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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 11 March 2014

China shock hits shares

Investors dumped mining stocks yesterday as the latest worries over a slowdown in China gripped markets.Miners – nearly 9 per cent of the FTSE 100 blue-chip benchmark’s value – accounted for the top five fallers, as dealers responded to a dramatic  18.1 per cent year on year fall  in Chinese exports.

HgCapital hit by writedowns

HgCapital Trust, one of the UK’s largest listed private equity vehicles, was today hit by writedowns on investments including internet domain manager NetNames. The company saw its net asset value fall 1.6 per cent to 1180.6p a share in 2013 but said it had stepped up activity since the start of the year.

Reckitt buys  into K-Y

The owner of Durex condoms has expanded into the world of sexual lubricants with a deal  to buy K-Y. Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser has bought the global rights to the “intimate lubricant” brand, founded in 1917, from Johnson  & Johnson-owned McNeil.  The deal is set to close in the coming months.

Koovs shares shoot up

Shares in Koovs, the Indian online fashion retailer, shot to a hefty premium when they started trading on the junior AIM stock market yesterday. Placed at 150p, the shares jumped to 181.5p. That capitalises the company, which raised £22m, at £43.6m. Koovs was founded by Lord Waheed Alli and Robert Bready, once of Asos.

Newton-Jones to Mothercare

Struggling children’s retailer Mothercare has appointed a new interim chief executive after former boss Simon Calver resigned unexpectedly last month. Former Shop Direct boss Mark Newton-Jones will join the business as interim chief executive, as a search for a replacement continues.

Goals sets sights on raising £11m

Five-a-side football operator, Goals Soccer Centres, is to resume building new outlets after its expansion was put on hold following a failed takeover bid by a Canadian pension fund in 2012. Goals, which runs 43 centres in the UK and one in the US, is raising £11m through a share placing.

Phoenix grows Hornby stake

Gary Channon, chief investment officer and co-founder of Phoenix Asset Management, has increased his stake in model railway firm Hornby. Channon bought another 57,250 shares in Hornby to take his holding in the group to 5.9 million shares – 15 per cent of the business.

Job confidence  at six-year high

Job security is at its highest for more than six years, figures showed yesterday. Lloyds Banking Group’s consumer confidence barometer – a survey of 2,000 people –  demonstrated workers feeling at their most secure since September 2007.

Malaysian shares punished

Shares in Malaysian Airline System – the firm which owns Malaysia Airlines – fell almost a fifth yesterday because one of the national carrier’s planes has disappeared. Analysts said MAS could see a drop in bookings because of the incident.

Nakamoto to get Bitcoin bonus

Bitcoin fans have raised £16,800 to donate to 64-year-old  Dorian Nakamoto, who denies involvement in the digital currency. Andreas Antonopoulos, an executive at, a Bitcoin business, started a campaign on Reddit.

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