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The Business Matrix: Monday 5 August 2013
Heatwave and sport hit shops
High-street sales were flat in July, as consumers chose to watch sport such as rugby, Wimbledon, tennis and cricket rather than shop during the heatwave, according to the latest monthly survey by BDO. Retail sales, which rose 0.7 per cent in June, were unchanged compared with last year. A late pick-up in the last week of July failed to make up for early falls.
Number of new jobs in City falls
The number of new jobs in the City of London fell by 12 per cent last month to just over 2,100, according to Astbury Marsden. The financial services recruiter said the figure was down from over 2,400 in June, and down 27 per cent on a year ago. Renewed confidence in the sector has not yet translated into hirings as regulators’ new capital rules are making banks more cautious.
What the Sunday papers said
Carney gives first steer on economy
The new Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, will usher in a new era of policymaking this week when he unveils forward guidance on interest rates for the first time. Mr Carney has already used time-related guidance at the Bank of Canada, where he pledged in 2009 to keep interest rates low until June 2010, to encourage spending.
The Independent on Sunday
L&G to put £15bn in infrastructure
Legal & General is ready to invest £15bn in British infrastructure projects over the next 10 years. The insurance giant, which already has £3bn earmarked for such projects, has, however, spoken out against several high-profile projects, including the High Speed 2 rail link, shale gas and proposals for a new airport in the Thames estuary.
The Sunday Telegraph
Lloyds boss in line for £2m bonus
Lloyds’ Antonio Horta-Osorio is in line to receive a £2.2m bonus from the bank’s privatisation, thanks to the rising share price. The bank said in March that its chief executive would receive 1.5 million shares, deferred till 2018, if the Government sells at least a third of its stake at 61p or more, at the time worth £1.5m.
The Sunday Times
Diplomats told to find new banks
More than 40 embassies, consulates and high commissions, including the Vatican’s representative in the UK, have been given just 60 days to move their accounts from HSBC. The bank said the move is part of an assessment of all business customers to see if they satisfy criteria such as cost efficiency and liquidity.
The Mail on Sunday
The housing recovery in the US and UK and emerging markets growth are expected to help the banking giant HSBC when it reports half-yearly results on Monday. Analysts at Shore Capital have pencilled in a 14 per cent rise in profits to £14.5bn. Worldwide the bank has cut 40,000 of its 300,000 staff since Stuart Gulliver took over as chief executive in 2011.
Thomson and First Choice parent Tui Travel will reveal how the package holidays business has fared over the summer when it updates on trading on Wednesday. It is likely to face questions over whether the heatwave has dented sales. Europe’s biggest tour operator said in May that summer sales were 13 per cent ahead of last year amid fears of a washout UK season.
Maiden interim results from the Sheilas’ Wheels owner esure will also reveal the impact of new gender equality rules on Tuesday. As 95 per cent of its Sheilas’ Wheels customers are women it is not expected to have shifted prices as dramatically for women drivers as many rivals, who have hiked premiums. Investec expects its annual profits will fall 12 per cent to £102m.
Ladbrokes is expected to post a sharp profits fall in Thursday’s half-year figures. The bookmaker has had a difficult year so far after it warned in April that profits would be at the bottom of forecasts. It blamed the results on the success of high-value gaming customers and a big number of cancelled horse races. City scribblers expect profits to fall £18m to £72m.
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