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The Business Matrix: Saturday 12 July 2014


Terminal 2 takes off at Heathrow

The number of passengers passing through Heathrow Airport rose by 1.1 per cent last month after it unveiled its new Terminal 2, known as the Queen’s Terminal. The airport said a record 6.6 million people took flights to and from the west London hub during June. Emerging market destinations boosted the numbers.

Imperial eyes US as rivals merge

Imperial Tobacco hopes to boost its presence in the US through the purchase of assets from two of the country’s biggest players, Reynolds and Lorillard. The British maker of Lambert & Butler and Gauloises cigarettes is in talks about buying some of the brands the two firms may wish to sell if they complete a merger deal.

AbbVie bosses try to woo rival Shire

Shire executives held talks with American drugs giant AbbVie in New York yesterday. The US group wants to buy Shire to cut its tax bill and diversify its products. It made a fourth cash and paper approach this week, valuing the UK firm at £30bn. Some investors have urged the hyperactivity and rare diseases specialist to enter talks.

Building work drops by 1.1%

Construction output fell by 1.1 per cent in May as private commercial work dipped by 3.6 per cent, official figures showed. Private housing construction, which has led the recovery of the building sector over the past year, flatlined. Economists said the data meant that the sector could have contracted overall in the second quarter.

HBOS report due by end of year

The findings of a review into why HBOS failed will be published by the end of the year now that disciplinary proceedings linked to its collapse have concluded, regulators said yesterday. The bank was rescued by a government-engineered takeover by Lloyds at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Bargain-hunters lift site’s revenues

British shoppers are still looking for a bargain, according to the price comparison site Moneysupermarket.com, which has forecast half-year revenues of £122m, up 9 per cent on last year. Trading growth in the second quarter was “a little stronger” than the first three months, the company added.

Moguls to shine  at Sun Valley

Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg joined other media and technology bosses at the Sun Valley business networking conference. The event at the mountain resort in Idaho was private but insiders said the importance of coding and education were key themes.

Friends Life sheds European arm

Friends Life has sold its European business to the private-equity firm Blackstone for £317m and said it will return some of the money to investors. The FTSE 100 insurer said the deal should be completed in the second half and would help to fund a £261m shares buyback.

Brazil’s Cup focus hits Experian

Brazilians have been more worried about football than finances during the World Cup, hitting results at Experian. The credit-checker said quarterly revenues at its Latin American arm fell 3 per cent but globally they rose by 4 per cent.

Rosneft chairman joins Pirelli board

Igor Sechin, the chairman of Rosneft, has joined Pirelli’s board after the Russian oil giant bought a substantial, indirect stake in the Italian tyre-maker. Ivan Glasenberg, the head of the commodities trader Glencore, is also joining Pirelli’s board.