The Business Matrix: Friday 11 May 2012


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Fabergé eggs on rich New Yorkers

Fabergé, the London based jeweller best known for its expensive ornate eggs, is opening its first shop in the US. The New York store, to open this month at 694 Madison Avenue, follows Fabergé's recent opening of a store off London's Bond Street. Pallinghurst Resources bought the brand in 2007.

HSBC sells out of four Latino arms

HSBC is in talks to sell its businesses in Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay as it focuses on core countries where it has enough size or growth potential to be worthwhile. Chief executive Stuart Gulliver is in the middle of a major restructuring of the group.

Barratt homes at five-year high

Housebuilder Barratt's chief executive Mark Clare said foreign buyers in Hong Kong, Singapore and China were snapping up as much as a fifth of his new housing stock, helping the firm to enjoy the strongest spring selling period for five years. Sales are up 25 per cent on the year, also boosted by shared equity schemes for first-time buyers.

Superdry fashion flattens in the UK

Julian Dunkerton, chief executive of SuperGroup, has vowed to become more involved with the Superdry label's products after a "disappointing" fourth quarter capped a "difficult year". SuperGroup, which has issued three profits warnings since October, yesterday posted "flat" underlying UK retail sales over the 13 weeks to 29 April.

ENRC suffers fall in sales of metals

FTSE 100 Kazakh miner ENRC warned yesterday that its revenue decreased "significantly" in the first quarter, as the group was hit by weak demand and declining prices. Ferroalloys and aluminium sales also fell. Labour and energy costs were continuing to rise, ENRC added. But its shares rose 13.5p to 537.5p.

Unilever doubles up in African arm

Growth in Europe may be fairly moribund, but Unilever reckons it can nearly double its African revenues in the next five years by tapping into the rising wealth of the continent. It is mainly focused on South Africa and Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Russian retreat claims new victim

Moscow-based 01 Properties became the latest Russian company to pull its flotation in the UK in recent months. The Moscow real-estate investor said the current volatile market conditions meant the time was not right to come to market.

Doughty died of heart attack

The Nottingham Forest owner and private equity tycoon Nigel Doughty died of natural causes, an inquest found. Mr Doughty was one of the most successful private-equity investors of his generation. Tests showed he died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. He had said he was going to his house's gym.

Glencore accused of EU corruption

A subsidiary of trader Glencore has been accused in a Brussels corruption case of paying an EU official's huge phone bills and laying on a French holiday for access to market sensitive information. Karel Brus is accused of passing secret information on EU export subsidies to the firm.

Aquascutum brand rescued

Aquascutum has been rescued by the Hong Kong business that already owns the brand in Asia. A subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed YGM Trading has completed a deal to buy the 161-year old brand, its UK stores and head office out of administration, preserving 100 jobs. Administrator FRP Advisory still hopes to sell the Corby factory separately.