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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 4 June 2013


Profits ‘will soar at European airlines’

Europe’s airlines are expected to double their profits this year, while carriers around the world will together post profits of  $12.7bn (£8.3bn) – more than  $2bn higher than previously expected, the International Air Transport Association predicted yesterday. The industry body upgraded its global profits outlook from $10.6bn.

SAC Capital sees redemptions rise

The hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors is bracing for about $3.5bn in redemptions from outside investors as a probe into insider trading at his $15bn fund intensifies, the Wall Street Journal reported. Yesterday was the deadline for investors to submit second-quarter redemption notices.

GM Pharma sees losses widen

GW Pharmaceuticals followed its flotation last month by posting widening net loss in its second quarter, although its revenue increased. Its net loss came in a £1.92m, which represented a deterioration on its £1.67m a share last year. The firm raised proceeds before expenses of US$30.4m (£19.5m) on the US Nasdaq last month.

German boost for Spanish firms

Germany is setting up a loan programme for struggling small and medium-sized firms in Spain to boost growth in the crisis-hit southern European economy. Germany’s state-owned KfW bank will provide about €1bn at low interest rates to its Spanish counterpart. The move is aimed at easing a credit crunch afflicting much of southern Europe.

ECB boss Draghi defends buy-up

The head of the European Central Bank yesterday defended plans to buy bonds from heavily indebted countries, saying the move had helped to defuse fears that the eurozone would break up. Mario Draghi’s remarks come ahead of a significant challenge against the policy in the German courts later this month.

Shares plunge as trials are halted

Shares in Oxford BioMedica plunged by 28 per cent yesterday as the pharmaceuticals company put some of its trials on hold after discovering “potential impurities” in one of its raw materials. The gene-based pharmaceuticals specialist said the paused trials were for RetinoStat, a treatment for eye disease.

Melrose seeks buyers for units

The engineering turnaround specialist Melrose said yesterday it was looking for offers for its Crosby and Acco businesses, with JP Morgan Cazenove seeking bidders. The two businesses, which make lifting gear, could fetch £600m. Melrose said it is part of purchasing good firms.

Virgin boss moves to Guardian group

The departing chief executive of Virgin Media, Neil Berkett, has been named chairman of Guardian Media Group, sending a powerful signal that its loss-making flagship newspaper could soon charge for access to its website. The New Zealand-born Mr Berkett spent six years at Virgin.

ENRC gives suitors more time for bid

The three founders of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation plotting to take the Kazakh miner private have been given a three-week extension to make a submit a fully-blown takeover bid. The Takeover Panel has given them until 24 June.

Primark launches clothing on Asos

The discount fashion giant Primark has finally joined the internet revolution after its products were offered for sale on the Asos website yesterday. Primark was one of the last big fashion retailers not to sell clothing online.