Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The Business Matrix: Monday 01 July 2013


Android powers ahead of Apple

Google’s Android operating system now has more than a 70 per cent market share in Europe, largely down to the continued popularity of Samsung, which is selling nearly half of smartphones in Europe and has pulled far ahead of iPhone maker Apple. iOS, Apple’s operating system, has a 17.8 per cent share in Europe, acording to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Companies ignore pensions scheme

Almost two-thirds of Britain’s small businesses are  not  prepared for new auto- enrolment pension laws less than 12 months before they come into force, according to the law firm Irwin Mitchell. It found that nearly 60 per cent of small and medium-sized firms had not budgeted for additional costs from the auto-enrolment scheme.

What the Sunday papers said

HS2 rail link seeks power to borrow

The team behind the £43bn High Speed 2 rail link wants new powers to borrow money in debt markets and hedge against the cost of rising commodity prices. HS2’s commercial director, Beth West, is in talks with ministers over legislation to enshrine the new powers. She said raising debt would “bring in financial discipline”. 

Independent on Sunday

Victims still await rate swap payouts

Thousands of small businesses are still waiting to receive up to £2bn in compensation over mis-sold interest rate swaps which left them with soaring bills when borrowing costs were cut to record lows. In January the regulator announced a compensation scheme for 40,000 firms but only a small number have received offers from the banks.

Mail on Sunday

Barclays warns of lending squeeze

The Bank of England is on collision course with Barclays over the latter’s threat to rein in lending. Anthony Jenkins, chief executive, told investors that if the Bank’s new Prudential Regulation Authority presses ahead with plans for a new 3 per cent leverage ratio it may be forced to “restrict” lending.

Sunday Times

EU membership ‘vital for UK’

Sir Mike Rake, CBI president, has said membership of the European Union is “overwhelmingly in the UK’s economic interests,” if it is made a properly functioning single market. “It would be ironic if the UK were to consider leaving having just helped create a massive Euro-American trade area,” he said.

Sunday Telegraph

Manufacturers set for more growth

The latest manufacturing purchasing managers’ survey is released today. Activity is expected to have expanded for the third straight month – for the first time since the first quarter of 2012 – with IHS Global Insight’s Howard Archer predicting an improvement to 51.5 for June, after a rise to 51.3 in May.

Persimmon sales to be ‘robust’

Persimmon unveils a trading statement tomorrow. The housebuilder will offer a “robust” outlook, predicts Glynis Johnson, of Deutsche Bank.  He suggests that the Government’s Help to Buy scheme will have driven “a significant pick up in reservations” in the past two months.

Better weather could aid N Brown

The Jacamo and Simply Be online retailer N Brown releases an update tomorrow its AGM in Manchester in what will be new boss Angela Spindler’s first appearance in front of investors. In April it said like-for-like sales had risen by 6.1 per cent, and the better recent weather could have improved this.

Stimulus boosts Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey is also set to confirm improving market conditions when it updates on trading on Thursday. The housebuilder has seen rising reservations as Government stimulus drives a housing market recovery. Analysts expect the builder to report more growth.