Gulf Arab states push for UK free trade deal after Brexit - officials

By Tom Finn

DOHA  - Gulf Arab states are pressing for an early deal on free trade with Britain to secure preferential arrangements after Brexit, and could have a draft agreement ready within months, Gulf officials say.

Britain cannot formally sign trade agreements while it remains a member of the European Union, but the British government has said it is

UK manufacturers urge Prime Minister Theresa May to drop threat of no Brexit deal

LONDON  - Britain's manufacturers told Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday to drop her threat that she might take the country out of the European Union without a new trade deal, saying they would bear the brunt of trade barriers with the EU.

May plans to trigger the two-year Brexit process on Wednesday and she has warned the other 27 EU countries that no dea

South Africa's Gordhan to court investors in Britain, U.S.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan embarks on a week-long non-deal investor roadshow in Britain and the United States on Monday as weak economic growth and ruling party tensions put the country's investment grade at risk.

Africa's most industrialised economy escaped being downgraded to junk status last year. S&P Global Rating

Global Economy Weekahead - Britain to fire starting gun on Brexit talks

By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN  - The nine-month Brexit "phoney war" is set to come to an end next week when British Prime Minister Theresa May notifies the European Union of Britain's intention to leave, starting two years of unprecedented negotiations.

May will send a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on Wednesday to trigger Art

RBS to close 180 branches due to dramatic online shift

By Andrew MacAskill

State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said on Thursday it planned to close about 180 bank branches in Britain and Ireland and about 1,000 roles were at risk in the latest round of cuts and closures at the lender.

The Edinburgh-based said in a statement the changes were due to a "dramatic shift" in retail banking with more customers increasingly ba

UK retail sales suffer biggest three-monthly drop since 2010 as fuel costs bite

British retail sales in the three months to February recorded their biggest slide in nearly seven years as higher fuel prices eroded shoppers' disposable income, official data showed on Thursday.

British inflation is starting to climb rapidly in the wake of the hefty slide in sterling seen after June's vote to leave the European Union - something economists expect to eat into

European shares slip as investors stay cautious over Trump plans

MILAN - European shares fell in early trade on Thursday as investors assessed the risks to Donald Trump's stimulus plans, just before a vote in the U.S. Congress on his healthcare bill.

By 0822 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent, following slight losses in the previous session. Britain's FTSE fell 0.2 percent.

The U.S. vote, w

11-fold increase in car imports by India from Britain

Indian import of cars from Britain has seen nearly 11-fold increase in the past seven years, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Wednesday.

According to its website, SMMT is the voice of the British motor industry representing more than 700 automotive companies in that country.

"In 2016, Indian motorists bought 3,372 British-built cars, up from

Britain orders devices ban on flights from 6 Mideast nations

Britain announced a ban on certain electronic devices being allowed in the cabin on Britain-bound flights from six Middle East countries.

The ban will apply to Britain-bound direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia, a British government spokesperson saiwas quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Phones, laptops and tablets larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x

Goldman to move hundreds of staff from London pre-Brexit - Europe CEO

By Anjuli Davies

LONDON - Goldman Sachs will begin moving hundreds of people out of London before any Brexit deal is struck as part of its contingency plans for Britain leaving the European Union, the Wall Street firm's Europe CEO said.

"We are going to start to execute on those contingency plans," Richard Gnodde, chief executive officer of Gol

Britain's Theresa May to launch EU divorce proceedings on March 29

By William James, Elizabeth Piper and Gabriela Baczynska

LONDON/BRUSSELS - Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Britain's divorce proceedings with the European Union on March 29, launching two years of negotiations that will reshape the future of the country and Europe.

May's government said her permanent envoy to the EU had informed European Coun

Sterling slips after as date is set for Brexit trigger

By Ritvik Carvalho and Jemima Kelly

LONDON - Sterling fell from a three-week high against the dollar on Monday, on the news Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Britain's divorce proceedings with the European Union on March 29, launching two years of negotiations.

