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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 9 April 2013

Time for austerity is over, warns Lew

European countries should ease off their austerity measures and adopt more growth-friendly policies, the new US Treasury Secretary warned yesterday. Jack Lew, who replaced Tim Geithner in February, started his first official trip to Europe by meeting Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU Commission's President, in Brussels.

Dean hatches plan to sell egg supplier

Britain's biggest supplier of eggs, Noble Foods, is being primed for sale at a likely price of £400m, according to reports. Its chairman Peter Dean, a Conservative Party donor, and co-founder Michael Kent are set to open talks with private equity bidders and overseas rivals about selling a large stake in the Hertfordshire-based business.

BT boss blasts 'copper luddites'

The head of BT has rejected claims that it is being unfairly funded by the Government to roll out fibre-optic broadband cables across the country. Ian Livingston said critics who were trying to hold the UK back from fibre were "copper luddites". BT is spending £2.5bn to connect two-thirds of the UK to the new network by the end of 2014.

Estate fund hopes to raise £50m

A property fund plans to tap the City for more than £50m to take advantage of demand for flats from wealthy Chinese students in London. GCP Student Living plans a stock-market flotation next month to raise to exploit the 200,000-bed shortfall for overseas students in the capital and plans to list as a real-estate investment trust.

Huawei predicts booming sales

China's Huawei Technologies, the second-biggest maker of telecoms equipment, is aiming for annual sales growth of 10 per cent over the next five years, lifted by cloud computing and smartphone sales. Its net profit rose 32 per cent last year to 15.4 billion yuan (£1.6bn), on revenues up 8 per cent.

Globo rings up a profits rise of 43%

Globo, the fast-growing mobile software specialist, cheered investors by announcing a 43 per cent rise in full-year profits. The London-listed company said its profit before tax for 2012 came in at €17.2m thanks to booming sales of its mobile applications and a divestment of its Greek business.

Lack of space 'is a worry in London'

London's commercial property sector continued to boom in the first three months of the year but is being restrained by a lack of buildings coming on to the market. According to the agency Cushman & Wakefield, deals worth £2.75bn were sealed in the first quarter.

Cyprus fiasco hits euro confidence

The botched Cyprus bailout has hammered the confidence of investors throughout the eurozone, a poll shows. The Sentix research institute said its index fell to minus 17.3 in April, down from minus 10.6 in the previous month, which was much worse than anticipated.

Zambia sales ban hits Gemfields

Shares in the AIM-listed gemstone miner Gemfields tumbled yesterday after it warned that new rules being introduced in Zambia could decimate sales. The company said it could be hurt by a possible ban on selling stones outside the country.

Mamut pockets $12m dividend

Alexander Mamut, the Russian investor behind the books chain Waterstones, will see his bank balance jump by $12m (£7.8m) after the mining group Polymetal raised its final dividend from 20 cents to 31 cents. Its profits rose by 38 per cent to $401m.

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