The Business Matrix: Monday 15 December 2014


Click to follow
The Independent Online

All eyes on Fed decision on rates

The US Federal Reserve will meet tomorrow and Wednesday as Wall Street and the City look for a signal to see if its easy money stance will end. Some expect the Fed to drop its two-year-long pledge to keep interest rates close to zero for a “considerable time”. It could halt its asset purchase programme as the economic recovery strengthens.

Homes on rise after seven years

Spain is building again after seven years of a crushing downturn in the construction sector. Investment in house-building registered its first quarterly rise since before the crisis in the three months from June to September. However, construction is thought to be unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels, leaving a shortfall in economic activity, Reuters said.

Air traffic warned of flight turmoil

Air traffic control bosses were warned their plans to avoid and deal with technical failures lacked “detail and clarity” only four months before Friday’s IT malfunction saw thousands of passengers suffer delays and cancelled flights. National Air Traffic Services had been told by the Civil Aviation Authority it needed to be better prepared.

Independent on Sunday

Supermarkets set for revolution

Tesco’s dramatic move to scrap the system of hidden fees and charges on suppliers could force others to follow suit. Abandoning this system will amount to a revolution in the way supermarkets work. It will involve huge initial costs – Tesco itself is expected to make a loss in Britain next year – and could cost rivals heavily as well.

Mail on Sunday

Oil price fall to hit £55bn of projects

Dozens of new oil projects in the North Sea and Europe could be shelved as falling prices force companies to tear up investment plans.  The consultancy Wood Mackenzie has said that 32 potential European oilfield developments could be at risk should oil prices fall below $60 per barrel.

Sunday Telegraph

RBS says payback could take decade

Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan has admitted it will take up to a decade to repay the £46bn bailout that saved it from collapse. He said the Treasury would have to sell its 81 per cent stake in small chunks. The warning will dash hopes of a swift sale after the general election in May.

Sunday Times

UK banks face stress test results

How will Britain’s banks fare under the regulator’s stress tests? UK lenders who face the European Central Bank’s test of their financial safety in October all passed. But the results of the Prudential Regulatory Authority’s tougher stress test are due tomorrow and the Co-operative Bank is expected to fail.

Carpetright chief to reveal strategy

Carpetright has half-year figures due today which are expected to be accompanied by a strategy update from the new chief executive, Wilf Walsh. Shore Capital’s David O’Brien says the key issues that Mr Walsh must address are “low returns and a very large property portfolio”.

City awaits news on jobs and Greece

In economic news, October’s unemployment figures are published mid-week, along with the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee minutes. And City analysts will be keenly watching events in Greece, where the first round of snap elections will be held.

Dixons Carphone in merger update

Dixons Carphone will put out six-month figures on Wednesday. This will be the City’s first view of the newly merged group’s structure, but Matthew Taylor at Numis says interpreting the results “may prove challenging, given the numerous adjustments relating to the deal and debt structure”.