The Business Matrix: Tuesday 27 August 2013


Tradesmen ‘work the longest hours’

Britain’s tradesmen work longer than bankers, as holidays are sacrificed and weekends  ignored in a bid to squeeze more jobs in. The average tradesman works between 41 and 50 hours a week, more than bankers, who are at their desk for an average of 40.9 hours; doctors, on 38.4 hours;  barristers and judges, 36 hours; and accountants, 35.6 hours, a survey by Screwfix  has found.

Telefonica’s bid gets Slim chance

Telefonica, the Spanish mobile giant that owns O2, yesterday raised its bid for Germany’s  E-Plus and won the backing of billionaire Carlos Slim, who could have blocked the deal.
Telefonica offered to pay Holland’s KPN €8.55bn (£7.34bn) for E-Plus an increase on the €8.1bn it had offered in July. Mr Slim’s America Movil, the  largest single shareholder in KPN with a 30 per cent stake, said it would vote in favour.

China sees signs of stabler growth

China’s government yesterday tried to reassure companies and its public about its economy’s health, saying growth is stabilising after a lengthy decline, and should hit the official target of 7.5 percent for the year. “There are growing signs of stabilisation and also of  further growth,” said a spokesman, Sheng Laiyun, at a news  briefing. “We are confident we can hit our full-year  growth target.”

Cancer drugs boost for Astra

UK drugs giant AstraZeneca took a further step to bolster its pipeline of new cancer drugs yesterday by agreeing to acquire privately held US biotech company Amplimmune for up to $500m (£321m). Amplimmune specialises in developing treatments designed to help the immune system fight cancer. The purchase will give  AstraZeneca access to a number of compounds in  pre-clinical development.