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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 18 March 2014


Morrisons worker arrested over leak

West Yorkshire Police have arrested a Morrisons employee after the payroll data, including bank account details, of 100,000 of the grocer’s staff was leaked to a local newspaper. Dalton Philips, the chief executive who last week sparked a price war attempting to halt Morrisons’ sliding sales, is leading the internal investigation.

Primark pays out $6m over collapse

Primark is to start paying $10m (£6m) compensation this week to victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed  more than 1,100 people in Bangladesh last April. The AB Foods-owned fashion chain will make the payments to the 580 workers, or their relatives, employed by its supplier, New Wave Bottoms.

Deflation haunts ECB rates decision

The European Central Bank is under more pressure to ward off a deflation threat with rate cuts after February inflation in the eurozone was revised down to 0.7 per cent from 0.8 per cent the month before. This is well below the ECB’s target of just under 2 per cent but also the lowest since October.

Bunzl benefits from Brazil boost

The distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl, which is listed in the FTSE 100 index, has significantly increased the size of its healthcare business in Brazil with the acquisition of Sao Paulo-based Lamedid. The deal builds on last year’s purchase of Labor Import in the same country last year.

Coffee chain creams revenue

Patisserie Valerie, the 137-strong café chain lining up a £150m stock-market float, had another strong year in 2013. Headline earnings rose 24 per cent to £12.3m on revenues up 21 per cent at £60m in the year to September. The business said  it expected further strong growth in 2014.

Crimea vote lifts Russian market

Russian shares snapped a four-day losing streak yesterday after Crimea’s overwhelming vote to leave Ukraine and join Russia buoyed investors. Moscow’s Micex index – which entered bear market territory last week, down more than 20 per cent from its peak – edged 3.7 per cent higher.

London prices lift record once again

Asking prices for London property set another record this month, jumping £11,217 to £552,530 as the capital’s less prestigious boroughs led the charge. The top four areas  have dropped 1.3 per cent although others such as Haringey have soared.

Franklin set to steer Coventry

Coventry Building Society said Colin Franklin will serve as interim chief executive from next month ahead of a permanent appointment being made. He has worked at the society for 35 years and been a member of its executive team since 2005. He will replace David Stewart.

Pimco boss takes to social media

Mohamed El-Erian, the former chief executive of Pimco, has taken to Twitter to express his views to the world. However, he declined to discuss reports that a clash with Pimco’s founder Bill Gross had led to his departure from the bond fund manager.

BT game for Goals link-up play

BT and Goals Soccer Centres have agreed a partnership  that will result in BT Sport  and BT Wi-fi being introduced to all 43 of Goals’ five-a-side centres, which are used by  more than 130,000 footballers every week.