The Business Matrix: Tuesday 17 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Protests over Shell in Arctic

Greenpeace activists shut down more than half of Shell's 118 forecourts in London and Edinburgh yesterday in protest at the company's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic in coming weeks. The protestors closed down more than 73 of the oil giant's forecourts in a day of action that resulted in at least 25 arrests.

More big firms are collapsing

More than 1, 600 businesses collapsed into insolvency last month, a small improvement on May's figures but since most were large firm, experts warned the supply chain to SMEs could be hit.

The most-improved survival rates were SMEs with 51 to 100 employees, whilst the biggest firms suffered more failures in the month.

Arden sees wages and profits sliding

Stockbrokers' basic pay is falling for the first time in decades, the chief executive of institutional broker Arden Partners said yesterday. "There is wage deflation in broking for the first time in my 26 years in the industry," said Jonathan Keeling. "Good people are knocking on our door."

Smiths raises £49m with sale

The technology group Smiths has sold its minority stake in Florida-based biometric identification company Cross Match Technologies for up to $77m (£49m) to Francisco Partners, a private equity firm. The move by Smiths is part of a drive to simplify its portfolio.

Logica heading for £1.7bn takeover

Shareholders of IT services firm Logica, whose clients include Shell, BT and BAE Systems, have backed a £1.7bn takeover offer by Canadian rival CGI. The former FTSE 100 company employs 5,500 of its 41,000 global workforce in the UK.

Morgan Stanley chief dies at 79

Barton Biggs, the former Morgan Stanley chief strategist who predicted the internet bubble would burst a year before it did, has died, aged 79. Mr Biggs was associated with the Wall Street bank for nearly four decades, founding the research department befored creating Morgan Stanley Investment Management, which he chaired til 2003.

Citigroup counts credit crisis cost

The legacy of the credit crisis continues to weigh heavily on Citigroup, the US banking giant's latest quarterly results showed.

Profits fell 12 per cent to $2.95bn (£1.88bn) because of widening losses on the portfolio of crisis-era assets. The remainder of the business beat analysts' expectations.

Room costs double for Games

The cost of a hotel room in London over the Olympics is now more than double what it was last year. That's the conclusion of research by industry website TravelClick, which puts the average daily rate across the capital at £193.30 over the two weeks of the Games.

New jobs vow at 99p Stores

99p Stores, the single-price retailer, has vowed to create 3,000 new jobs over the next two years after it delivered an uplift in annual profits.

Two million customers now shop at its 194 stores a week, and the retailer posted a 14 per cent leap in profit to £7.2m.

TNT shares hit by inquiry delay

Shares in Dutch delivery service TNT Express fell yesterday after it emerged a European Commission inquiry into UPS's proposed £3bn takeover will take longer than previously expected. The deal is now likely to completed in the fourth quarter.