Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

The Business Matrix: Tuesday 18 October 2011

Warm weather hits H&M sales

The Swedish budget fashion group Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, with 2,363 stores in 41 countries, reported a 7 per cent drop in underlying sales in September. It said its autumn collections had been well received but trading had been hit by unseasonably warm weather in Europe.

IAG and Etihad eye up Aer Lingus

British Airway’s parent company IAG and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways have had talks with the Irish Government about buying its 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus. The government is looking to sell its stake as part of a privatisation drive required under its EU/IMF bailout. Both airlines are also interested in BMI, which Lufthansa is looking to sell.

Travelzest given more time for bid

Tour operator Travelzest, which owns nudist firm Peng Travel as well as luxury brands such as Best of Morocco, has requested more time to hold takeover talks with Red Label Vacations. Red Label had until 5pm on Monday to declare whether it wanted to make an offer, but has been granted an extension until 14 November by the Takeover Panel.

Pyrrho concerned over MWB deal

Pyrrho Investments, the largest shareholder of the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin hotel chains operator MWB, said it was concerned about the firm’s “expensive” refinancing deal, and was likely to vote against it at today’s extraordinary meeting. Last month, MWB agreed with its lenders to extend a major part of its £283m facility to end-2014.

New bank aims to lend to SMEs

A new savings and lending bank launched yesterday with the aim of making it easier for small firms to borrow cash. Shawbrook Bank, backed by RBS Equity Finance, aims to lend more than £250m over the next 12 months. It will operate through brokers and financial advisers rather than a branch network.

iPhone 4S sells 4 million in 3 days

Apple has sold four million of its new iPhone 4S smartphones in its first three days on the market, helped by availability in more countries and on more networks around the world. The device may challenge Microsoft’s Kinect games system, which sold eight million in 60 days, as the fastest-selling gadget of all time.

Aluminium assets go under hammer

Rio Tinto has kicked off the £5bn restructuring of its aluminium business, which could see its UK smelter and power station at Lynemouth in Northumberland sold or closed. Rio admitted the potential options for the site included closure. The business was formed when it bought Alcan for £24bn in 2007.

Evraz seeks London listing

The Russian steel-maker Evraz, part-owned by Chelsea football club’s owner Roman Abramovich, has become the latest in a wave of Russian miners to seek a higher profile via a London stock market listing. Evraz, which could join the FTSE 100, said the move would give better access to capital markets.

Amec wins £150m contract for Clair

Amec has won a £150m engineering and project management contract as part of an existing tie-up with the oil giant BP. The work, part of the second phase of the Clair oil field, off the west coast of the Shetland Islands, was awarded by BP and its partners in the field, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron.

Halliburton profit soars

Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oilfield services company, posted higher-than-expected quarterly profits, but its stock fell because of the less exuberant outlook of its management. Halliburton’s profits surge in the past year has been driven by a boom in extracting oil and gas from US shale rock.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little