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The Business Matrix: Monday 02 December 2013

More City jobs available this year

The number of new City jobs created jumped to its highest level in more than seven months, at a time of the year when vacancies traditionally decline, according to the financial services recruitment firm, Astbury Martin. Some 2,500 new jobs were created, a 6 per cent rise from the month before and 38 per cent higher than in the same period a year earlier.

Investment in housing drops

Institutional investment in residential property fell by 31 per cent to £495m last year, from £719m, its lowest point in seven years, according to law firm EMW. Much of the decline is down to the rapid recovery in house prices pushing investment yields down. Reduced repossession levels in the UK also mean there are fewer houses to be bought at discounted prices.

What the Sunday papers said

Water watchdog’s £20m adviser bill

The water regulator has been accused of costing bill-payers nearly £20m after hiring consultants while pressuring utilities to reduce their prices. Ofwat is said to be under-resourced and has asked a team led by the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to assess the business plans of water companies for 2015-20.

Independent on Sunday

Co-op investors let in hedge funds

The Co-operative Bank cleared the last major hurdle on its £1.5bn rescue plan on Friday as bondholders voted to allow hedge funds to take stakes in the new group. The bank was close to being taken over by regulators after suffering losses on commercial property loans and from its abortive bid to take over 632 branches of Lloyds.

Mail on Sunday

RBS to pay £500m in bonuses

Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to pay its bankers some £500m in bonuses this year, in spite of recent scandals. The taxpayer-backed lender is forecast to rack up losses of several billion pounds, but bonuses will still be paid, amid renewed concerns over the pay and bonuses bankers receive.

Sunday Times

Barclays backs search for shale

Barclays Bank is backing the search for shale gas in Yorkshire and could fund fracking in the area as early as next year. Third Energy, which is 97 per cent-owned by Barclays Natural Resource Investments, a private equity arm of the bank, is analysing results from drilling in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale.

Sunday Telegraph

Betfair odds-on for good results

Place your bets ahead of tomorrow when Betfair reports its half-year results. HSBC analysts think the online bookie is on to a winner and will reveal continued benefits from savings and good growth. Numis scribblers like its growing cash pile and expect  second-quarter revenue of £62m.

Analysts expect weak Tesco update

On Wednesday Tesco will unveil its third-quarter update which the City is already expecting to be weak. Analysts at JP Morgan expect “a sequential worsening in group like-for-like sales” driven by poor July weather in the UK and predicts comparable sales growth to fall by 1.2 per cent.

Berkeley set to build on demand

At the end of the week  housebuilder Berkeley Homes’ half-year results will be eagerly anticipated. It has benefited from the boom in London house prices, and all building stocks have been popular as an easing in mortgage lending and Government schemes such as Help to Buy helped boost demand.

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