Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

The Business Matrix: Monday 22 July 2013


Finance sector ‘to lift economy’

As many as 265,000 more jobs could be created by the financial-services sector by 2020, a study claims today. GDP could also rise 2 to 3 per cent, according to the accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, though only if regulators allow the sector to flourish. As well as 218,000 jobs in the wider economy, 47,000 more jobs in the sector itself could be created by 2020.

Director row at Keystone ends

Gulf Keystone has dropped its opposition to the appointment of four directors proposed by shareholder M&G, ending a corporate-governance row at the oil explorer. The company said it had reached a “constructive agreement” with investors, who are now also backing the earlier appointment of former Glencore chairman Simon Murray as Gulf Keystone’s chairman.

What the Sunday papers said

Next chief rails at online tax plan

Lord Wolfson, chief executive of Next, has attacked a call by supermarket chiefs for a tax on online shopping, saying it would drive up prices and wipe out some of Britain’s fastest-growing small firms. He said supermarkets wanted to avoid facing competition. Online retailers are to urge the Chancellor to ignore the supermarkets’ calls.

The Mail on Sunday

Vulture funds in Co-op Bank move

Two Wall Street vulture funds have seized control of the Co-operative Bank’s finances, raising fears that a £1.5bn rescue plan could be derailed. Aurelius Capital Management and Silver Point Capital have amassed a controlling stake in one set of the bank’s loans, giving them a powerful voice in bailout talks aiming to raise £500m from bondholders.

The Sunday Times

Private hospitals under scrutiny

Private hospital operators are set to be banned from providing financial incentives to doctors who refer patients to their facilities, as the Competition Commission looks to crack open the £5bn market. A delayed report into private hospitals is finally due next month and is expected to take a hard line with the industry.

The Independent on Sunday

CBI chief calls for more runways

Sir Mike Rake, president of the CBI employers’ body, has said building a third runway at Heathrow is a “no-brainer” and the Government should increase aviation capacity straight away. Sir Mike said politicians had spent too long talking about new runways but had failed to take any decisions

The Sunday Telegraph

The Week ahead

Premier cooks up progress report

Premier Foods was in focus last week on rumours of bid interest, but it will update the market tomorrow with its half-year results. The producer is expected to update its bread business, and its pension and debt situation. Investec rates it a buy because the “UK grocery environment is a tad better”.

Unilever ‘looks expensive’

Shares in Unilever fell last week when analysts at Credit Suisse cut their rating for the consumer goods giant to underperform and said “there is a lot that is better today about Unilever than for many a year, but the valuation looks fully up with events to us, in a sector that looks expensive in general”.

Glaxo kicks off pharma results

GlaxoSmithKline had a terrible week last week, accused of making bribes in return for business in China. But Morgan Stanley’s scribblers rate the pharmaceutical giant neutral ahead of its half-year figures on Wednesday that kick off the second-quarter reporting season for the pharmaceutical giants.

BSkyB investors in the picture

The pay-TV group BSkyB has some competition to deal with and its full-year results on Friday will give investors a chance to see how it is doing. Roddy Davidson, analyst at Westhouse, said: “An unrivalled content proposition and a loyal subscriber base” still make it attractive.