The Business Matrix: Monday 19 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Top investor Smith triples his profits

The City veteran Terry Smith more than trebled profits at his asset management venture Fundsmith last year after successfully investing in stocks including Microsoft, Domino’s Pizza and Imperial Tobacco. The company, which was set up in 2010 and manages £3bn, saw pre-tax profits jump to £10.6m in the year to March 2014, compared with £2.9m the year before. Mr Smith quit the inter-dealer broker Tullet Prebon last June.

Deflation to stop rate rise, EY Club predicts

A fall into deflation will prevent the Bank of England from raising interest rates until 2016, the EY Item Club predicted yesterday. Falling oil  prices and supermarket price wars will see the annual inflation rate dip below 0 per cent during the first half of the year, but boost gross domestic product to a 10-year high as consumers have more money in their pockets. EY said the UK economy is likely to grow about 2.9 per cent this year.

Swiss currency threat downplayed

Switzerland’s finance minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, has said the country’s economy will be able to withstand the abolition of the cap on the franc. She said the Swiss National Bank had taken the decision because it had become unsustainable. “If the exchange rate stays above 1.10 Swiss francs per euro, companies should be able to adjust,” she told SonntagsBlick and Schweiz am Sonntag newspapers.

Sale of Waterford Wedgwood planned 

The investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has been appointed to find a new buyer for Waterford Wedgwood, the fine china and crystal manufacturer that last year teamed up with the supermodel Miranda Kerr to launch a new range. Parent company WWRD wants about £550m for the Anglo-Irish business, which was saved from ruin in 2009.