The Business Matrix: Monday 12 August 2013


Jaguar car plant may be expanded

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is understood to be mulling a huge expansion at its Halewood factory in Merseyside that analysts estimate could create up to 1,000 new jobs. Halewood is thought to have been identified as the right site for investment because it makes the Range Rover Evoque, which is hugely in demand, while new models are also planned for the plant.

Martin Miller’s  in Waitrose deal

The maker of Martin Miller’s Gin has struck gold after landing a deal with Waitrose to supply it with the Iceland-blended,  Midlands-distilled drink. The company was set up by Martin Miller and David Bromige in 1999 when fashionable vodkas were all the rage. But the founders say gin is gaining popularity, with 150,000 cases a year of their brand now sold in 40 countries.

UK wants Lloyd’s insurers to return

The Treasury hopes to tempt Lloyd’s of London insurers back to the UK and boost the nation’s tax coffers. Officials want to lure companies such as Beazeley, Brit, Batlin and Hiscox, who have redomiciled to locations including Bermuda, Ireland and even the Netherlands in recent years. Discussions have been held with some of these companies. (Independent on Sunday)

‘London Whale’  pair face arrest

Two City traders could be arrested within days over their role in the $6.2bn (£3.9bn)  “London Whale” scandal at JPMorgan. US prosecutors are close to filing criminal charges against Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout, according to sources. The pair worked for the bank in London but left in the wake of the scandal. (Sunday Times)

Shoppers return  to the high street 

The economic recovery powered ahead last month as shoppers returned in force to the high streets and consumer spending jumped again, according to research. Figures showed consumer spending raising 4.8 per cent in July compared with last year. The big winners were clothes shops and pubs. (Mail on Sunday)

No early sell-off for RBS, says Cable

Vince Cable, the business secretary, has signalled that the Royal Bank of Scotland will be in public hands for another five years, increasing the chances it will be broken up before it is re-privatised. Mr Cable said he believed there was very little prospect of any sale taking place before the next election. (Sunday Telegraph)

Mover Mitie’s update for the City

It’s Monday and it is time for the city to welcome the mighty Mitie to the stage. Facilities management and outsourcing is certainly not an exciting sector, but last month the group was quite a mover after analysts upgraded it to buy, from underperform. Today the mid-cap group will update the City on trading.

Numis hopeful  on Michael Page

Tomorrow recruitment  specialist Michael Page will  update investors how it is  managing its declining fees. The group has been cutting staff to reduce costs. Numis thinks it may have turned a corner.Expect it to report that the UK market may have shown signs of improvement.

Balfour Beatty set to keep on selling

On Wednesday building group Balfour Beatty gets a chance to defend itself after a pretty bad year – it has been hit by government cutbacks and is likely to keep selling off various projects and businesses – on Friday it sold facilities management business WorkPlace for £190m to pay down debt.

Imperial gets Investec’s backing 

Investec thinks investors should pile into Imperial Tobacco over rival British American. Investec doesn’t expect Thursday’s third-quarter results to be good but it predicts “potential catalysts” in the form of a new finance boss, non-core disposals and an eventual potential take-out make it more attractive.