The Business Matrix: Thursday 26 June 2014


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Babcock wins Sellafield deal

The engineer Babcock and construction firm Balfour Beatty have won a £160m deal to build a nuclear waste decommissioning facility at Sellafield in Cumbria. A 25m-high building will store equipment used for retrieving nuclear waste. Babcock leads the joint venture through its subsidiary Cavendish Nuclear.

Online sales boost House of Fraser

The retailer House of Fraser’s increased focus on its online business is starting to reap rewards, with more than 15 per cent of sales through its website. Total sales at the company were up 2 per cent in the 13 weeks to the end of April, the last results before its takeover by the Chinese retailer Nanjing Xinjiekou.

Charge for former Schroders trader

A former equities trader at Schroders has been charged with nine counts of insider dealing between 2003 and 2012. The Financial Conduct Authority said Damian Frank Clarke, 38, committed the alleged offences, which relate to shares trading and spread bets. Schroders said it was not subject to any investigation.

Britain sells £200m sukuk 

Britain has became the first Western country to sell an Islamic bond, attracting £2.3bn in orders, more than 10 times the amount it was looking to sell. The Government raised £200m from the five-year sukuk – which cannot pay interest, but instead offers a fixed profit stream based on rents from three government buildings.

Habgood aims to improve BofE

The new chairman of the Bank of England’s governing court intends to drive up management performance. “The purpose of the board is to raise the game of the executive,” Anthony Habgood told MPs at his confirmation hearing. He added he had not seen any evidence of “groupthink” at the Bank.

Abe declares deflation ‘dead’

Japanese deflation, which eclipsed economic growth for the past 15 years, is dead, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared. He was speaking as the government endorsed the so-called “third arrow” of its new policy which includes corporate tax cuts, trade liberalisation and bids to boost tourism.

Gulf Keystone chief steps aside

The chief executive of oil company Gulf Keystone Petroleum is set to step down ahead of its AGM next month. However, Todd Kozel, said to have personally negotiated with Iraqi Kurds days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, will remain on the board in a new role.

Brake applied to sales growth

Annual retail sales growth has ground to a halt despite the recent good weather, according to the latest CBI snapshot of the sector. Its distributive trades survey for June gave a headline reading of +4, down sharply from +16 in May. The drop was driven by falling clothing sales.

Dunstone backs Nutmeg cash call

The online wealth manager Nutmeg has raised $32m (£19m) from some of the City’s best-known investors as it looks to expand. The business said its latest backers include Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone and Schroders.

US growth shrinks in harsh winter

The economy contracted at a steeper pace than previously estimated as the harsh winter saw the US record its worst performance in five years. The Commerce Department said GDP fell at a 2.9 per cent annual rate from January to March.