The Business Matrix: Friday 30 May 2014


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The Independent Online

Flat Tata lifted by its Jaguar sales

Tata Motors, India’s biggest car and vehicle maker, saw strong sales of its leading marques, Jaguar and Land Rover, offsetting a big drop in sales in India. Profits were flat in the three months to March but bosses hope the new government in the country will help boost sales of trucks and buses in its home territory.

CME to set silver benchmark

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is working with the London Bullion Market Association (LMBA) and precious metals industry to find an alternative to the daily silver fix benchmark, which will be disbanded in August. The CME said it was looking for a “robust transaction-based way to set the daily spot price”.

Man Group trying to buy Numeric

Hedge fund Man Group is in talks to buy the US asset manager Numeric, as it continues to overhaul its structure. Boston-based Numeric manages almost $14bn (£8.4bn), so a deal would boost Man Group’s presence in the world’s largest economy. It would also reduce its reliance on its AHL fund.

US tourists flock to Regent Street

US brands such as J Crew, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger have helped make Regent Street in London the most popular shopping destination for American tourists in the UK. The street is the only one in London to count US shoppers in its top five highest-spending visitors.

Piketty replies to FT criticism

Thomas Piketty has written a 4,400 word rebuttal of the Financial Times’ criticism of his book Capital, arguing that his use of estate tax data to measure inequality is more valid than the FT’s attempt to draw conclusions from income surveys.

Bramson won’t overhaul Electra

The chairman of private equity group Electra claimed corporate raider Ed Bramson was not planning to overhaul the group, despite amassing a 19 per cent stake in it. Electra enjoyed a strong first six months of the year with its net asset value rising 5 per cent to 2914p per share, a 260 per cent jump over the past 10 years.

BP seeks to freeze spill payments

BP has gone to the US Supreme Court seeking to freeze compensation claims. The oil giant is complaining about being forced to pay firms damages whether or not they can prove the Gulf of Mexico spill caused them losses. The company initially estimated it would pay $7.8bn (£4.6bn) in business claims.

Future sells off magazine titles

Future is selling its sport and craft titles after the magazine publisher admitted it will breach bank covenants on its  debt. The group, which crashed to a £30m half-year loss, said the banks were “very supportive” and it would be able to renegotiate its debts after the sell-off this summer.

Sweeteners are sour for Tate

Competition in the sweeteners industry has hit Tate & Lyle, the food giant said yesterday, as it posted a fall in annual profits. The maker of Splenda said adjusted operating profit before tax for the year to March was £322m, down 2 per cent, while sales fell 3 per cent to £3.15bn.

Economy shows growth spurt

Spain confirmed the third consecutive quarterly increase in GDP, up 0.4 per cent in the first quarter, meaning the economy is growing at its fastest for six years. Despite the improvements, unemployment is still at 26 per cent.