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The Business Matrix: Saturday 22 December 2012

ArcelorMittal cuts European value

The world's largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, is slashing the value of its European business by about $4.3bn(£2.7bn) due to the eurozone's economic woes. ArcelorMittal said that steel demand has fallen by about 8 per cent in Europe this year, adding to the problems the industry is already facing from long-term excess production capacity.

Bombardier wins carriage contract

The Derby-based Bombardier has won a government-backed deal to make 40 new carriages for the rail company Southern. It comes a year after the Department for Transport was criticised for choosing German rival Siemens over Bombardier as preferred bidder for the £1.4bn Thameslink rail contract.

Mobile makers reach patent pact

The phone makers Nokia and Research In Motion (RIM) have settled their patent dispute as the two fallen former darlings of the mobile industry focus on trying to recover lost ground. Nokia will receive an undisclosed one-off sum from RIM, the BlackBerry maker, in return for letting the Canadian company use its patents.

All smiles again at Cathay Pacific

Anyone flying with Cathay Pacific this Christmas will be greeted with a smile after all, after cabin crew called off unusual planned industrial action. Staff on Asia's largest airline were to withhold food, alcohol and smiles from passengers in a "work-to-rule" dispute over pay and conditions.

It pays (better) to be a boss in the UK

CEOs at top UK companies are paid more than their peers in other leading European countries, according to Vlerick Business School in Belgium. The study looked at all listed companies in the UK, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

BT fined £95m for overcharging

BT has been hit with a £95m bill by the communications regulator, Ofcom, for overcharging rival telecoms providers for access to its network. Ofcom said BT had overcharged BSkyB, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Verizon and Cable & Wireless Worldwide (now owned by Vodafone), for supplying "wholesale ethernet services" up to 2011.

BAE and Oman agree £2.5bn deal

BAE Systems, the aerospace giant, received a much-needed boost yesterday after agreeing a £2.5bn contract with Oman for Typhoon and Hawk military aircraft that will safeguard 6,000 jobs. This came two days after issuing a profits warning on the back of ongoing delays with a key contract with Saudi Arabia.

AkzoNobel denied Metlac takeover

Dutch paint-and-chemicals maker AkzoNobel was yesterday banned from taking over rival Metlac on the grounds that it would give it a dominant position in the UK market for beer- and drinks-can coatings. AkzoNobel already owns 49 per cent of Metlac as a result of its 2008 takeover of ICI.

Obama in 'fiscal cliff' pledge

US President Barack Obama is "hopeful" that a solution will be found to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of tax rises and spending cuts. The President pledged to work with Congress to strike a deal ahead of a 1 January deadline. Earlier, Republicans in Congress rejected a tax hike on high earners.

Fifth person is charged by FSA

The City regulator has charged a fifth person in its biggest investigation into insider trading in history. Richard Baldwin, 46, was charged by the Financial Services Authority earlier this week following an investigation codenamed Operation Tabernula.

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