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

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

The Business Matrix: Tuesday 28 January 2014

Strikes possible at Ford factories

Thousands of Ford car workers at UK sites including Dagenham and Halewood are to be balloted on strike action in a row over job security and pensions. Unite said workers were demanding commitments on job security in line with their counterparts in other EU countries, as well as improvements in their pension scheme.

McColl’s plans £225m flotation

The newsagent and convenience-store chain McColl’s, with 1,276 sites, has revealed it plans to list on the stock market by the end of February in a flotation that would value the company at around £225m. The decision leaves its founder and chief executive, James Lancaster, in line for a major windfall.

Hovis stake sold to US equity firm

Premier Foods has sold a controlling stake in Hovis to a US private-equity firm for £30m. Gores Group will take a 51 per cent stake in the 123-year-old bread brand. Premier and Gores said they will invest up to £200m in Hovis over the next five years. Premier said it would invest the £28m in its Mr Kipling snack slices.

Morale recovers among businesses

German business morale climbed in January to its highest level since July 2011, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is on track for a strong start to 2014 after growing only modestly last year. The Ifo think-tank’s business-climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, rose for a third straight month.

National trade deficit hits £68bn

Japan’s trade deficit has hit an all-time high of ¥11.5trn (£68bn) as imports were swollen by higher energy prices and a weak yen. The country’s nuclear shutdown since the 2011 tsunami, which triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima plant, has increased Japan’s reliance on energy imports.

Caterpillar profits crawl upwards

Caterpillar reported “some signs of improvement in the world economy” as it posted quarterly profits ahead of expectations yesterday. The US mining and construction equipment giant announced profits of $1bn (£603m) for the fourth quarter, up from $697m a year ago, following cost cutting.

Arm chairman leaves position

City veteran Sir John Buchanan is stepping down as chairman  of microchip-maker Arm Holdings for medical reasons. Arm, which designs microchips used in Apple and Samsung smartphones, said Mr Buchanan would be replaced by Stuart Chambers, chairman of Rexam.

Sony debt given ‘junk’ status

The Japanese consumer electronics firm Sony had its debt downgraded to junk status by credit rating agency Moody’s. The shift from Ba1 to Baa3 could it make it more expensive for Sony to borrow. Moody’s said it was concerned about Sony’s TV and PC businesses.

Shopping around pushes cost down

The cost of car insurance has dropped 9 per cent in the past year as more customers shop around and claims fell. A quarterly index by the ABI shows the average premium on comprehensive policies in the final quarter of 2013 was £370.

Jobless figures reach record high

French jobless claims rose by 10,200 in December to a new record. The number of people registered as out of work reached 3,303,200 last month - the largest total since records began. The jobless rate is nearly 11 per cent.

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future