Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

The Business Matrix: Saturday 10 December 2011

 

'Big six' firms' complaints go up

Complaints about the "big six" energy firms soared by 26 per cent over the summer as hostility against the sector mounted. Just one firm – ScottishPower – saw complaints fall on the previous quarter, while the London supplier EDF Energy was at the bottom of Consumer Focus's league table after a near-75 per cent leap in customer grievances.

Morgan Sindall to work on Stockport

Regeneration specialist Morgan Sindall said it had been selected as a preferred development partner for a £145m regeneration of Stockport centre. It also announced that its affordable housing division, Lovell, based in Tamworth, has been awarded a £103m contract to refurbish 15,000 Barnet council homes over the next 10 years.

Air Partner still flying high

Air Partner, the Queen's official chartered-aircraft supplier, said it continues to trade profitably despite the difficult conditions in the travel sector. Revenues from its commercial jet broking are lower than last year's but in line with expectations, the firm added. Earlier this year, it evacuated 12,000 people during the Arab Spring uprisings.

Bowers deal music to Caledonia's ears

Caledonia Investments has taken a 20 per cent stake in Bowers & Wilkins, whose high-end audio equipment includes the Zeppelin docking station and premium 800 Diamond speakers used at Abbey Road Studios. Worthing-based B&W said the £24m acquisition by Caledonia would support the next phase of its growth.

Dutch get tough on fat cat bonuses

Dutch banks which pay their executives excessive bonuses face a more punitive tax rate as part of a new levy being introduced next year. The bank tax, which is expected to raise about €300m a year, will be 5 per cent higher if a bank pays directors bonuses exceeding 100 per cent of their annual salary.

Centrica in £37m Canadian gas deal

British Gas owner Centrica has bought 80 Canadian gas producing wells from US giant Encana Corporation for £37m. The assets, located 160km west of Edmonton, give Centrica's North American arm, Direct Energy, a 4 per cent increase in its reserves. The assets also include a gas processing plant.

Greek decline is slower than feared

Greece's economy contracted5 per cent year on year in the third quarter, shrinking less than in previous quarters. Previous flash estimates for the third quarter released in November had projected the decline at 5.2 per cent. The debt-choked country is in its fourth straight year of recession.

...but Portugal shrinks faster

Portugal's economy shrank more than the initially reported 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, slipping deeper into recession as austerity and financing problems weighed amid the debt crisis while export growth slowed. The government projects the economy will contract 1.6 per cent this year and 3 per cent in 2012.

Construction falls in October

The construction sector remained stuck in the doldrums in October, though an upward revision in data for previous months gave comfort to economists. The Office for National Statistics said construction output was down 2.5 per cent on September, and down 2.7 per cent on a year ago.

Factory gate prices ease

The prices of goods leaving factories were unchanged in November on a "core" basis, stripping out items such as food and petrol, taking the year-on-year increase to 3.2 per cent in November. That is down from a peak of 3.7 per cent in September, boosting expectations inflation will fall in coming months.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform