The Business Matrix: Tuesday 15 March 2011

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The Independent Online

BG Group names finance director

The oil and gas explorer BG Group has named Fabio Barbosa as its finance director. Mr Barbosa, who was chief financial officer at the Brazilian miner Vale until the middle of 2010, joined BG at the end of last year. He will take over the role at the end of March.

Stone posts new job with Huffington

Biz Stone, co-founder of the micro-blogging site Twitter, is joining AOL as a “social impact adviser”. The role will see Mr Stone work with Arianna Huffington at AOL to develop a platform to help people get involved with community service and philanthropy.

Hot Tuna chairman quits after fortnight

The chairman of struggling surfwear brand Hot Tuna has quit after just two weeks. It is looking for a replacement after Melissa Sturgess left to concentrate on other business interests including the mining group Nyota Minerals, which she chairs.

Geoghegan set to join Citigroup

A former Deutsche Bank investment banker who advised on the restructuring of Britain’s banks is to return to the industry with Citigroup after a spell at a technology firm. Basil Geoghegan is expected to join the US bank in June as its UK managing director.

Don’t raise beer tax, pleads pubs group

The Government has been urged not to increase the duty on beer sales by the 7 per cent expected in next week’s Budget. The British Beer and Pub Association said its survey had found that 980,000 people depended on beer and pubs for employment, and that the industry added more than £21bn to the UK economy every year.

Alliance Trust to focus on stocks

Alliance Trust, the 123-year old investment trust that is set to fall out of the FTSE 100 later this month, plans to shut down its private equity unit to focus on its stock and bond investments. The unit runs £110m in funds.

St Ives sells print division to rival

St Ives has agreed to sell its lossmaking magazine printing business – whose clients include Time Out, Vogue and The Economist – to the private equity firm Walstead Investments for £20m. Walstead was set up in 2008 specifically to buy Wyndeham Press, which prints magazines including Marie Claire and Zoo. St Ives will lease its printing plants in Peterborough, Plymouth and Roche in Cornwall to the new owner.

US millionaires say they don’t feel rich

More than four in 10 American millionaires say they do not feel rich. Indeed, many would need to have at least $7.5m in the bank in order to feel they were truly rich, according to a Fidelity Investments survey. Some 42 per cent of the more than 1,000 millionaires surveyed by Fidelity said they did not feel wealthy. Respondents had at least $1m in assets they could invest, excluding any property or retirement accounts.

Edwards readies for return to LSE

Edwards, the vacuum technology company, is to return to the London stock market more than 40 years after it was taken private by the industrial gases company BOC. The private equity-backed company, which works with major chip-makers, is to float at least a quarter of its shares in London next month as it looks to capitalise on demand for chips used in the iPad and other tablet devices.

BAE to work with Dassault on drone

BAE Systems will collaborate with its French rival Dassault Aviation on a joint proposal to the British and French ministries of defence to build systems for a long-range unmanned spy plane. BAE, the British engineering firm, and Dassault have already completed a joint feasibility study for the project. Such aircraft can loiter high over battlefields observing and are sometimes armed.

RBS merges its deriatives units

The part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland has merged its over-the-counter derivatives clearing unit with its futures business. The combined business is being run by the bank’s new global head Jeremy Wright following the departure of John Wilson, the former global head of OTC clearing, this month.

Banking hopeful reports £1.8m loss

NBNK, the investment vehicle that aims to buy part of the nationalised bank Northern Rock, reported a loss of £1.8m in 2010. The company, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market and plans to set up a new bank specialising in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises and consumers, paid £1.5m in administrative expenses.

Qatar to buy 6% of Iberdrola

Iberdrola, the Spanish owner of the British utility company ScottishPower, has agreed to sell more than 6 per cent of its shares to an arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund for €2bn (£1.7bn). Iberdrola and Qatar will work together to develop new electricity-related business projects, mainly in emerging markets.

RWE still supports nuclear extension

The utility RWE said there was no reason to permanently scrap Germany’s nuclear extension deal in light of Japan’s reactor problems. Germany had originally been due to go nuclear free in 2021, but the government agreed last year to prolong the life of some plants. This deal has now been suspended for three months.