The Business Matrix: Monday 16 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Rise in shopping from the sofa

Tech-savvy consumers are taking the strain out of the weekly shop as they scan the supermarket shelves virtually using tablet computers, the British Retail Consortium said today. The huge boom in tablet sales – with Apple expected to shift more than 60 million iPads this year – is transforming the retail experience as users browse and shop from their sofas.

Barclays to pull out of UAE panel

Barclays plans to pull out of the rate-setting panel for interbank lending in the United Arab Emirates because of its involvement in the Libor scandal in the UK. Barclays belongs to a panel of 12 banks that quote indicative interbank lending rates in UAE dirhams, but following the rate setting scandal it is unlikely to be involved in setting the prices used in the Gulf.

Tough times for recruiters

Recent results from the recruitment sector have not been pretty, and SThree's interim results today are unlikely to lift the mood. The group announced last month that profits had risen by 12 per cent over the first half of the year, but at the same time it warned that the economic climate was hitting growth.

Booker books in AGM

Wholesaler Booker is announcing its first-quarter update on Wednesday at the same time as holding its AGM. Peel Hunt's analysts warn that its tobacco sales will be poor because of the increase in duty for the sector. But any dip in share price could be a good time to buy, analysts suggest.

Retailers suffer a summer soaking

It's a big day for the retailers on Thursday, with a number of high street names unveiling updates. One of them is Kingfisher, whose second-quarter pre-close update is expected to show that its B&Q stores have been hit badly by our damp summer. Another whose figures are set to be rain-sodden is Halfords.

Vodafone tries to dial up growth

Vodafone has had a strong run up to its first-quarter results, but the mobile phone giant is still expected to report a slowdown in growth. Analysts from Citigroup are predicting service revenues to be up 0.5 per cent year-on-year over the period, having risen 2.3 per cent the previous three months.

What the Sunday papers say:

Kheraj bids to take over at Barclays

Naguib Kheraj, the former boss of JP Morgan Cazenove, is poised to throw his hat into the ring to succeed Bob Diamond as chief executive at scandal-hit Barclays. Industry sources said that Mr Kheraj was looking at "unravelling" his many charitable interests, which he has largely focused on since leaving Cazenove in 2010.

The Independent on Sunday

G4S boss considers future

The chief executive of G4S has admitted he is considering his future as head of the company and will not take a bonus after failing to provide enough security guards for the London Olympics. Nick Buckles, the chief executive, said organisers were late in sending final details of where guards would be needed and in what numbers.

The Sunday Telegraph

Universal to sell Virgin Records

France's Universal Music is prepared to sell Virgin Records, one of the outstanding names in the history of British pop, in order to get the go-ahead from regulators for a £1.2bn deal to acquire EMI, which owns the label. It will present proposals to Brussels this week and will offer to sell Virgin Records as part of a deal.

The Mail on Sunday

US buyout firms eye Direct Line

Two groups of American buyout giants are secretly assembling bids for Direct Line, the giant insurer owned by Royal Bank of Scotland – a move that would scupper a planned float. Blackstone and Bain Capital have teamed up while Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is leading a rival offer.

The Sunday Times