The Business Matrix: Wednesday 6 June 2012


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The Independent Online

Tyrie says Greek exit almost a cert

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, yesterday said a Greek exit from the Eurozone was all but certain. He outlined three possible outcomes to the Eurozone crisis: deep-seated reform to restore competitiveness to countries such as Greece; permanent transfer payments from higher to lower productivity countries, or the exit of struggling countries.

Mercury Pharma seeks a buyer

Private-equity groups Montagu and Bridgepoint are expected to be sounded out as potential buyers for a £350m drugmaking company within days. Investment bank Jefferies is due to send out information on Mercury Pharma, which produces arthritis and cardiovascular medicines, this week or next. Private-equity owner Hg Capital bought the company in 2009.

Private sector hits a three-year low

The Eurozone private sector contracted again in May, with activity levels at their lowest level for almost three years, according to the Markit Eurozone composite purchasing managers' index (PMI). The index fell to 46 in May from 46.7 in April, with any figure below 50 indicating a contraction. German output fell for the first time in six months, while declines in Spain and France accelerated.

Bills climb despite non-foods drop

Prices of non-food items dipped by 0.1 per cent in May, compared with the year before, as a result of price-cutting on clothing, footwear and electrical goods, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium. Meanwhile, food prices last month were 4.3 per cent ahead of their level a year earlier. Overall, prices in May were 1.5 per cent higher this year than last.