Ofgem clashes with energy firms
Network charges, identified by energy suppliers as a reason for inflation-busting price rises, are not going up as much as companies say, according to the UK’s energy regulator. Energy suppliers have blamed higher bills on rising costs in three areas: the wholesale energy they buy on international markets; government green policies; and network charges from the companies that own and operate Britain’s electricity and gas networks.
Motion Equity to quit ‘zombie’ status
European private equity house Motion Equity Partners, which has been unable to raise new funds since the financial crisis, is in talks with Boston-based investment group HarbourVest over securing capital to finance deals. Motion, formerly known as Cognetas, is one of a group of so-called “zombie” buyout firms that have a combined $116bn-worth of assets globally, but are fighting to stay alive after running out of cash.
Minister to tackle phone charges
Maria Miller promised to work with mobile phone operators to protect customers from unfair charges after talks with industry executives yesterday. The culture secretary said yesterday there were “clear issues that cause people to be hit with costs and price hikes that are not fair”.
Apple’s $5bn ‘Spaceship’ to land
Apple’s dreams of building the “best office in the world” are set to come to fruition after the Cupertino council in California approved plans for its new “Spaceship” campus. It has taken two years to obtain approval for Campus 2, designed by Lord Foster of Thamesbank and due to open in 2016.
Bullion-dollar question for investors
The demand for gold has dived after global growth improved and the prospect of the US Federal Reserve tapering its quantitative easing programme prompted investors to pull money out of bullion funds.
The Daily Telegraph
Buffett makes $3.45bn bet on Exxon
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has disclosed a new $3.45bn stake in Exxon Mobil, after buying 40.1m shares in the world’s largest publicly traded oil company. Analysts said it reflects strong support by the second-richest American of one of the world’s largest and most profitable companies.
Too many drugs being barred by NHS
Drugs giants, including Pfizer, Sanofi and Novartis, have warned that new and innovative medicines are being blocked from the health service by “overly complicated” approval processes and a heavy emphasis on cost control.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Applied Materials reports profits
Applied Materials swung to fiscal fourth-quarter profit on double-digit revenue growth and stronger margins. For THE current quarter, the chip-equipment maker forecasted per-share earnings of 20 cents to 24 cents on a net sales increase of three per cent to ten per cent from the $1.99bn posted for the latest period.
Vivendi plans to spin off Telcom
Vivendi is pushing forward with a potential spin out of its French telecommunications business next year as part of a strategic shift to slim down the former conglomerate to a handful of units.