The Business Matrix: Thursday 5 February 2015


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The Independent Online

China moves to boost economy

China’s central bank yesterday reduced the amount of cash that retail banks must hold in reserve, in an attempt to boost lending and combat slowing growth. The reduction in the reserve ratio requirement –  by 0.5 percentage points to 19.5 per cent – is the first since May 2012. China’s growth slowed to 7.4 per cent in 2014.

Bosses ‘ignoring mental health’

Just 7 per cent of employers have discussed mental health issues with their staff, according to research by the Institute of Directors. Its report was published in support of a campaign to encourage people to have a five-minute conversation about mental health to break the silence often associated with the problem.

Bonhams drives ahead in Paris

The auctioneer Bonhams prepared for a sale of classic cars by displaying them at the Grand Palais in Paris yesterday. The lots include vintage and classic cars, collected by an enthusiast in the 1950s, which were found rusting in the French countryside. They are expected to fetch between €9.5m (£7.5m) and €12.5m.

Toyota predicts soaring profits

Toyota has raised its annual profits forecast after a 15 per cent  fall in the yen last year boosted the value of its overseas sales. The Japanese car-maker, which exports about half of  the vehicles its makes, expects to make a record 2.7 trillion  yen (£15bn) for the year to 31 March, despite falling sales in its domestic market.

Hargreaves takes a hit on profits

The broker Hargreaves Lansdown blamed a 20 per cent fall in the amount of new money it attracted on the fact that private investors have been running scared of stock markets for six months. Net new business came in at £2.25bn for the half year, but profits fell by 2 per cent to £102m.

‘Posh’ wallpaper sales hit £83m

The upmarket wallpaper maker Walker Greenbank forecast that annual profits would be at the top end of forecasts yesterday as it reported a 6.4 per cent rise in sales for the year, to £83m. The owner of the Sanderson and Morris & Co brands reported particularly strong growth in overseas markets.

Lokn’Store sees revenues rise 16%

The self-storage company Lokn’Store said half-yearly revenues at its core business were up 15.9 per cent in the first half of its financial year. Unit occupancy was up 5.5 per cent and price per square foot up 6.7 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

Wizz Air plan for IPO takes off again

The low-cost carrier Wizz Air has revived plans for a flotation on the London Stock Exchange that it scrapped last summer. The Hungarian airline, which was founded in 2004 and flew 13.9 million passengers last year, said it intended to raise €150m (£113m) from the shares offer.

Madame Tussauds is put up for sale

The London home of Madame Tussauds is up for sale for more than £320m. The building – occupied by the waxworks museum for 130 years – belongs to Secure Income Reit, though  Merlin Entertainments owns the Tussauds business.

Pay us more or we quit, say workers

Two out of five workers will look for a new job if they do not receive a pay rise this year, according to a study. The survey of more than 2,000 adults by the jobs website Glassdoor showed that a third were confident that their wages would go up.