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The Business Matrix: Saturday 18 June 2011

Cut-price Prada in Hong Kong IPO

Italian fashion house Prada has made it down the stockmarket catwalk – but only after cutting the price of its listing by a fifth at the last minute. Prada’s listing on Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange yesterday raised £1.3bn after it priced its stock at the bottom of the range set earlier this week. It had been expected to raise as much as £1.6bn.

Motorists face higher premiums

Motorists are facing further increases in premiums as insurers try to recoup losses racked up from soaring personal-injury claims. The industry’s losses topped £2bn last year even though premiums rose 10 per cent, according to a report by Deloitte, which estimates insurers paid out 120p for every 100p in premiums received last year

LSE wins support in TMX battle

A key investment adviser has recommended that shareholders in the Canadian stock market company TMX accept a takeover offer from the London Stock Exchange rather than a rival bid from Maple Group, a consortium of local interests. Glass, Lewis said the LSE bid represented the better alternative for TMX shareholders.

Uniq buoyed by sales boost

The Mark & Spencer food supplier Uniq said sales of “food to go” products, such as sandwiches and salads, were up 11.2 per cent in the first 21 weeks of the year following a drive to tailor more of its products to the needs of customers. Overall sales increased by 2.4 per cent following a decline of 5.9 per cent in dessert sales.

H&T gets lift from austerity Britain

H&T has predicted that its halfyearly profits will hit the top end of City forecasts this year, despite the costs of the group opening 10 new shops. Shares in the pawnbroker rose 5 per cent yesterday as it said the high gold price has meant an increased average loan, while cash-for-gold profits are also up.

CSR cuts price for Zoran takeover

CSR will buy Zoran for a reduced price of $484m (£299m). The Cambridge-based CSR, which specialises in Bluetooth chips, had originally agreed to pay $679m. But disruption caused by the Japanese earthquake and the loss of a key contract when Cisco shut its Flip video camera line saw Zoran’s losses widen.

Burren bosses to float new explorer

Bayfield Energy, founded by former Burren Energy executives, is looking to list on London’s junior AIM in early July. The float proceeds will be used to finance the group’s oil assets in Trinidad and Tobago. The directors, management and related parties have invested $47.5m (£29m) to date.

Zamin Ferrous shelves float plan

The mining start-up Zamin Ferrous has put on hold a potential London flotation due to increased interest from investors for possible tie-ups. The iron-ore miner, which has a Brazilian joint venture with ENRC, had been considering a London flotation valuing it between £2bn and £2.5bn.

MP challenges minimum wage

The former Tory minister Christopher Chope has tabled proposals to allow adult employees to opt to receive wages below the £5.93 hourly rate set by the minimum-wage legislation. He admitted his bill, described by Labour MPs as a “mean” assault on workers, would not win government support.

Tesco floor staff pass £7 an hour

Tesco is to award its 233,000 UK staff a 2.5 per cent pay increase from next month – a year after they received their last pay rise. Customer assistants – who make up about 65 per cent of the supermarket giant’s store staff – will receive an extra 0.2 per cent, taking their pay rate past £7 a hour for the first time.

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