The Business Matrix: Tuesday 27 May 2014


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The Independent Online

Optimism climbs in services sector

Hotels, restaurants and other service-sector companies reliant on the consumer saw a solid rise in activity in the past quarter, according to the CBI’s quarterly survey. Companies have been taking on staff and optimism is rising at the fastest rate since the survey began in 1998. Business and professional services firms also grew.

£2.2m pours in at Fergie’s wine sale

Part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s wine collection went on auction and raised HK£29.5m (£2.2m) as wine lovers and Manchester United fans went into a bidding frenzy at Christie’s. Many of the bottles bore Sir Alex’s signature or were sold along with memorabilia t-shirts. A six-litre methuselah bottle of Romanee-Conti 1997 fetched HK$1.2m.

Recovery lifts off business jets

Business aircraft are taking to the skies again as many economies around the world improve, but a surplus of jets delivered just before the recession means the equivalent of 2,750 jets remain parked in hangars, a survey has shown. An excess of jets is depressing prices for planes, and hurting manufacturers like Gulfstream.

Watchdog decides on Vodafone deal

European Union antitrust regulators will decide by 2 July whether to approve British telecoms group Vodafone’s €7.2bn (£5.8bn) bid for Spanish cable operator Ono, the European Commission said yesterday. Vodafone announced the proposed takeover in March to reinforce it against market leader Telefonica.

Fall in jobless rate less than estimate

Ireland’s unemployment rate fell less than expected in the first quarter, dropping only slightly to 12 per cent, in another blow to the government after bruising local elections at the weekend. Unemployment eased back from 12.2 per cent the previous quarter, but analysts predicted it at 11.8 per cent.

Ukraine election causes price drop

The price of oil fell as speculators guessed the election in Ukraine could stabilise the country’s political tensions with Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter. Brent crude fell 30 cents to $110.24 a barrel in London following the billionaire Petro Poroshenko’s victory in the presidential poll.

Rosneft grows Venezuela links

Russia has extended its moves to win friends outside the US and Europe in a $2bn deal with Venezuela’s state oil producer PDVSA. Russia’s Rosneft will pay for oil and fuel from the country which is desperate for funds amid domestic shortages and the world’s fastest inflation.

Cypriot savers challenge ECB

Cyprus bank depositors sued the European Central Bank and the European Commission over last year’s rescue package for the crisis-hit Mediterranean nation which saw savings stripped from their accounts. They filed four lawsuits demanding compensation.

Rolls-Royce back to smaller craft

Rolls-Royce is aiming to return to making aero engines for mid-sized aircraft, having spent the last decade focusing on the giant Dreamliner and A380s.  It will gear up to sell into narrow-bodied 150- to 192-seaters, investors were told.

Landlords oppose purchases for HS2

Major landlords including Land Securities, Derwent London and Segro have lodged objections to the HS2 rail project between London and Birmingham. They are complaining about compulsory purchase orders on their sites.