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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 30 October 2013

Tata to cut up to 500 British jobs

Up to 500 jobs are to be axed from three Tata steel plants in the UK as the Indian-owned company reacts to long-term low demand, particularly from the construction industry. The main casualty will be Scunthorpe, where more than 300 jobs are at risk. The GMB union pointed out that 1,000 jobs were lost earlier this year.

Standard reports slowing growth

Standard Chartered, the London-based emerging markets bank, said its revenues grew more slowly in the past three months than they had in previous quarters. Tough trading in Korea and harder going in Singapore meant its profits for the year so far were up by a "low single-digit percentage" on the same time last year.

Megabus drives Stagecoach ahead

Stagecoach said its budget coach brand Megabus in the US was its fastest-growing division, as it reported its latest results. The business – which has routes across the US for fares starting at $1 – saw revenues jump by 23.7 per cent in the five months to October, thanks in part to the launch of networks in Texas and California.

IMF visits Cyprus to check on books

Foreign creditors have asked Cyprus to open its books again to ensure that the country is sticking to the terms of its bailout programme. Officials from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund met a delegation from the country yesterday, including Cyprus's central bank governor Panicos Demetriades.

Rates go up again to tackle inflation

India raised interest rates for the second time in two months as central bank governor Raghuram Rajan looked to tackle inflation despite concerns over slowing growth. The quarter-point rise to 7.75 per cent comes with inflation at 6.5 per cent, well above the Reserve Bank of India's target of 4 to 4.5 per cent.

Warning chops 3% off Regus shares

Shares in Regus fell 3 per cent after the serviced office group warned full-year results would be hit by extra spending as it ramps up expansion with up to 440 new centres opening this year. The company rents out meeting rooms and business lounges to firms including Google, BMW and GlaxoSmithKline.

Banks in yakuza link investigation

Three Japanese banks are to be investigated over possible transactions involving yakuza organised crime gangs. Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) will inspect Mitsubishi, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui – after Mizuho admitted knowledge of wrongdoing.

Yellow Pages firm revenue takes hit

Collapsed Yellow Pages publisher Hibu admitted its underlying earnings fell by a almost third to £107m in the six months to October. Yellow Pages advertisers reduced by 21 per cent to 377,000, Hibu said, whilst revenue per advertiser slipped 3 per cent to £802.

St Jude may cost firms up to £500m

Insurers are set to pay £300m to £500m to cover UK claims to damage causes by the St Jude's Day storm, keeping profits intact despite the human cost, broker Willis estimated yesterday. Europe was battered by hurricane winds on Monday.

Nokia optimistic after phones sale

Nokia predicted a more profitable future for its NSN Networks equipment business yesterday, raising hopes for growth in what will be the Finnish firms main business after its phones division is sold to Microsoft for $5.2bn in the new year.

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