The Business Matrix: Saturday 4 August 2012


Cash lifeline for stricken broker

The Wall Street broker at the centre of the latest New York stock market calamity got an emergency cash injection yesterday that will keep it afloat, at least for now. A software bug this week left the NYSE in disarray, as the prices of 148 stocks fluctuated wildly. The broker Knight Capital took a £283m hit from the fiasco.

Shares of phone firm Inmarsat rise

Shares in the global satellite phones firm Inmarsat jumped nearly 11 per cent after better-than-expected half-year sales. Revenues held steady at $684m (£440m) as strong maritime revenues offset a drop in usage in Afghanistan by the government. Pre-tax profits, however, fell 12.5 per cent at $222.8m.

Global's deal referred to Ofcom

Global Radio, the owner of Capital Radio and Classic FM, received a blow yesterday when its £70m purchase of Smooth Radio from Guardian Media Group was referred to the media regulator, Ofcom. Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, intervened because the merger could affect media plurality.

Heineken to buy Tiger beer maker

The Dutch beer giant Heineken has reached an agreement to acquire Asia Pacific Breweries, the maker of Tiger beer, for $5.1bn (£3.3bn). Heineken, which also owns the Cruzcampo and Newcastle Brown Ale brands, has offered $50 a share for APB.

Bigger bonus at National Express

The National Express CEO Dean Finch will be in line for a bigger bonus this year. His potential bonus for 2012 will now be 150 per cent of his £550,000 salary, or £825,000, up from 125 per cent. He will also receive shares worth £500,000.

Cips/Markit index hits 19-month low

Hotels and restaurants bore the brunt of the downpours at the beginning of July as Britain's services firms struggled for momentum, the latest snapshot of the sector's fortunes revealed yesterday. The Cips/Markit purchasing managers' index, where a score over 50 signals growth, fell from 51.3 to 51 last month, the lowest for 19 months.

Sales of homes over £2m stall

The Budget stamp duty raid on homes worth more than £2m has triggered a 23 per cent fall in sales of properties worth between £2m and £10m in London, according to the estate agency Knight Frank. Its latest index shows prices up 0.5 per cent in July, or 49 per cent since the post credit-crunch low in 2009.

BHP boss Kloppers forgoes bonus

Marius Kloppers, the chief executive of BHP, has become the latest FTSE 100 mining boss to forgo his bonus after being forced yesterday to write $2.84bn (£1.8bn) off the value of a US shale gas business he bought at the top of the market. Mr Kloppers received about $4.7m of bonuses last time.

Dexia posts €1.2bn first-half loss

Dexia, a high-profile banking casualty of the debt crisis, has posted another huge loss as France and Belgium argue over how much their rescue of the bank will cost. Dexia, which lost €1.2bn in the first half of 2012, is being broken up under the scrutiny of European regulators.

Vodafone to open London hub

Vodafone is to open a new technology centre in the fast-growing digital hub of East London. The new centre will provide technical expertise, financial assistance and logistical support to firms in the mobile internet and creative media industries.