The Business Matrix: Wednesday 14 March 2012


Click to follow

Lloyds cuts another 1,600 jobs

Lloyds Banking Group has announced a further 1,600 job cuts across several divisions as part of its plan to remove 15,000 posts over three years. Unions condemned the cuts and accused the bank of "making employees pay for the fault of others", referring to the regulator's report on HBOS. Up to 300 of the jobs are being moved to India.

Shares hit eight-month high

Shares rose for a fifth day in a row in London yesterday to an eight-month high, rising by 63.16 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 5,955.91, after the eurozone's finance ministers approved a second bailout for debt-stricken Greece. Yesterday's rise took the FTSE 100's increase since the start of the year to 6.9 per cent.

Weir drops Ludowici bid

Weir has walked away from a £260m takeover battle for the Australian mining equipment maker Ludowici after being repeatedly outbid by a Danish rival, FLSmidth. On 23 February, the UK maker of equipment for the minerals and power sectors submitted a binding offer to acquire all Ludowici's shares at A$10 a piece.

Small cap share slump hits Close

Private investors almost stopped punting on AIM and small-cap shares as the eurozone crisis raged between September and December, making a dent in profits at the leading market maker in the sector, Winterflood, which is owned by Close Brothers. Winterflood's contribution to Close's first-half profit fell from £25m to £8.4m.

Clampdown on Facebook traders

The Securities and Exchange Commission in the US is to assert its authority over private company share trading, with actions against two firms that facilitated investment in Facebook and other start-ups. SharesPost, which runs a stock market for private firm shares trading, should have registered as a broker-dealer.

Vekselberg leaves Rusal

The Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg has quit the world's largest aluminium producer Rusal as chairman, saying the heavily indebted company was in deep crisis. His exit widens a rift with the controlling shareholder, rival oligarch Oleg Deripaska, over merging Rusal with the nickel giant Norilsk Nickel.

Jaguar Land Rover jobs boost

Jaguar Land Rover is to create 1,000 jobs at its factory on Merseyside to support "significant demand" for some of its models, especially from overseas. The new jobs will take the workforce at Halewood to almost 4,500, treble the number employed there three years ago.

IG Group posts rise in revenues

IG Group, the world's largest spread betting company, reported a 1.5 per cent rise in third-quarter revenues to £75m, helped by an increase in the number of its clients. It added that business levels had picked up in March after falling at the start of the year.

Standard Life's UK profits plunge

Standard Life said UK profits dropped 6 per cent last year as economic uncertainty hit confidence. The decline to £220m was offset by cost cuts and a strong result in Canada as the pensions and life firm posted a 28 per cent rise in full-year profits to £544m.

Inchcape warns over car sales

The motor dealership Inchcape has warned car sales will continue to decline in the UK this year amid modest economic growth and higher unemployment. UK sales fell 3.1 per cent in 2011, but overall sales rose 7 per cent, driven by Asia-Pacific operations.