The Business Matrix: Wednesday 25 June 2014


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The Independent Online

San Francisco bans parking app

The makers of an app that lets drivers sell public parking spaces as they leave have become the latest tech company to anger regulators. Rome-based Monkey Parking has been served a cease-and-desist order by San Francisco, which claims the service violates local law banning the sale or rental of public property.

HSBC slims private banking

HSBC is halving the number of countries its private bank serves after selling a £7bn portfolio of Swiss banking assets to Liechtenstein’s biggest bank, LGT. The assets were held by clients in some 70 countries, including in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America that HSBC has deemed to be not important.

Land Secs sells Sunderland mall

Walkie-talkie developer Land Securities has slimmed down its portfolio by selling a shopping mall in Sunderland for £152m. The Bridges is 550,000sq ft  and is anchored by Debenhams with another 100 retailers.  Land Securities bought the centre in 1993 and has been  sold to property clients of  AEW Europe.

Sweeteners sour Tate & Lyle profit

Competition in the sweeteners industry has hit Tate & Lyle, the food giant has admitted, as it posted a fall in annual profits. The maker of Splenda said adjusted operating profit before tax for the year to March was £322m, down 2 per cent, while sales were off 3 per cent to £3.15bn. The company has been hit by a cold winter in the US.

Upbeat Petrofac shrugs off Iraq

The oil services group Petrofac has insisted that turmoil in Iraq had not yet had an impact on its operations as the company’s backlog of contracts climbed to a record $20.1bn (£11.8bn). The FTSE-100 giant said demand in its onshore engineering and construction units had grown in Oman, Kuwait and Algeria.

Smith raises £193m for fund

Terry Smith, fund manager and Tullett Prebon boss, has raised £193m for his latest equity fund based on emerging markets. Fundsmith Emerging Equities Fund’s shares start trading on the stock market today. He said: “I am delighted that so many existing and new customers have supported the offer.”

Germany faces a slowdown

Business sentiment in Germany has fallen further than expected, signalling Europe’s largest economy is taking a breather and companies are concerned about the crises in Ukraine and Iraq. The Ifo think-tank’s business climate index fell during the last month.

Glaxo in rules breach in Canada

A Canadian factory run by GlaxoSmithKline, the British drugs giant, violated quality requirements while making the flu vaccine Flulaval, the US Food and Drug Administration said. The regulator claimed GSK’s Quebec plant didn’t do enough to prevent contamination.

Domino Printing reports profits rise

Domino Printing has reported a 10 per cent rise in first-half profits to £278.5m. The company, which makes printers to stamp barcodes and expiry dates on food items, warned of pricing pressures in Asia and other developing markets.

More jobs to go at BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton has again taken an axe to the world’s biggest mining company, with 3,000 jobs set to go in the iron ore division; 500 jobs were reportedly cut in the past month after a review by McKinsey. Iron ore prices have slumped.