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The Business Matrix: Thursday 10 July 2014


Boeing seals $56bn Emirates order

Boeing has finalised a $56bn order for a fleet of new 777s from Dubai’s Emirates Airlines. The agreement also includes the right for Emirates to order an further 50 aircraft. If exercised, the total order would be worth $75bn. The news comes as a blow to rival Airbus, which last month was snubbed by Emirates.

Apple loses Siri China patent case

Apple has failed to get a Chinese company’s voice-recognition patent ruled invalid. The Beijing court’s verdict threatens the US firm’s ability to offer its voice-controlled assistant, Siri, in the country. Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology has sought to block Apple from selling products with the app installed. Apple plans to appeal.

AbbVie retracts its claims about Shire

The US drugs giant AbbVie was forced to retract statements from its chief executive that suggested it had the support of Shire investors in its bid to acquire its Dublin-based rival for £30.1bn. The company was forced into the embarrassing move by the UK Takeover Panel, having raised its offer for Shire by 11 per cent on Tuesday.

HSBC offloads its Caymans division

HSBC is selling its Cayman Islands business in yet another of chief executive Stewart Guilliver’s moves to cut out smaller, less profitable parts of the bank. The Caymans unit is being sold to Butterfield Bank, which is headed by HSBC’s former head of retail and commercial banking in the US, Brendan McDonagh.

Citi ‘to pay $13bn to settle US case’

Citigroup is set to become the latest bank to reach a multimillion-dollar settlement with US regulators over its roles in the 2008 financial crisis. America’s third-largest bank is poised to strike a deal a with the Department of Justice which could see it pay out $13bn, the New York Times reported.

Galliford prices soar to £305,000

The housebuilder Galliford Try said revenues had soared above pre-recession levels and profits would approach £95m, at the upper end of expectations. Buoyed by a recovering market, the Uxbridge-based firm said average sale prices at its Linden Homes arm rose 15 per cent to £305,000 in the year to June.

888 bets on strong growth for 2014

The gambling website 888 issued an unexpectedly upbeat trading statement yesterday, saying that earnings for the first six months of 2014 would be “significantly ahead” of last year. It said a strong first quarter had continued through into the next three months.

Slim takes a knife to mobile empire

The world’s second-richest man plans to sell some of his telecoms assets to avoid a clampdown by regulators in his native Mexico. Carlos Slim’s America Movil, which controls 70 per cent of the country’s mobile market, could reduce its share to below 50 per cent.

Begbies suffers from the recovery

The restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor said profits and revenues fell last year because fewer businesses went bust. Adjusted pre-tax profits fell from £6.7m to £5m in the year to 30 April, while revenues fell from £51.5m to £45.8m.

Thorntons tastes sweet rise in sales

Thorntons, the chocolatier, said sales at commercial outlets such as supermarkets rose by 22 per cent in the final quarter of its financial year, offsetting a 3.9 per cent decline in like-for-like sales in its retail division. It closed 11 shops over the period.