The Business Matrix: Tuesday 10 September 2013


Williams better off track than on

Williams Grand Prix Holdings has performed better off the track than on. The Formula One side of the business, which has scored just one point in races this season, saw its interim losses grow £1m to £5.6m on flat revenues. Advanced engineering revenues fell but earnings rose from £3.7m to £4.5m. Overall, Williams expects to make a loss this year.

Olympic boost for Nikkei Index

Tokyo's 2020 Olympic triumph and roaring growth between April and June sent Japanese investors piling into shares. The Nikkei index soared 2.5 per cent as revised growth estimates showed private and public investment drove Japan's economy along at an annual pace of 3.8 per cent, far faster than the 2.6 per cent originally thought.

EE's 4G bags a million customers

The mobile giant EE claims to have won one million customers for its superfast 4G service less than 11 months after launch. Its chief executive Olaf Swantee, who is eyeing a possible stock market float for the UK parent company of T-Mobile and Orange, said it was "one of the fastest adoption rates in the world" for 4G.

Fresh capital flow doesn't worry Re

Swiss Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers, has said it is not worried about the floods of fresh capital into the insurance market which Lloyd's of London chief executive John Nelson warned about last week. Swiss Re's Matthias Weber said: "We take the inflow of alternative capital seriously, but we are not alarmed by it.

Lucozade and Ribena sold

Ribena and Lucozade has been sold to the Japanese for £1.35bn by the drugs maker, GlaxoSmithKline.Private equity firms including Blackstone and Lion Capital were thought to be interested, but Japan's Suntory, which bought Orangina Schweppes four years ago, for £2.2bn, won out.

Further delays ahead for Bumi

Bumi, planning to split with its founding Bakrie family, has warned there could be further delays to an already protracted separation transaction. Bumi said last month it was preparing to send documents on the split to regulators, paving the way for a shareholder vote in September. That now looks unlikely.

Icap close to Libor settlement

The interbroker dealer Icap is believed to be close to a settlement with US and UK regulators over its role in the Libor rate-rigging scandal. According to reports on Sky news, it will pay US regulators about £50m and the UK's Financial Conduct Authority about £20m.

Rosy outlook for major economies

The prospects for the world's major developed economies improved further in July according to a monthly leading indicator of growth compiled by the OECD, while emerging markets continued to lose steam. The indicator rose to 100.7 in July from 100.6 in June.

BBA Aviation's Dubai link-up off

The business jet services firm BBA Aviation has said it is no longer working on a potential combination with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. The talks were thought to involve a merger with Dubai's engine repair and maintenance business.

Bid to block Dell buyout abandoned

Carl Icahn has abandoned his attempts to block Michael Dell's proposed $25bn (£16bn) buyout of the computer giant Dell, determining "it would be almost impossible to win". Mr Icahn has argued that the bid undervalues the company.