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The Business Matrix: Monday 19 August 2013

Paralympics ‘created legacy’

Two-thirds of British workers believe London 2012 created a lasting legacy for disabled employees ahead of the anniversary of the Paralympics. Nationwide Building Society research found 65 per cent of Britons believe disabled people are better recognised as being able to lead normal lives and achieve at work. A third said disabled people now face fewer barriers in work.

Business loses out on £7bn interest

British businesses are losing more than £7bn a year due to low bank interest rates and above-target inflation, new figures reveal. Interest rates on business deposits are at a record low of just 0.59 per cent, accountants UHY Hacker Young said. The amount of cash held in business accounts that offer no interest at all has also more than doubled since 2009.

What the Sunday papers said

Highways Agency eyes privatisation

The Government agency that runs and maintains 4,300 kilometres of motorways and roads worth £108bn has laid down “the first plank to privatisation”. The Highways Agency is looking for a company to help its transition from being part of the Department for Transport to a body run as a standalone company.

The Independent on Sunday

Lloyds poised to sell German arm

Lloyds Banking Group is set to sell its German insurance business for less than half the €1bn (£852m) it was worth two years ago as it continues to scale back its international operations. The taxpayer-backed lender is in talks to sell Heidelberger Leben to German insurer Hannover Re for as little as €400m. Reports two years ago suggested a potential value of at least €1bn.

The Sunday Telegraph

Shire hires Lazard as buyers circle

Drugmaker Shire has hired Lazard to beef up its team of advisers as foreign predators prepare to pounce. The appointment was thought to be prompted by a rebuffed approach earlier this year from Bristol-Myers Squibb of the US. Lazard joins existing advisers Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

The Sunday Times

Builders profits up as scheme kicks in

Housebuilders will this week reveal a surge in profits as the Government’s controversial Help to Buy scheme starts to lift sales. Persimmon and Bovis are expected to reveal first-half profits up by 33 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, partly thanks to the scheme to assist those with small deposits.

The Mail on Sunday

Lloyd’s awaits dip in Amlin results

It’s been a mixed season for Lloyd’s of London insurers – underwriting performances have been good thanks to a lack of natural catastrophes, but investment returns have been lower. Amlin, one of the largest players, reports results today. It’s set to reveal £161m pre-tax profits, compared with last year’s £185m.

BHP boss prepares for full-year results

Tomorrow will be BHP Billiton’s boss Andrew Mackenzie first full-year results, and he’s likely to be quizzed on claims of breaches of US anti-corruption law. The miner admitted it could face charges over corporate hospitality at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. BHP is also set to miss last year’s $72.2bn revenues.

STV set for  weaker profits

STV, the Scottish commercial broadcaster which makes Catchphrase and Antiques Roadshow, will unveil its half-year figures on Wednesday. Pre-tax profit is expected to be modestly lower than last year’s £7m, but investors will be wondering the dividend, suspended in 2007, will return in 2014.

Costain to shrug off merger woes

Costain is expected to shrug off the disappointment of its failed merger with May Gurney at its interim results on Thursday, with deals such as upgrading Thames Water’s network expected to have boosted its order book. Investec expects full-year profits of £22.7m, down slightly from £29.5m in 2012.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam