The Business Matrix: Monday 16 June 2014


Sunday 15 June 2014 20:47

Pan-Europe Sky plan draws closer

Rupert Murdoch is closer to completing a plan for British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) to buy Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to create a pan-European giant. Mr Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is the top shareholder in all three companies. Fox would keep a 39 per cent stake in BSkyB and receive a windfall of as much as €8.5bn (£6.7bn) from the others, according to reports.

Bank chief upbeat over UK prospects

Bank of England deputy governor Charlie Bean said he is optimistic about Britain’s economy and would welcome raising interest rates from record low levels as it would show “the economy is healing”. The Bank has hinted rates could rise this autumn. “Frankly, having interest rates at an emergency level for a very long time is not a situation one wants to be in,” said Mr Bean.

What the Sunday papers said

China trade talks face protests

David Cameron’s trade talks with the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, could face protests outside No 10 over China’s human rights record. The Coalition is keen to use China’s three-day trade tour of the UK this week to push for investment in Britain, but pro-Tibet groups are set to descend upon Downing Street on Tuesday.

Independent on Sunday

Markets braced for rates rise

Markets are betting that interest rates could rise as soon as October, after Mark Carney’s U-turn on monetary policy last week. Investors have brought forward the date on which they expect the first rate hike by six months, after the Bank of England Governor warned that the first increase “could happen sooner than markets expect”.

Sunday Times

Upper Crust firm set for £2bn float

The catering giant SSP, which owns more than 2,000 station and airport fast-food outlets, including Upper Crust and Caffè Ritazza, is expected to announce plans this week for a £2bn summer float. A listing would herald a return to the City for chief executive Kate Swann, who left WH Smith last year.

Sunday Telegraph

Boots could face takeover bid

The American pharmacy giant Walgreens may move to Britain for tax purposes as part of a £62.5bn restructuring that could include the acquisition of Boots. The plan to switch its tax domicile is an endorsement of Chancellor George Osborne’s controversial low corporation tax policy.

Mail on Sunday

Week ahead

Four to reveal full-year figures

Consort Medical, the telecoms provider Daisy Group, the solar-power specialist Record and fastener manufacturer Trifast are reporting full-year figures tomorrow. JD Sports and the housebuilder Crest Nicholson report on half-year performance and Costa Coffee owner Whitbread has a trading update.

Ashtead to gain from US recovery

With no significant results today, the equipment rental specialist Ashtead kicks off the week with finals tomorrow. Stephen Williams at the wealth manager Brewin Dolphin predicts a pre-tax profit of £360m as the company benefits from the recovery in construction in the United States.

Quindell faces tough questions

The insurance claims outsourcer Quindell holds its AGM on Thursday. Almost £1bn was wiped off the company’s value in April after allegations in a blog post, despite denials. Last week the shares slid again after Quindell failed to gain a premium listing. Investors will be asking some tough questions.

Berkeley to give property clues

The property developer Berkeley Group will reveal how it has performed over the last year on Wednesday. On Thursday the electrical retailer Darty delivers its full-year report, as do Liontrust Asset Management, the software company Micro Focus and bathroom-furnishings retailer Norcros.

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