What the other papers say this morning - 03 March 2014


Britain to scrap VAT on Bitcoin trades
Britain’s tax authority plans to ditch value added tax on Bitcoin trading only days after the collapse of Mt Gox, one of the virtual currency’s leading exchanges, losing almost $500m of customer deposits. In a meeting with a group of UK traders last week, HM Revenue & Customs said it would not charge the 20 per cent VAT tax on trades, which entrepreneurs had complained made their businesses globally uncompetitive. HMRC went a step further, saying it would not charge the tax on their margins either.

SEC probes Mexican fraud claim
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the alleged fraud at Citigroup’s Mexican subsidiary, which caused the bank to revise its earnings last week, said people familiar with the situation. Potential areas of inquiry could range from financial reporting issues to accounting fraud and bribery. Citi and the SEC declined to comment.

China speeds past Europe for 4G
China has overtaken Europe by building hundreds of thousands of masts to carry superfast 4G mobile signals and Western executives warn it will pull further ahead with its plans to more than double construction this year.

China Mobile became the country’s first 4G operator in December last year and it built about 200,000 base stations in advance of the launch.


Caffe Nero joining Boston coffee party
A British coffee shop chain founded by an American but serving Italian-style coffee is set to challenge the might of Starbucks on its home turf. Caffe Nero will announce plans today to open its first American store, in Boston, next month, with further openings in and around the city already in the pipeline.

Compass prepares to ditch Deloitte
The world’s biggest caterer is set to switch its auditor for the first time since 1987. KPMG will take Compass’s audit from its “Big Four” rival Deloitte, The Times has learnt, ending a 27-year relationship.

The Daily Telegraph

Boost incentives for apprenticeships
Incentives for companies to create more apprenticeships need to be improved and new schemes introduced if the supply of places is to ever meet demand from potential trainees, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Aviva’s Regan loses £7.25m in shares
Aviva, the FTSE 100 insurer, has removed £7.3m of shares awarded to its outgoing finance director, Pat Regan during his four years at the company.
The insurer axed Regan’s shares as a result of his decision to quit. He is due to leave in early May to become chief financial officer of QBE in Sydney.


Winton Capital plans expansion drive
Winton Capital, Europe’s fourth-largest hedge-fund company, plans to hire up to 100 employees this year, part of an expansion that includes starting five funds and opening offices in New York, Tokyo and Sydney, according to the firm’s founder, David Harding.

Pfizer aims to sell over-the-counter
Pfizer is forging ahead in its quest to sell an over-the-counter version of blockbuster cholesterol pill Lipitor, hoping to overcome scepticism that consumers can take the drug appropriately without doctor guidance.