The Business Matrix: Saturday 19 November 2011


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China Re to invest in Syndicate 2088

The Lloyd’s of London insurer Catlin has formed an alliance with China Re that will inject Chinese funds into the London market and enable the British insurer up to exploit opportunities in Asia. Catlin, which operates one of the biggest underwriting syndicates at Lloyd’s, said it would form a new entity called “Syndicate 2088”.

Tullett's hit by flat revenues

Tullett Prebon, the money broker run by Terry Smith, has warned of a slowdown in recent weeks, leaving its annual revenues flat on last year. The broker said revenues for the four months to the end of October were 8 per cent higher than last year at £318m. The statement came two days after Tullett’s rival Icap also reported flat revenues.

Camelot UK pays out record £1.6bn

Half-yearly sales at Camelot UK, which runs the National Lottery, are up a fifth to £3.2bn, marking the group’s best ever six months. The lottery, now the seventh largest in the world in terms of sales, paid out a record £1.6bn in prize money in the period. It has created 2,700 millionaires to date, including the pair who banked £161m in August.

Reubens win new Arena deadline

The property tycoons David and Simon Reuben have been given another month to pursue their interest in a takeover of racecourse operator Arena. The new Takeover Panel deadline of 16 December emerged as Arena, which owns courses such as Doncaster and Royal Windsor, said it continued to perform well in the face of difficult conditions.

Daw Mill holds up deep mine output

UK Coal said deep mine production of 1.4 million tonnes for the third quarter to 24 September was below the 1.7 million tonnes seen a year earlier, despite pits at Kellingley and Thoresby mining being ahead of plan. At Daw Mill near Coventry, production has been restrained by a previously reported fault.

Capita heading for record year

Capita predicted a record year for contract wins as more firms look to drive down costs by outsourcing operations. The group, which administers the licence fee for the BBC and provides a criminal records service for the Home Office, has been buoyed by 16 new and extended contracts totalling £1.26bn in the year to date.

Mortgage lending down 4% at £13bn

Mortgage lending fell last month from September’s two-year peak, adding to expectations that already stagnant house prices are likely to fall as the economy weakens. The Council for Mortgage Lenders estimated that gross lending was £13.1bn in October, down 4 per cent from the previous month.

Sky names new non-executives

BSkyB has announced the appointment of Aberdeen Asset Management’s chief executive, Martin Gilbert, and Lazard’s boss, Matthieu Pigasse, as independent non-executive directors. They will take up their posts after BSkyB’s AGM, when David Evans and Allan Leighton will retire from the board.

Rents rise for 9th month in a row

Average rents in England and Wales have risen for the ninth consecutive month to hit £720 a month, according to LSL Property Services. But the 0.2 per cent monthly rise was the smallest since February. Accommodation in London has seen the largest rise in the past year, up 5.7 per cent to £1,030 a month.

Cobham boss quits because of injury

Andy Stevens, the chief executive of the aerospace electronics business Cobham is to take early retirement aged 55 because of a “long-term serious back injury”. John Devaney, Cobham’s chairman, will temporarily add the chief executive’s role to his duties, until a replacement is found for Mr Stevens.