The Business Matrix: Friday 20 December 2013


Citroën exclusive for China market

PSA Peugeot Citroën unveiled its latest saloon in Paris yesterday, even though the car will only be available in China. The Citroën DS 5LS will be produced in its Shenzhen factory. Last week, Peugeot said it was pursuing a tie-up with China's Dongfeng Motor after the US giant GM sold its 7 per cent in the French group.

Mortgage lending exceeds forecast

Mortgage lending for the whole year will be higher than expected but far less than in the boom years, the Council for Mortgage Lending said. It has raised its forecast for total lending from £156bn to £170bn this year but that is well below the £363bn record set in 2007. Lending in November was up 30 per cent on a year ago at £17bn.

Aviva has £500m for UK projects

Aviva has set aside £500m to invest in UK projects as part of a Government initiative announced earlier this month. The funds will be used to back transport, utilities, hospitals and schools. Insurers agreed earlier this month to invest £25bn over five years as part of a national infrastructure plan.

Smartphones and tablets lead way

Mobile advertising in Britain this year is set to smash previous forecasts, with revenues rising 126 per cent to £1.2bn, according to research from eMarketer. The group credited an "exceptional performance from Google, Twitter and Facebook" as users spend more time on their smartphones and tablets.

Woodford moves to Oakley Capital

Neil Woodford, the renowned fund manager at Invesco who helped scupper BAE's merger with EADS, is moving to Oakley Capital. The private equity group, founded by Peter Dubens, owns the Time Out listing magazines. Mr Woodford will set up an asset management busines at Oakely.

Saab shares soar after jet deal

Shares in the aerospace firm Saab leapt by a third after it beat US and French rivals to win a $4.5bn fighter deal with Brazil. Brazil's choice of Saab's Gripen single engine jet over Boeing's Super Hornet and Dassault Aviation's Rafale secures development of a jet that has been in doubt.

Hackett London's 37% fall in sales

The upmarket menswear brand Hackett London has reported a 37 per cent fall in annual profits for the year to April. The British label, which is owned by Pepe Jeans, said that turnover rose 1.8 per cent to £97.7m but its full-year profits fell to £3.9m.

AstraZeneca in diabetes venture

AstraZeneca has spent up to $4.1bn (£2.5bn) buying out rival drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb's stake in a diabetes-medicine venture. It is the latest acquisition for the company, which is facing falling revenues as blockbuster drugs fall out of patent.

JCB staff get £400 Christmas bonus

JCB's UK employees are to receive a £400 Christmas bonus. About 5,000 staff at the construction equipment maker's 11 plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham will share in the festive payout, worth £2m in total.