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The Business Matrix: Monday 23 September 2013


Independence is the big question

Major employers that work in both England and Scotland are being “reverse lobbied” by politicians to reveal their position on independence, according to a director at aerospace giant Eurocopter. Earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged Scottish business bosses to speak out against independence.

Rents said to be at a 10-year high

Rents are at the highest level for more than a decade as house prices stretch beyond the means of would-be buyers, according to new research. The findings from nationwide estate agency Sequence show average rents hitting an 11-year high of £779 – a 4 per cent rise during August and an 11 per cent year on year increase.

Confidence on the increase

Fresh signs of the UK’s improving economic health emerged today as a consumer confidence index hit a new high. The Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report for August reported that confidence in the UK’s economic situation continues to improve month on month, fuelled by optimism about the housing market.

Treasury report on RBS imminent

The Treasury will unveil its verdict on a break-up of Royal Bank of Scotland after the Tory conference. A Government-commissioned report is expected to reject a full-scale split into a good and bad bank, but may recommend hiving off RBS’s Irish business to appease the Parliamentary Commission on Standards.

More bailouts are expected

Brussels is preparing for a new wave of bank bailouts amid mounting fears that black holes in the eurozone’s financial system are about to be exposed. The European Stability Mechanism, the £420bn rescue fund, is hiring investment banks to advise on potential rescues of lenders.

Iran-linked gas  field to restart

A crucial North Sea gas field frozen by sanctions against Iran is set to return to production following Government intervention aimed at lifting the ban. The Rhum gas field is jointly owned by BP and National Iranian Oil and once supplied five per cent of  Britain’s gas output.

Bank lending hits an all-time low

Bank lending to UK manufacturers has hit a record low. Syscap said outstanding bank lending to the manufacturing sector fell to £21.2bn in July, the lowest level since records began in 1986. Lending to manufacturers reached a peak in September 2000 of £43.6bn.

Grayling warning over tax policies

The Jutice Secretary Chris Grayling warned that the tax policies of Labour and the Liberal Democrats will drive wealth creators out of Britain after the next election. He said protecting “wealth and job creators” from tax rises is a “red line issue” for the Tories.

Launch of first ever Vietnam UCITS fund

Dragon Capital will today launch Vietnam’s first ever Equity UCITS  Fund to give investors access to one  of the continent’s fastest-growing markets. The fund will invest in  equities listed on the Ho Chi Minh  Stock Exchange and other companies with significant exposure to the  country. The fund will be run entirely  by women.