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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 19 February 2013


Five-day airline strike hits Spain

Staff at Iberia airline started a five-day strike yesterday, which is expected to disrupt thousands of flights. The action started with 236 cancellations yesterday, at the beginning of half-term for many Britons. The strikes are set to cause an estimated 1,200 flight cancellations and inconvenience for around 70,000 passengers.

Vodafone and BAE in security deal

Defence giant BAE has announced a five-year tie-up with Vodafone that will see the duo work on cyber-security products. The FTSE 100 firms said they would first make a cloud-based mobile security product to protect computers, phones and tablets against malicious attacks. It will be aimed first at Vodafone's top business customers.

Calls for oil price transparency

Oil pricing agency Platts has proposed changes to the way it assesses the Brent oil market following calls for more transparency. The benchmark is based on the dwindling supply of four North Sea crude grades, which critics say makes it prone to manipulation and can lead to higher oil prices. Platts plans to apply quality premiums from June.

WH Ireland buys wealth manager

City stockbroker WH Ireland has acquired a wealth management business from rival Tenebris Realisations. WH Ireland paid £25,000 for Tenebris' private client list, which has £270m of assets under management. Tenbris was formerly part of troubled London broker Seymour Pierce, which went into administration earlier this month.

Greencore rises after horse check

Irish food group Greencore's shares galloped ahead yesterday after it said that tests had found no other traces of horse meat in products at its facilities. Shares in Greencore tumbled by more than 12 per cent last week to 92.5p after small traces of horse DNA were identified in Asda's own-brand beef bolognese sauce.

City bonuses face capping in Britain

The Franco-German axis has reared its head again, and Britain stands almost alone in trying to resist draconian rules on bankers's bonuses about to be put before the European Parliament. Barring a last-minute shock, the law will make the European Union the hardest place in the world to make huge bonuses.

850,000 late to file returns

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has issued 850,000 penalties to taxpayers who missed the January deadline to file self-assessment returns, according to Sky News. Anyone who had to file a return covering 2011-12 but failed to do so must pay £100 – an £85m windfall for HMRC.

BT could buy ESPN TV rights

Teleco giant BT could be interested in buying some of the football rights belonging to ESPN amid speculation that Disney-owned sports broadcaster could be ready to reduce its involvement in Britain. ESPN's rights include the Bundesliga in Germany and FA Cup in England.

Free wi-fi in Barlcays branches

Barclays claims to be the first UK high street bank to offer free wi-fi for its customers in its branches. The banking giant has signed a deal with BT to make it easier for its customers by "providing more opportunities for them to access the internet".

Apple tops global brand rankings

Apple pipped rival Samsung in a ranking of most valuable brands. Marketing group Brand Finance reckons Apple is worth $87.3bn (£56.4bn), ahead of Samsung on $58.8bn (£38bn). Google is in third, Microsoft fourth and Wal-Mart fifth.