Feb 3 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Greece's finance minister has insisted that Athens expects the European Central Bank to maintain a funding lifeline while the week-old Syriza government negotiates new bailout terms. (thetim.es/1F0zt98)
GREECE DEBT STANDOFF: GEORGE OSBORNE URGES ATHENS AND BRUSSELS TO STRIKE DEAL
George Osborne, has warned that the standoff between Greece and the eurozone over the country's debt is "the greatest risk to the global economy" after meeting the new Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. "We had a constructive discussion, and it is clear that the standoff between Greece and the eurozone is the greatest risk to the global economy," Osborne said. "I urge the Greek finance minister to act responsibly but it's also important that the eurozone has a better plan for jobs and growth. (bit.ly/1zxfqij)
British military experts were asked to draw up guidance at the height of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa late last year on the feasibility and potential impact of terrorists "weaponising" the virus. (bit.ly/1HOC9vB)
AER LINGUS OFFERED HEATHROW SLOTS GUARANTEES BY BRITISH AIRWAYS' OWNER
British Airways' parent company International Airlines Group has stepped up its pursuit of Aer Lingus Group Plc by offering to make legally binding commitments to preserve the Irish carrier's brand and presence at Heathrow, hoping to assuage government fears in Dublin. IAG last week made an improved 1.1 billion pound ($1.65 billion) bid for Aer Lingus but the Irish government, which owns a 25 percent stake, had been resisting a sale without guarantees over future connectivity. (bit.ly/16a0wCO)
Google Inc is looking to take on Uber in the car-sharing market by launching a service using its driverless vehicles, according to reports. Executives at Uber, which allows customers to book taxis via its app, have seen screenshots of a similar Google program that the U.S. search giant's employees are using, Bloomberg reported. (bit.ly/1vpsRRj)
Private-equity backed advisory firm Towry Finance has agreed a 97 million pound takeover of wealth manager Ashcourt Rowan. The two companies said that the deal will create a private wealth firm with 11 billion pounds of assets under management and revenues of 138 million pound. (bit.ly/1x0nbqU)
Santander UK will this week provide fresh evidence that the banking sector's biggest mis-selling scandal is failing to abate when it makes a further provision for consumer compensation. The bank, which is the UK's fifth-biggest high street lender, is expected to say alongside its full-year results on Tuesday that it is taking a charge in the low tens of millions of pounds for PPI mis-selling. (bit.ly/1K46R1u)
Allan Leighton is in talks to become the first independent chairman of the Co-operative Group Ltd in a move that would herald a crucial stage in the mutual's efforts to reinvent itself after two years of crisis. (bit.ly/1zNXcL2)
SPOTIFY CANCELS LAUNCH IN RUSSIA FOR THE 'FORESEEABLE FUTURE'
Music-streaming service Spotify has cancelled its launch in Russia - amid continuing unrest in the country. According to the RBC news agency, Alexander Kubaneishvili, a former Google executive who was to lead Spotify's Russian division, is leaving the Swedish company. "I regret to inform you that Spotify refused to launch in Russia in the foreseeable future. There are several reasons - the economic crisis, the political situation, the new laws governing the internet," Kubaneishvili said. (ind.pn/1yv3rxl)
$1 = 0.6652 pounds Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru