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The Business Matrix: Monday 4 November 2013

Lineker’s firm in discount drive

An insurance company backed by former England football star Gary Lineker is planning to move into the over-25s market next year by offering discounts to safe drivers. Ingenie, which fits cars with a telematics black box to monitor driving habits, currently targets drivers in the 17 to 25 age brackets. But it now hopes to lure older drivers with discounts of up to 20 per cent.

Suspicious deals increase by 250%

The number of suspicious transactions reported to the financial services watchdog has rocketed by 250 per cent over the past five years, according to Pinsent Masons. Data obtained from the Financial Conduct Authority by the firm shows that the number of suspicious transaction reports – often linked to insider dealing – increased from 339 in 2008-09 to 1199 in 2012-13.

What the Sunday papers said

Marks faces anger over sliding sales

Marks & Spencer is expected to reveal a ninth consecutive quarter of falling sales in its clothes and homeware division this week in a move likely to heap further pressure on its struggling boss Marc Bolland. The 54-year-old Dutchman hopes to convince investors that the retailer’s autumn/winter collection will mark a turning point.

Independent on Sunday

Osborne’s deal to cut energy bills

George Osborne is finalising a plan to cut household energy bills by up to £75 a year by removing charges to support green power projects and home insulation schemes. The changes will be announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement on 4 December. Subsidies for green schemes will in future be paid out of taxes.

Sunday Times

MPs warn energy firms over bills

The Energy and Climate Change Committee has demanded that energy firms give precise figures for the price they pay for their gas on the wholesale market, the exact costs for distributing gas and electricity through the National Grid, and the total cost of green and social levies imposed by the Government.

Mail on Sunday

Billionaire backs M&S chief’s plan

The biggest private investor in Marks & Spencer, has given his backing to chief executive Marc Bolland despite the company’s clothing business continuing to struggle. Bill Adderley, who holds a 3 per cent stake in M&S, said that “too big a deal” has been made of the retailer’s underperformance.

Sunday Telegraph

Hiscox has fresh storm to weather

The damage caused by St Jude last week wasn’t as bad as many had feared – which is good news for insurers. But storms aside, investors in Hiscox may be disappointed by the lack of dividend, when the firm today reveals plans to reinvest cash into its retail operations and IT systems over the next four years.

Primark to stay smart for ABF

Analysts think results tomorrow will prove Primark can still do no wrong, as Associated British Foods reveals it is still all about its cheap clothes retailing business. It has plans to conquer Europe with France and Germany top of the list. It has five French shops planned and has 10 in Germany.

Payout hopes  at Persimmon

The housing boom is much talked-about, and builders’ share prices have been soaring. As Government schemes such as Help-to-Buy assist, Persimmon is expected to deliver a strong trading update on Wednesday, with the market looking for evidence it will speed up payouts to shareholders.

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