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The Business Matrix: Thursday 20 September 2012

Covent Garden to get £200m boost

Landlord Capital & Counties is to pump another £200 million into its transformation of Covent Garden after raising more than £140 million from investors. Capco is eyeing a new acquisition spree and stepping up plans for luxury flats above high-end shops.

Price of ebooks poised to tumble

Ebook prices could fall after Apple and four of the world's biggest publishers offered to avoid setting the price of digital reads for five years in response to a European Union competition probe. The EU began investigating alleged price-fixing last year, examining Apple's deals with publishers and the publishers' deals with retailers.

Lonmin leaps after workers deal

Shares in Lonmin shot up 11 per cent when the stock market opened yesterday following the overnight wage settlement at its Marikana platinum mine, which has been shut for six weeks and where 45 workers have died in strike-related violence.

Financiers paid £13bn bonuses

Bonuses worth £13bn were paid out to workers in the finance and insurance industry over the past financial year, an average of £12,000 each, new figures show. The Office for National Statistics said the sector received more than a third of the £37bn paid to the British workforce, despite accounting for just 4 per cent of all employees.

'Auto Trader' chief executive quits

The company behind Auto Trader was yesterday rocked by the surprise departure of chief executive John King, who quit with immediate effect. Chief financial officer Zillah Byng-Maddick takes over on an interim basis at Trader Media Group. Mr King is entitled to a contractual pay-off and the hunt is on for his successor.

BAE discussions set for weekend

The German chancellor Angela Merkel is to discuss the proposed £30bn tie-up of BAE Systems and Eads with French President François Hollande. The countries each hold a 22.5 per cent stake in Airbus owner Eads. Ms Merkel said: "Various checks are being carried out on the merger."

Pharmaceutical to float on AIM

The pharmaceuticals group Clinigen announced a rare flotation on the AIM junior market yesterday, raising £50m. Clinigen, which specialises in hospital-only medicines, will start trading on the junior market next Tuesday, with its placing at 164p, a share giving it a market capitalisation of £135m.

Heineken nears deal over Tiger

Dutch brewer Heineken took a step towards winning control of the Tiger beer brand after securing acceptance from a Thai billionaire, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, whose Thai Beverage is supporting the sale of Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave's stake in Asia Pacific Breweries to Heineken.

£116bn shortfall awaits lenders

Lenders are facing a huge £116bn shortfall in unpaid interest-only mortgages due to mature by 2020, warned xit2, a consultant. Up to 1.3 million interest-only mortgages were loaned during the credit boom, but an estimated 1.04 million of them do not have any repayment plan, meaning borrowers will still owe the full sum at full term. 

Redrow profits soar 70 per cent

Redrow, the housebuilder that chairman and founder Steve Morgan is bidding to take private, reaped the benefit of its focus on bigger family homes yesterday as pre-tax profits jumped 70 per cent to £43 million in the year to June.

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam