The Business Matrix: Wednesday 10 December 2014


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‘Rhino Ruby’ sells in $43.3m auction

Gemfields, owner of jeweller Fabergé, has sold a ruby the size of a raspberry as part of a record $43.3m (£27.6m) auction. It sold the 40.23-carat stone, named the “Rhino Ruby”, to an unnamed buyer at its auction in Singapore yesterday. Gemfields’ three auctions so far this financial year have raised $94m.

Woodford loses two associates

Two of Neil Woodford’s closest associates have quit his new fund management venture less than a year after its launch. Nick Hamilton, Woodford Investment Management’s chief operating officer, and Gray Smith, the chief legal and compliance officer, resigned yesterday. The reason for their departure remains unclear.

Billions in legal costs for Citigroup

Citigroup will record $2.7bn (£1.7bn) in additional legal costs and another $800m of repositioning charges in the fourth quarter, Mike Corbat, its chief executive said yesterday. The legal costs relate to inquiries into foreign exchange trading, Libor rigging and compliance with money-laundering rules.

Madoff aide gets 6-year sentence

A former manager at Bernard Madoff’s firm was sentenced to six years in prison for helping the convicted fraudster carry out a Ponzi scheme that caused investors to lose billions of dollars. Annette Bongiorno, 66, was the second of five former employees to be sentenced after being convicted in March of securities fraud and conspiracy.

Exxon: emissions to surge by 50%

Exxon Mobil’s economists, scientists and engineers believe emissions in the developing world will surge by 50 per cent. The oil and gas corporation’s forecast suggests that the diplomatic push to draft an accord to curb global warming will fall short.

Crude prices edge up on weak dollar

Brent crude oil prices edged up after a five-year low and five days of losses. US crude also rose as players sought a sustainable price for oil in a market haunted by oversupply concerns. A weak dollar boosted commodities denominated in the currency, traders said.

China takes a punt on DJI Holdings 

DJI Holdings, the newly listed company that runs lottery games in China, has won a contract in the gambling-mad country and started trials of a virtual horse-racing game with Heilongjiang Sports Lottery Administration Center, the preferred supplier.

Shake-up at top of Paddy Power

Andy McCue, the incoming chief executive of Paddy Power, has handed his old role as the bookmaker’s UK managing director to marketing boss Christian Woolfenden. Johnny Hartnett, director of operations, will now head Paddy Power online.

Merck to buy Cubist for $9.5bn

Merck has agreed to pay $9.5bn (£6bn) for Cubist, a developer of antibiotics. The price includes approximately $1.2bn in debt and is a 35 per cent premium on Monday’s closing Cubist share price. The acquisition of Cubist, founded in 1922, marks a new direction for Merck.

US job market hits 13-year high

The number of job openings in the US rose to a near 13-year high in October, a hopeful sign for the world’s biggest economy. Employers outside of the farming sector had 4.83 million jobs waiting to be filled during the month, up from 4.69 million in September.