The Business Matrix: Tuesday 6 May 2014


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Whisky brand set for £400m sale

Scottish whisky maker Whyte & Mackay is set to fall into the hands of Filipino billionaire Andrew Tan in a deal said to be worth £400m. Its current owner, Guinness-to-Smirnoff drinks giant Diageo, is selling the business to allay competition concerns after taking a controlling stake in W&M’s Indian parent United Spirits in 2012. A deal would further the expansion plans of Tan’s Manila-based Emperador business.

CBI survey shows huge positivity

Swelling order books have put the UK’s smaller manufacturing firms in their most optimistic mood for 25 years, according to the CBI’s latest quarter snapshot. Its latest survey covering 366 companies, showed sentiment at its highest since 1988 as domestic orders jumped in the quarter to April and export orders bounced back from a pre-Christmas lull. Firms also expect to increase hiring in the coming quarter, the CBI said.

Barclays to unveil plan for ‘bad bank’

Barclays boss Antony Jenkins presents first-quarter results today after a hammering over pay at last month’s annual meeting. The bank, which is followed this week by results from HSBC and Standard Chartered, will also unveil a “bad bank” for non-core investment banking assets in Thursday’s strategic review.

King’s Sainsbury’s swansong at last

Wednesday sees Sainsbury’s last set of results under chief executive Justin King, who is stepping down after more than a decade in charge. Pre-tax profits should improve 3.5 per cent to £782m but King is likely to have to set out the grocer’s response to the price wars gripping the sector.

Hester updates on RSA turnaround

Former RBS boss Stephen Hester will present a trading update on his latest turnaround job, troubled insurer RSA Insurance, on Thursday. The firm has just raised £300m from selloffs as well as £750m from shareholders following heavy floods and the discovery of accounting irregularities last year.

Man Group to show recovery

Investors will be looking for more signs of recovery from hedge fund giant Man Group’s first quarter update on Friday. Clients poured $700m into its coffers in the final quarter of last year – its second consecutive quarter of growth after two years of outflows. The $1.6bn GLG unit should also improve.