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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 19 December 2012

H&M sales 'not as bad as feared'

H&M yesterday posted some encouraging news for the high street, with the Swedish fashion giant revealing trading last month had not been as bad as feared. The group, which is the second-largest clothing retailer in the world, said like-for-like sales had fallen 1 per cent in November, better than analysts were expecting.

Santander fully absorbs Banesto

Spain's largest bank, Santander, is taking full ownership of its 90 per cent-owned subsidiary Banesto, the latest move in a round of consolidation among the country's lenders. The absorption will cost Santander about €218m (£177m). It will pay a 25 per cent premium to Banesto's closing price on the Madrid stock exchange on Friday.

MoD set for £1bn in radio sell-off

The Ministry of Defence is to raise as much as £1bn with a sell-off of some of the radio spectrum it owns, in a move which should help the public finances, as well as boost the introduction of 4G mobile services. Although about half of the spectrum is used for military purposes, telecoms suppliers are pressing to buy more.

Bupa in £244m dentistry deal

The private healthcare group Bupa has agreed to take over Australia and New Zealand's largest dentistry chain for £244m. Dental Corporation runs 190 clinics in the two countries and employs more than 560 dentists. The move comes after Bupa's announcement in July that it would pump millions into dentistry.

Kingsnorth power station closes

Britain's 1,940 megawatt Kings- north coal-fired power station ceased commercial operations on Monday, and decommissioning work will be completed by the end of March 2013, operator E.ON said.The power station, has closed because of the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive legislation.

Yen plunges after landslide victory

The yen plunged yesterday as traders bet on a huge expansion in money printing from Japan's central bank in the wake of a landslide election victory for the Liberal Democratic Party. The triumph of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who is committed to aggressive monetary easing, sent the dollar to ¥84.48.

State bailout for Italian bank

The European Commission has given its preliminary approval to a €3.9bn ($5.1bn) state bailout for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, ending months of uncertainty for Italy's third-biggest lender. The approval is conditional on the bank restructuring.

Probe into CF Arch Cru funds

Financial advisers must contact thousands of people who bought into two Guernsey funds to see if they are eligible for compensation after mis-selling. The Financial Services Authority said up to 800 advisers who recommended the two CF Arch Cru funds should contact clients.

Centamin set to restart mine work

Egypt-focused Centamin said it expected operations at its mine to restart soon, helping the stock recover losses from last week when troubles with government officials disrupted its business. Shares in Centamin jumped 26 per cent to 43.5 pence.

Deutsche Bank names Lambert

Deutsche Bank has named Richard Lambert, the former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member, as an adviser, helping the bank to adapt to regulatory changes and guidance on financial markets that have an impact on clients.

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