May's government said her permanent envoy to the EU had informed European Council Pr

Britain's FTSE rises to record close after Article 50 trigger date set

By Kit Rees and Helen Reid

LONDON  - Britain's top share index inched higher to set a record closing level on Monday, as falling energy stocks and banks were outweighed by rising consumer staples stocks.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent, slipping from the record 7,447.00 points reached in the previous session, but reaching a record cl

Britain to launch Brexit process on March 29 - EU sources

By Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS - Prime Minister Theresa May will write to the European Union on March 29 formally announcing Britain's withdrawal from the bloc, EU sources told Reuters on Monday, saying Brussels had been told of the plan by British officials.

That letter next Wednesday will start the clock ticking on a two-year countdown to Brexit and a

Britain asks regulator to investigate Sky takeover by Murdoch's Fox

LONDON - The British government said on Thursday it would refer Rupert Murdoch's planned takeover of European pay-TV group Sky to regulators to decide if the deal was in the public interest.

Murdoch's U.S. TV business Twenty-First Century Fox, which own 39 percent of Sky, notified the European Commission of its 11.7 billion pound ($14.3 billion) bid earli

Britain's FTSE, mid caps hit record highs as miners jump

LONDON - UK shares rallied to record highs on Thursday, lifted by a surge in commodities-related stocks following an interest hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 1 percent at 0954 GMT, hitting a record high of 7,440.42 points. The British mid cap also hit a record high and was up 0.5 percent.

British stocks joined in a broad

Britain would be foolish to leave European Union without deal says law specialist

By Kirsten Donovan

LONDON - Britain would be foolish to walk away from the European Union without an agreed deal, an EU law specialist said on Wednesday, despite Brexit minister David Davis saying earlier that such a scenario would not be as frightening as some people think.

Speaking in the Reuters Global Markets Forum, Michael Dougan, Professor of European

INSIGHT: Builders turn to bolt-together homes in Brexit Britain

The prospect of Brexit choking off the supply of EU workers is reshaping Britain's homebuilding industry, with big companies increasingly looking to factory-manufacture houses in sections that can be slotted together on-site with minimal labour.

Many of Britain's leading housebuilders, including Berkeley, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Your Housing, told Reuters they were either

UK ups economic growth forecast for 2017, sees slower growth after

LONDON  - Britain has raised its official forecasts for economic growth for 2017 but lowered them for the following three years, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Wednesday in Britain's first full budget since the referendum decision to leave the European Union.

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast gross domestic product would grow by 2 percent

German minister warns UK over trade, predicts Frankfurt to gain

By John O'Donnell and Andreas Kröner

FRANKFURT  - Britain would be "naive" to expect generous trade deals when it quits the European Union, the German minister responsible for its financial centre said on Monday, adding that Frankfurt would grab business from London.

While France has long made no secret about its ambition to take busi

Britain`s May told GM CEO she wants to see Vauxhall jobs protected

LONDON  - Prime Minister Theresa May told the chief executive of General Motors, Mary Barra, that she wanted to see jobs at two Vauxhall car plants in Britain secured for the long term during a phone call on Sunday, May's office said in a statement.

On Monday France's PSA Group agreed to buy Opel, and its British Vauxhall brand, from General Motors in a d

UK focused on new Vauxhall model after Peugeot buyout

LONDON  - Britain's business minister and the country's biggest trade union said they were focused on securing the long-term future of Vauxhall's plants after France's Peugeot confirmed it would buy the British brand from General Motors.

GM had committed to build the Astra Sports Tourer model until around 2021 at its Ellesmere Port plant in northe

PSA targets Opel turnaround as GM exits Europe

By Laurence Frost and Edward Taylor

PARIS/FRANKFURT- France's PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel from General Motors in a deal valuing the business at 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), creating a new European car giant to challenge market leader Volkswagen .

The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars vowed to return Opel and its British Vauxhall brand to profit

UK needs financial reserves in the tank for Brexit - Philip Hammond

By William Schomberg and Paul Sandle

LONDON - Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond said he would keep "reserves in the tank" to see the economy through its looming Brexit challenge, signalling little room for extra spending in this week's budget despite better news on borrowing.

He also said tensions were now easing with other Europea

Scottish investors Standard Life, Aberdeen mull $13.5 billion tie-up

By Alistair Smout and Simon Jessop

LONDON - Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, two of Scotland's most well-known financial firms, are in talks over an 11 billion pound ($13.5 billion) tie-up to create Britain's largest investment manager.

Fund management companies across the globe have been burdened with rising regulatory costs and pressur