The Business Matrix: Tuesday 20 September 2011

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Wall Street’s bull gets protection

Wall Street’s bull statue, the New York Stock Exchange and other icons of American capitalism are being protected by police amid “Occupy Wall Street” protests. The movement, which began on Saturday, appeared to have dwindled as bankers returned to work yesterday, but many were still greeted by chants of “We got sold out, they got bailed out”.

Confidence in pensions at a low

Public confidence in pensions has hit a record low, says the National Association of Pension Funds. Six out of 10 people are not confident that their pension will give them enough money to live on in retirement, while a third who think it will. Joanne Segars, of the NAPF, said: “Politicians have to boost confidence in pensions, or people will opt out.”

Dairy Crest to pay farmers more

A leading supplier of supermarket milk is to pay dairy farmers more – a move signalling higher prices for shoppers. Dairy Crest, which supplies Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, will pay its farmers an additional 1.85p a litre from next month. The increase, of nearly 7 per cent, is to help them cover diesel and commodity costs.

DS Smith sells mill to Asia File

DS Smith said its paper business has agreed the sale of its Higher Kings Mill paper mill at Cullompton, Devon to Asia File Corporation in a £4.6m deal. The operation is a leading European producer of filing and educational papers, producing 34,000 tons of paper a year. DS Smith is also shutting its larger Hollins mill in Lancashire.

Airbus expects $3.5trn uplift

Airbus is expecting to see demand for some 27,800 new aircraft, worth $3.5 trillion (£2.2trn), to cater for air travel growth around the world over the next 20 years, the European plane maker said yesterday. By 2030, the global passenger plane fleet will more than double to 31,500, Airbus said.

Taylor Wimpey sees healthy signs

Taylor Wimpey said trading over the past few weeks offered “encouraging signs” for the normal seasonal pick up in sales. In a trading update alongside a briefing with analysts, the housebuilder said that it remained on course to deliver a double-digit operating margin in the UK in 2012.

Lloyds loses finance director

The finance boss who helped steer Lloyds Banking Group through the aftermath of its HBOS acquisition in 2008 has announced plans to quit the firm. Tim Tookey, who joined Lloyds from Prudential in 2006 and became finance director two years later, will leave the bank in February to join Friends Life.

Lagrange to chair Man Asia

Man Group has appointed star manager Pierre Lagrange to the new role of chairman of Man Asia, as the world’s largest listed hedge fund manager seeks to boost its presence in the region. Mr Lagrange, who will spend one week a month in Asia, will also continue to manage GLG portfolios out of London.

Royal Mail seeks Christmas staff

Royal Mail is to recruit 18,000 temporary workers to help handle the huge Christmas postbag of around 2 billion items. The jobs will be based in mail and distribution centres across the UK. More than 70,000 people applied last year for a similar number of Christmas jobs.

Amazon recruits for new centre

Amazon has started recruiting staff for its new delivery centre in Dunfermline, Scotland. The online retailing giant unveiled plans for the 1 million sq ft centre – which will be its biggest in the UK – at the start of the year. It is expected to employ 750 permanent staff and up to 1,500 temporary staff at peak periods.