The Business: Wednesday April 9 2014

Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

UK ‘TO GROW FASTEST’ OF G7 THIS YEAR

The UK will be the fastest growing economy of the G7 this year, says the IMF. Just 12 months after it claimed George Osborne is “playing with fire” with his austerity policies, the IMF has raised its forecast for UK growth to 2.9% this year. In another boost to the chancellor, it also praised him for sticking to his deficit reduction programme. The upgrade to the UK forecast, which almost doubled the 2014 prediction given a year ago, was larger than for any other advanced economy.

SAINSBURY’S LOSES MOST SHARE FOR DECADE

Sainsbury’s share of the grocery market has slumped by the largest amount in a decade as it loses sales to German discounters at a record pace, says the Daily Telegraph. A study from Kantar Worldpanel shows Sainsbury’s market share fell from 16.9% to 16.5% in the 12 weeks to March 30. This is the first time for 10 years that the leading retail chain’s market share has fallen by as much as 0.4% points during a period.

MARKET LOSES TECH ENTHUSIASM

Enthusiasm for technology flotations came to a crashing halt yesterday as 2014’s three high profile new issues fell below their launch prices, says The Times. Just Eat, which was valued at an extraordinary 100 times underlying 2013 earnings, fell from 298p to 250p after its conditional debut. Between them, Just Eat, Boohoo.com and AO World lost a combined £160m from their market values yesterday.

DIAGEO BLENDS IT LIKE BECKHAM

The world’s biggest drinks company has teamed up with David Beckham to develop a new Scotch whisky brand. The single-grain whisky from Diageo, called Haig Club, will be sold in a dark blue bottle, similar in style to an aftershave bottle. Along with the celebrity manager Simon Fuller, Beckham will play a “fundamental role” in developing the product, says Diageo, the company behind Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… ANARCHY IN SANDBANKS?

“I fear that the anger of my constituents is such that some of them will take the law into their own hands, because they spend all their life working for a home and they find it’s being disturbed weekend, after weekend, after weekend.” Robert Syms MP on how the calm of the millionaire’s haven of Sandbanks is being shattered by the rise of ‘party homes’.

WONGA TV ADVERT IS BANNED

The advertising watchdog has a banned television commercial for the payday loans firm Wonga, ruling it confused the public about the interest rates that applied. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaints against the advert, which features a conversation between two puppets about the costs of a Wonga short-term loan, saying it was misleading by implying a representative APR of 5853% was "irrelevant".

THE NUMBERS... AT 0730 GMT


FTSE-100: down -0.49 to 6590.69
Dow Jones: up +0.06 to 16256.14
Dax: down -0.21 to 9490.79
Cac-40: down -0.25 to 4424.83
Nikkei: down -1.99 to 14316.66
Hang Seng: up +0.83 to 22785.51
US dollar: buys €0.72540 and £0.59720
Sterling: buys $1.67440 and €1.21460
Oil: $107.54 up +1.6