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The Business Matrix: Monday 29 July 2013


£1m fund to help creative firms

Creative England – the agency that backs films and TV shows including the six-part BBC drama Dancing on the Edge (pictured) – has launched a new £1m fund aimed helping small businesses in the creative sectors. The body will offer interest-free loans of between £60,000 and £100,000 to SMEs working in markets such as cross-platform TV development and games.

London sector to expand from base

Britain’s regions are set for a boost from some of London’s biggest firms, as new figures reveal more of the capital’s businesses plan to expand away from their base during the next 12 months. The latest survey from the Confederation of British Industy and KPMG found high operating costs and housing shortages mean only 29 per cent of firms wish to expand in London.

What the Sunday papers said

Regulator accused of £110m error

The Big Four accountants have accused the Competition Commission of underestimating the cost of sweeping reform of the audit market by as much as £110m. Last week the Commission said proposals to force FTSE 350 companies to change auditors every five years would cost £30m but a Big Four source put the cost as high as £140m.

Independent on Sunday

18 more GSK staff detained in China

A further 18 people have been detained by Chinese police over the bribery scandal engulfing drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline. Sources told the newspaper that the individuals had been detained several weeks ago but the move was only publicised on Friday. The company has been accused of a £300m scheme to bribe doctors to boost drug sales.

Sunday Times

Banks face huge extra PPI payouts

Lloyds Banking Group will set aside another £250m to compensate customers mis-sold payment protection insurance in half-year results this week. Barclays is also expected to take a fresh £200m hit. The UK’s four biggest banks have racked up £13.2bn in provisions over the scandal so far.

Mail on Sunday

McEwan leads race for top job

Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail banking chief Ross McEwan is the leading contender to replace Stephen Hester as chief executive. The appointment – which has to be approved by the board, City regulators and the body which manages the taxpayer’s 81 per cent stake – could be announced as early as Friday.

Sunday Telegraph

Barbecue weather boosts pork sales

A long period of barbecue weather has been good for retailers and investors in the pork producer Cranswick will be smacking their lips. The sunshine is expected to have boosted sales and the UK’s pork consumption is rising. Cranswick will report on its first quarter today.

Upturn expected at Brammer

A better outlook for European manufacturers is good news for the industrial-services group Brammer, say analysts at Peel Hunt, who expect it to get back to double-digit sales growth tomorrow. The group is expected to report first-half sales of £320m, down 3 per cent year on year.

Tullow Oil has ‘plenty in tank’

Announcing one dry well and one that contains gas, not oil, isn’t the best way to get investors excited ahead of half-year results this Wednesday. But that was exactly what Tullow Oil did last week. However, despite setbacks, Exane BNP Paribas thinks there is still “plenty in the tank” at the FTSE 100 explorer.

UBM take stage amid rumours

Amid takeover rumours around media and events businesses, the focus will be on UBM on Thursday when it updates on its half-year results. The exhibitions firm ITE reported strong third-quarter results earlier this month, which analysts took as meaning that “the exhibitions industry remains solid”.