Business week in review

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The Independent Online

In profit...

Ivan Glasenberg, the billionaire South African who heads commodities giant Glencore, is a tough character at the best of times, and those who cross him will find themselves in quite a battle.

On Tuesday, Glasenberg said he's happy to wait "another two or even five years" to complete the £52bn all-share megamerger with FTSE 100 miner Xstrata. Qatar Holding, which has built up a stake of almost 12 per cent in Xstrata, almost entirely since the deal was announced six months ago, has been pushing for improved terms. But Glasenberg has made it clear he is not to be pushed around, even though he will need the Qataris to approve the deal if it is to go through.

Last Wednesday, family beer and pub group Adnams announced a 5.1 per cent sales leap to £25.75m in its interim results. Chairman Jonathan Adnams said sales of Ghost Ship were particularly pleasing. Cheers!

Ex-FSA head Sir Howard Davies was appointed chairman at Phoenix Group, the life fund, on Thursday. a loss

Colin Matthews, boss of Heathrow Airport owner BAA, bowed to the inevitable on Monday when it was announced that the group had finally ceded defeat on Stansted.

For more than three years, BAA has exhausted legal options over the Competition Commission's ruling that it must sell the Essex airport. Already Edinburgh and Gatwick have been sold on as a result of the commission's tough stance that BAA was operating airport monopolies in Scotland and South-east England.

On Wednesday, BHP Billiton said it would not approve any major projects until at least next June, as the mining giant looks to cut costs. Chief executive Marius Kloppers, who has seen several takeover attempts collapse, rued volatile prices which have hit high-selling minerals such as copper, coal and iron ore.

Co-op boss Peter Marks announced a 56 per cent fall in interim profit last Thursday, on flat revenue of nearly £6.6bn.