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

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

The Business Matrix: Wednesday 11 December 2013

End of the road for VW Kombi vans

Engineers at VW's plant in Brazil are putting the finishing touches to the last ever Kombi camper vans to be built in the world. The plant near Sao Paulo was the final factory to make the van, of which 10 millon have been sold since it was first produced in the 1950s as the Type 2 Transporter, following the Type 1 Beetle.

Ward quits Lloyd's and bats for Brit

Richard Ward, the outgoing boss of Lloyd's of London, has landed a new job as chairman of England cricket team sponsor Brit Insurance. Ward, who is leaving at the end of the month, will start the role in February. He was lauded for steering Lloyd's through the financial crisis, having taken up the position in April 2006.

Big harvests will lower food prices

Food prices look set to fall after data suggested Canadian and Australian wheat harvests were up on last year. That means warehouses will be fuller when northern hemisphere farmers harvest 2014 crops. America said global prices next June would average $5.65-$7.15 a bushel compared with $6.70-$7.30 estimated last month.

Lending soars to first-time buyers

Banks and building societies lent £9.9bn to first-time buyers between July and September – the highest amount since the end of 2007 and 37% above a year earlier, according to the Bank of England. Lending for buy-to-let saw an even sharper rise of 42% to £5.9bn, the highest quarterly amount since the second quarter of 2008.

Santander invests in Chinese bank

Santander, Spain's largest bank, is to buy HSBC's 8 per cent stake in Bank of Shanghai, just as many international rivals are beginning to sell out of China. Santander, which already has a consumer finance venture in China, said the deal also included a co-operation agreement, taking the value of its investment to $647m.

Dividend boost for investors

The City thinks Prudential could ramp up its dividend after the insurance giant set an ambitious target to generate £10bn in "surplus capital" over the next four years. Analysts at Panmure Gordon expect "significant returns" for shareholders, with dividends rising to 98p a share from a forecast 32.5p for 2014.

Lloyds' £105m from St James's

Lloyds Banking Group has completed its exit from wealth manager St James's Place selling its final 21% stake for £680m. Lloyds said it made a profit of £105m on the deal and that the cash would increase its key core tier 1 capital ratio balance sheet measure by 0.24%.

'Shadow banking' curbs ruled out

The European Commission has ruled out bringing in hasty curbs on so-called "shadow banking" off balance-sheet investing, in case it crimps finance for the economy. Patrick Pearson of the EC signalled a softening in tone among regulators.

House arrest for head of Uralkali

The head of Russian potash firm Uralkali, extradited to Moscow from Belarus, was released from jail and put under house arrest. Vladislav Baumgertner was detained in Minsk after Uralkali quit its venture with Belarus's state-run producer.

Two years of recession to end

Italy looks set to exit two years of recession after its economy managed to flatline between July and September. The quarter of stagnation came as industrial production for October also looked better, signalling GDP could rise soon.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'