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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 11 December 2012

Shanks to recycle Heineken's glass

The waste-management group Shanks has won a contract to recycle 15,000 tons of glass for the brewer Heineken – the equivalent of nine million 330ml bottles. As well as the green bottles familiar to UK drinkers, Heineken sells its beer in brown bottles in the Netherlands, but has said it will be going completely green in the future.

Japan joins Italy in recession

Japan joined Italy on the economic sick list yesterday, as official figures tipped the country back into recession. Output shrank by 0.9 per cent between July and September and revisions to previous data showed a decline between April and June. Japan and Italy are alone among the world's eight biggest economies in recession.

Bloomberg mulls possible bid for FT

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Mayor of New York, is considering whether to make a bid for the Financial Times, amid renewed speculation that the paper's owner, Pearson, will be ready to sell soon. The New York Times quoted three people close to the mayor, who founded the financial news giant Bloomberg.

£1.2m fine for Cheshire Mortgage

The Cheshire Mortgage Corporation has been slapped with a £1.2m fine for unfair treatment of customers. The Cheadle-based lender may also be forced to hand back £2m to about 2,000 customers adversely affected between 2004 and 2009.

BAE wins £1.2bn submarine deal

BAE Systems reached a "milestone" in the bounce back from its failed merger with EADS yesterday as the Ministry of Defence awarded the company a £1.2bn submarine contract. BAE will design and build HMS Audacious.

Set-top box-maker Pace trading halted

Shares in the TV set-top box maker Pace were suspended yesterday as it confirmed it is in talks to buy Google's Motorola Home business, which could lead to a reverse takeover. Pace, which has a stock market value of almost £600m, has submitted a bid, but there is thought to be at least one other rival, United States-based Arris Group.

Glencore pushes back Xstrata deal

Lengthy antitrust regulatory processes in China and South Africa have forced commodities trader Glencore to delay the date for completion of its tie-up with miner Xstrata until January. South Africa's competition authorities have postponed hearings on the $33bn (£20bn) deal until 18 January, after the parties asked for more time to prepare.

Worst may be over for China

China's fearsome export machine is stuttering, but the world's second-biggest economy may be over the worst, experts say. Export growth slid to 2.9 per cent year on year in November, official figures show, hit hard by plummeting sales to Europe. But the country's oil demand topped 10 million barrels a day.

Warning over taxes on top end

The estate agent Winkworth warned yesterday the Chancellor's tax grab on overseas buyers was casting a shadow over the top end of the London property market. The firm has had to weather a stamp duty hike on properties worth more than £2m this year, among other new rules.

MPs 'rushing' Finance Bill

The head of the Treasury Select Committee says Parliament is "rushing" the Finance Bill, which will overhaul regulation of the financial services sector. Andrew Tyrie said: "The House of Lords completed its consideration of the Bill only last Wednesday."

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