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The Business Matrix: Monday 13 May 2013


BP moves staff from Tripoli

Oil giant BP said it is withdrawing some non-essential staff from Libya after the Government warned about deteriorating security in the capital Tripoli. “We are taking some non-Libyan staff out of the office in Tripoli following advice by the Foreign Office,” the spokesman said. Despite concerns by oil firms, Libya has said foreign security will not be allowed at its oil fields.

Labour market is a ‘battleground’

The labour market has become a “battleground” for job seekers, with 45 applicants chasing every low-skilled job and 29 candidates fighting for higher-skilled posts, according to new figures. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s latest report also warns that 14 per cent of companies won’t employ school-leavers and 11 per cent rule out the long-term unemployed.

What the Sunday papers said

CVC to increase bid for Betfair

Private equity group CVC is set to return with an increased takeover bid for the betting exchange Betfair but at less than the £10 a share which analysts have said is the minimum take-out price. CVC, which also owns Formula 1, first offered 880p a share. That was rejected by Betfair. Any bid may depend on CVC being given full access to Betfair’s books.

Sunday Telegraph

Further job cuts fear at HSBC

HSBC could announce further job cuts on Wednesday as chief executive Stuart Gulliver presses ahead with his planned restructure. Mr Gulliver has already reduced the workforce from 300,000 to 254,000 and is due to give investors an update on the three-year plan he presented in May 2011. It is expected he will raise his cost-cutting target.

Independent on Sunday

Coal industry may need a bail out

Taxpayers may have to bail out what is left of the British coal industry with UK Coal hit by the fire that closed its Daw Mill mine in May, put 600 people out of work and raised questions over pensions for 10,000 former staff. Ministers are trying to convince the Coal Authority, take on some of the Daw Mill liabilities.

Sunday Times

Swann meets former M&S boss

Kate Swann, chief executive of WHSmith, has met former M&S boss Roger Holmes, fuelling speculation that she is considering a move to the under-pressure retailer. Swann steps down from WHSmith in June and M&S chief executive Marc Bolland is under pressure to revive the chain’s flagging clothes sales.

Mail on Sunday

Week ahead

MoD boost for Babcock

Supplying the Ministry of Defence with spare parts has served engineering outsourcer Babcock International well. This year it said its bid pipeline had swollen to £15.5bn, and its final results tomorrow are expected to be strong. Some analysts even think this pipeline is valued too conservatively.

Compass serves up a good year

Serving up lunches for schoolchildren, army officers and strawberries and cream at sporting events such as  Wimbledon has been a good gig for the catering giant Compass. It has had a strong first half of the year and management  guidance for the full year is  also positive.

Tablet boom aids Dixons Retail

Things have been looking sweeter for Dixons Retail for some time. The boom in tablets sales and the demise of rivals such as Comet and Best Buy have helped. Analysts at Numis expect its third-quarter results on Thursday still to be showing the benefits of this before tougher comparisons come into play.

Lawyer publisher has potential

The publisher of The Lawyer and Marketing Week still looks cheap, according to Roddy Davidson, analyst at Westhouse, ahead of its trading update on Friday. He thinks Centaur Media’s underperformance “looks disproportionate, particularly in light of the group’s medium-term earnings and dividend growth potential”.