The Business Matrix: Wednesday 8 April 2015


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The Independent Online

Australia chases mining giants

Australia is pursuing miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for shifting billions of dollars in iron ore profits through marketing hubs in Singapore that pay almost no tax, according to the Australian Financial Review. The Australian Taxation Office is chasing multibillion-dollar claims against each company. the newspaper said.

Mace to oversee Camden revamp

Teddy Sagi, Camden Market’s new Israeli billionaire owner, has appointed Mace as project manager to oversee the redevelopment of Camden Lock Village, with 170 homes as well as shops and offices in the north London district. His firm Market Tech expects to complete building by the end of 2017.

Flybe ‘on verge of breaking even’

Regional carrier Flybe has forecast that it will break even in the year ending 31 March, one year into a three-year turnaround programme. Passenger numbers rose 15 per cent in the fourth quarter. During the year it exited the loss-making joint venture with Finnair. Flybe shares were 0.25p higher at 57.75p.

Crown backing for Rushden Lakes

The Crown Estate, which runs the Queen’s land and property empire, has agreed to forward fund the £140m Rushden Lakes shopping and leisure project in Northamptonshire. It has bought a site from LXB Retail Properties and wants to develop, with LXB, 400,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.

Samsung profits  ‘are looking up’

Samsung has surprised the market by forecasting a smaller-than-expected fall in first-quarter profits, ahead of launching its Galaxy S6 smartphone this week. It expects operating profit of 5.9 trillion won (£3.6bn), a fall of more than 30 per cent in profit from a year earlier.

£3bn investment in central London

Investors splashed out £3.1bn on commercial property in central London in the first quarter of 2015, with UK buyers being more active than overseas spenders for the first time since 2013. CBRE said overall spending was 6.9 per cent higher than the same time last year.

Afren wants Roc boss to take helm

Troubled oil explorer Afren has confirmed it is in talks with Alan Linn, Roc Oil’s boss, over becoming its next CEO. Afren has been without a full-time chief since last summer, when Osman Shahenshah was sacked for gross misconduct over “unauthorised payments”.

Spanish debt yields go negative

Yields on short-term Spanish debt briefly turned negative for the first time, meaning investors were in effect paying Spain to lend it their money. It came as the European Central Bank continued attempts to boost eurozone economies by buying €60bn (£43bn) of assets.

Shop prices down for 23rd month

Prices in shops continued to fall last month, accelerating to 2.1 per cent from 1.7 per cent in February. The British Retail Consortium and Nielsen data showed deflation for the 23rd consecutive month. Food prices dropped 0.9 per cent in March.

Savills chief’s £2.2m package

Jeremy Helsby, the chief executive of the property agent Savills, took home £2.2m in “near term” remuneration last year – up from £1.96m in 2013. The figure includes Mr Helsby’s basic salary of £225,000 as well as an annual bonus.