The Business Matrix: Monday 5 March 2012


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The Independent Online


Moshi launches album with Sony

Moshi Monsters, the hit kids' website created by London start-up Mind Candy, is to release an album in partnership with record label Sony Music. The virtual characters have recorded 16 songs which range from pop and rap to heavy metal and glam rock. Jason Perry, head of Moshi Music, told i the aim was to produce further albums and music videos in the future, "We could have collaborations or duets with real artists in the future," said Mr Perry.

City jobs outlook still looks bleak

The City's job market remains mired in the doldrums, according to new research by finance-industry headhunters Astbury Marsden. The firm's monthly survey has recorded 3,585 vacancies in February 2012, a steep decline on the 5,800 in February 2011. However, Astbury Marsden chief operating officer Mark Cameron said there are now "clear signs that the jobs market is stabilising after a turbulent few months" in the latter stages of 2011.

BP to review divi after oil-spill deal

The Independent on Sunday says BP is set to accelerate the restoration of its famous dividend policy after announcing a $7.8bn settlement with 100,000 fishermen and clean-up workers over the Deepwater Horizon disaster. A BP spokesman said: "We would expect to have a progressive dividend policy."

Glasenberg heads for $109m pay-day

The Sunday Times reports that Ivan Glasenberg, the boss of Glencore, will this week rocket into the ranks of the world's top-earning executives when he pockets a $109m (£69m) dividend from the Swiss commodities giant. The London-listed firm is expected to report pre-tax profits of about £2.7bn.

PM is urged to expand Heathrow

The Sunday Telegraph reports that nearly 70 British business leaders and groups representing hundreds of others have demanded that the debate about building a third runway at Heathrow is reopened after the Government ruled out the option before the last general election.

Cable on mission over Vauxhall

The Mail on Sunday says Business Secretary Vince Cable has unexpectedly decided to fly to Geneva to plead with General Motors executives not to axe Vauxhall's giant plant in Ellesmere Port, where the Astra is built. He will outline the benefits for the US car giant if it commits to the UK.

Eyes on Glencore merger deal

Glencore has already revealed estimates for its full-year figures, so its proposed merger with Xstrata is instead expected to be the focus when it releases its preliminary results today. Some in the City think it will bow to pressure and improve the deal terms. But Liberum Capital predicts it will not change the deal.

Pace's new year and new team

Three profit warnings meant 2011 was a year to forget for Pace, and the set-top-box maker will announce its preliminary results tomorrow with a fresh team in charge. In December, the head of its Americas division, Mike Pulli, took over from Neil Gaydon, and Roddy Murray is its new chief financial officer.

Morrisons trial stores in spotlight

Morrisons announces its preliminary results on Thursday, with the grocer expected to announce an underlying pre-tax profit of £922m. However, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's analysts believes the main focus will be the performance of its new trial concepts and they will be looking out for its expansion plans.

Wetherspoons toasts 2011

A strong performance in December means Numis's Douglas Jack is expecting pub group JD Wetherspoon to reveal on Friday that its first-half pre-tax profits jumped 4 per cent to £33.4m. However, the analyst warns that the rest of the year will be more difficult with margins continuing to be hit.