoming tax changes, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.

10.    Consumers could save £2 billion if the government rethinks plans for green subsidies, according to the power firm Drax.