The Business Matrix: Saturday 31 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Shake Shack valued at £1bn

Shares in hamburger and milkshake chain Shake Shack jumped as much as 150 per cent as they started trading on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, valuing the business at $1.6bn (£1bn). The posh burger chain, now in 63 countries including the UK, started from a hot-dog cart in New York’s Madison Square Park.

City watchdog to look at PPI claims

The way that banks handle compensation claims for payment protection insurance will come under scrutiny by the FCA. It is considering a new publicity campaign and a time limit for complaints. More than £17.3bn has already been paid out, but there are concerns not all victims of the mis-selling scandal have been compensated.

First rise in home loans for 6 months

Reforms to stamp duty at the beginning of December and lending rates at record lows helped to fuel the first rise in mortgage lending for six months in December, according to Bank of England figures. Lenders approved 60,275 loans over the month – up from 58,966 in November. But lending to business fell by £3.8bn.

US slowdown  ‘will be shortlived’

US economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter to an annualised rate of 2.6 per cent as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006. But economists said the slowdown followed two back-to-back quarters of bullish growth and was likely to be short-lived.

Inchcape recruits Barcardi boss

The car dealership Inchcape has turned to drink to replace its chief executive, Andre Lacroix, who is leaving after nine years.  It has recruited Stefan Bomhard, 47, the president of European operations at the spirits company Bacardi. The change will take place in March.

Carney to run London Marathon

The Bank of England’s Govenor Mark Carney, who last year named-checked Liz McColgan when he said that Britain should aim to win the long-term “economic marathon”, is to follow in the Scottish long-distance runner’s footsteps by taking part in this year’s London Marathon.

Forex fraudster jailed for 7 years

Alex Hope, a forex trader who used clients’ money to run up a £200,000 bar bill at a Liverpool nightclub, was jailed for seven years at Southwark Crown Court. Hope, 25, defrauded 100 investors of £5.5m, saying he would trade it on the foreign exchange markets.

Pub chain reports sales growth

Fuller, Smith & Turner said like-for-like sales in its managed pubs and hotels rose 6.8 per cent in the 43 weeks to 24 January, with underlying profits in the tenanted inns division up by 4 per cent and total beer and cider volumes in Fuller’s Beer Company ahead by 4 per cent.

‘Improvement’ at waste firm Shanks

Waste management firm Shanks said its UK municipal division performed well in the period from 1 October, with underlying market drivers for its Benelux solid waste division showing some initial signs of improvement.

Afren given  debt reprieve

The troubled oil producer Afren has won a month’s reprieve from its lenders on £43m worth of payments that were due this weekend. Seplat, the Nigerian oil group which made an approach in December, has also been given longer to decide if it wants to bid.