The Business Matrix: Tuesday 06 December 2011


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India approves Cairn sale

India's interior ministry has cleared Cairn Energy's $6bn deal to sell a majority stake in its Indian business to Vedanta Resources, marking the final government approval needed. The deal had been held up for more than a year, mainly due to a disagreement between the UK explorer Cairn and its Indian partner over royalty payments.

Aberdeen helped by Asian funds

Aberdeen Asset Management shrugged off a spike in client outflows in September's volatile markets to post a better-than-expected full-year profit, helped by demand for its higher-margin Asian and emerging market bond funds. The fund manager said profits rose 44 per cent to £302m in the year to the end of September.

Greencore ends takeover talks

Greencore, the sandwich and ready meals maker, said talks over a possible takeover had ended by mutual consent, sending its shares down more than 10 per cent. Greencore, one of Britain's biggest suppliers of sandwiches and ready meals to retailers, said in October it had received a potential takeover approach.

HSBC to axe hundreds of jobs

HSBC is to axe hundreds of jobs in response to a 'very challenging' environment. The bank said about 330 jobs would be lost, but the Unite union put the figure at 551. The majority of cuts will come from HSBC's commercial bank as it "consolidates" its regional structure, in a move the bank said would affect 232 workers. Record fine. MORE

Lonmin raises pay for miners

The platinum miner Lonmin has agreed to raise pay and benefits for its workers by up to 10 per cent, under a two-year deal with the National Union of Mineworker in South Africa. The deal with the world's third largest platinum miner follows similar pay settlements with Impala and Anglo American Platinum.

Australian buyer for troubled DTZ

The property consultancy DTZ Holdings has been sold to the Australian infrastructure business UGL for £77.5m after it was placed into administration. DTZ, which provides property advice to the private and public sector, said its trading subsidiaries were not in administration and were trading normally.

First-class flights boost BA owner

International Airlines Group, formed by the merger of BA and Iberia, posted a 2.1 per cent rise in passenger traffic in November, boosted by a 4.6 per cent increase in first class and business travellers. Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose 2.1 per cent compared with November 2010.

Mecom to sell Norwegian papers

The loss-making European publisher Mecom is to sell its profitable Norwegian arm Edda Media to A-pressen for £192m to cut debt. The deal will add Edda Media's 36 regional newspapers to A-pressen's portfolio. A-pressen also owns 50 per cent of Norway's top commercial TV station, TV2.

Fall in passengers flown at Ryanair

Passenger numbers at Ryanair fell 8 per cent last month as Europe's largest low-cost airline grounded up to 80 aircraft because of high oil prices. The airline said its load factor – a measure of available seats sold – was unchanged on a year ago at 80 per cent. Total passenger numbers fell to 4.7 million.

Trinity Mirror names chairman

David Grigson, a former finance director of the news agency Reuters and the publisher Emap, will join the Daily Mirror publisher Trinity Mirror. Mr Grigson, who oversaw Reuters' merger with Thomson and disposals at Emap, joins the board next month and will replace Sir Ian Gibson as chairman next August.