AstraZeneca shares surged by 8 per cent at one stage amid frenzied speculation that US rival Pfizer was preparing a mega-bid. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

London Briefing: major drug shares in UK soar on talk of mergers, acquisitions and asset swaps

 Barclays headquarters in Canary Wharf, London. The bank can expect a rough ride at its meeting next week after paying out £2.4 billion in bonuses last year.   Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Barclays Bank faces bonus backlash while Tesco reports second year of decline

It’s far from clear what Mike Ashley’s plans are for the 11 per cent stake he now owns in House of Fraser

Boss of UK’s biggest sports retailer often says one thing and then does another

Martin Wheatley, head of the Financial Conduct Authority, has admitted it was “not the FCA’s finest hour” but is resisting calls for his resignation. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

London briefing: Martin Wheatley is under fire over the handling of a leak of an insurance inquiry

Britain’s J Sainsbury has ended a nine-year run of quarterly sales growth.

Bank of England bucks trend with appointment of Nemat Shafik as deputy to governor Mark Carney

Euan Sutherland: said one or more directors were “determined to undermine me personally” as Co-operative Group chief executive. Photograph: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

Euan Sutherland describes organisation as ‘ungovernable’

Thus a £1.5 million London apartment today (which compares with an average UK price of £250,000) will have climbed to over £6 million by 2030

With 9 per cent annual rises, plush pads will go through the roof by 2050

Dixons is discussing a deal  with Carphone Warehouse that would create a new £3.5 billion force in the electrical retailing sector.

Dixons in talks with Carphone Warehouse

  The Co-op, which can trace its roots back to 1844, has long-standing political links with the Co-operative Party, which has been affiliated to the opposition Labour Party since the 1920s. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA

Some fear venerable British institution has lost its way

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