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The Business Matrix: Friday 31 May 2013

More Airbuses for Singapore Airlines  

Rolls-Royce, the engine maker, said Singapore Airlines has agreed to order another 30 Airbus A350-900 aircraft powered by its Trent XWB engines. The order takes the total number of A350 aircraft ordered by Singapore Airlines to 70 aircraft. The airline has also agreed options for 20 more A350-900 aircraft.

Electra bullish over balancing act

Electra Private Equity said it expects to gain the upper hand this year on some of its rivals which are struggling to raise new funds to invest. The company, which counts holiday group Park Resorts among its investments, said it expects to pick up assets from financial institutions such as banks as they continue to slim down their balance sheets.

Black box firm plans £600m sale

An Italian company that makes black boxes to help insurers track drivers has attracted the attention of private-equity firms including Apax, Carlyle and TPG. Octo Telematics has also moved its management team to London ahead of a planned £600m sale, to work more closely with its clients, who are mostly from the insurance industry.

Murdoch to delist News Corp in UK

Rupert Murdoch is set to cut another of his links with Britain News Corporation ceases trading on the London Stock Exchange at the end of next month. The delisting from London will coincide with the separation of the company into publishing and film and broadcasting companies, with publishing to be run by Robert Thomson.

Jobless rate falls  below 14 per cent

Ireland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell below 14 per cent for the first time in over two years when it dropped to 13.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year, the Central Statistics Office said yesterday. The rate, which hit 15.1 per cent in the same period last year, fell for the fourth quarter in a row.

Trading tax to  be scaled back

Countries plan to scale back a proposed financial transactions tax, initially imposing a tiny charge on share deals only, but taking much longer than originally intended to achieve a full roll out. A redesigned levy would raise about one tenth of what was once targeted in the plan championed by Germany and France.

Tate & Lyle report rise in profits

Sweeteners and starches maker Tate & Lyle topped City forecasts yesterday with a 4 per cent rise in annual profits to £329m. “Despite having entered the year facing a number of headwinds we have made progress,” said Tate & Lyle’s chief executive, Javed Ahmed.

Mailbox move for Harvey Nichols

Department store Harvey  Nichols is to more than double the size of its Birmingham store and relocate it within the Mailbox shopping complex. The store will span more than 45,000 sqft, allowing it to extend its menswear and personal shopper ranges.

Oil strike at Kurdistan well

Genel Energy and Gulf Keystone, the Kurdistan-focused oil explorers, have made a commercial oil discovery at the Ber Bahr-1 exploration well on the Ber Bahr block in the region. Each company has a 40 per cent working interest in the field.

Snoozebox needs cash to stay awake

Portable hotels business Snoozebox today tapped investors for £10.1m to keep the lights on at the struggling firm. The Aim-listed company, which uses converted shipping containers as temporary hotels, said it had identified “serious financial problems”.

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