The Business Matrix: Friday 30 September 2011

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Denmark offers banks a lifeline

Denmark’s central bank has thrown a £46bn lifeline to the country’s small banks by agreeing to accept wider collateral against loans to ease the lenders’ liquidity woes. The move is designed to let banks make loans to small firms and farmers amid a shortage of market funding for its provincial banks. Two small lenders failed earlier this year.

US military helps Qinetic first half

The defence manufacturer Qinetiq said US military sales had driven a better-than-expected first-half performance. It said sales of bomb-disposal robots and a hi-tech netting to protect armoured vehicles from rocket attacks had boosted its results. But it said the market remained challenging amid huge defence budget cuts by governments.

Jacques Vert sees sales slowdown

The womenswear specialist Jacques Vert has become the latest retailer to warn of a deterioration in sales. Its chairman Steve Bodger said it had grown its underlying sales by 0.2 per cent over the first 22 weeks of its financial year, but he added, “there has been a weakening in sales and margin performance over the last three weeks”.

Man Group to double job cuts

Man Group is doubling the number of planned job cuts to 400, as the world’s biggest listed hedge fund manager trims costs after last year’s takeover of rival GLG. The news came two days after Man shocked markets with news clients were pulling money out of its funds at the fastest pace since early 2009 – sending its shares tumbling 25 per cent.

Betfair hid credit card data hack

Betfair has admitted it did not inform its customers that the details of millions of credit cards were stolen in a major cyberattack 18 months ago. But the online betting firm said the decision was on the advice of the Serious Organised Crime Agency and its security measures meant fraudsters could not use the data.

Polymetal seeks London listing

The Russian precious metals miner Polymetal is seeking a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange in a move it hopes will catapult it into the FTSE 100 index. Polymetal, which has a market value of $7bn, has also named the former head of AngloGold Ashanti, Bobby Godsell, as its chairman.

Risk of delays to Suffolk wind farm

The Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, which could be the world’s largest when it opens fully, is at risk of delays as developers SSE and RWE npower and main builder Fluor argue over who pays the extra costs for faulty material. The £1.3bn wind farm off Suffolk is due to be finished by the end of 2012.

BarCap Japan given 10-day ban

Japanese regulators have banned the local unit of Barclays Capital from some trading operations for 10 business days for violating rules related to shortselling, Japan’s first such punishment in five years. Barclays Capital Japan said it was the result of a technical glitch, which it reported to the authorities.

HSSE to increase investor payouts

Scottish & Southern Energy, one of the big suppliers that raised prices over the summer, has said it is on track to pay an inflationbusting dividend to its shareholders. The company, which changes its name to SSE today, predicted it would boost shareholder payout by at least 2 per cent more than RPI inflation.