The Sunday Telegraph
TCHENGUIZ BROTHERS IN £2BN BANK CLAIMS
Companies linked to Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz, the property entrepreneurs, have filed creditors’ claims totalling £2.26bn against Kaupthing, despite being among the failed Icelandic bank’s biggest borrowers. It emerged last summer that Robert Tchenguiz had borrowed €1.7bn (£1.5bn) from the bank and Vincent Tchenguiz had loans of €208.7m.
CROWN IN ROW OVER ENERGY SUPPLY
Utility companies hoping to build eight vital gas storage projects for UK supplies have written to MPs urging them to stop the Crown Estate from tripling fees for leasing suitable land off the British coast. The Gas Storage Operators Group is challenging proposals to increase fees.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
CYPRUS HUNT FOR MISSING E-CLEAR CASH
Administrators at E-Clear, the card payments group that collapsed last week, are to investigate whether money from the company was diverted to the other business interests of Elias Elia, the chief executive. Creditors estimate E-Clear owed clients about £100m when it went under but told a court it had only £100,000 to hand.
ITALIANS MOVE IN TO SCUPPER TULLOW’S UGANDAN DEAL
ENI, the Italian energy giant, may give a cash sweetener of up to $300m (£186m) to the Ugandan government to convince it to approve a $1.5bn purchase of oilfields and thwart a rival offer from Tullow. The potential offer is the latest twist in a battle for control of three oil blocks in the Lake Albert basin in western Uganda.
SHELL EASES BACK ON TAR SANDS
Royal Dutch Shell’s expansion in Canada’s controversial tar sands will be “very much slower” than in recent years, the company’s new chief executive has said, as the group makes a strategic shift away from high-cost “unconventional” oil production.
LAND SECURITIES INTO DERIVATIVES
Land Securities is preparing to invest in property-based derivative instruments that could help hedge exposure to its largest developments in a first move by the UK’s largest property company outside buying and building physical real estate. Land Securities has appointed two of the leading banks in the sector, Royal Bank of Scotland and JP Morgan, to act on its behalf in trading property derivatives.
The Daily Telegraph
KAUPTHING LOAN BOOK UP FOR SALE
The remains of Kaupthing Singer & Friendlander (KSF) with loan books worth £2bn have been touted for sale by Ernst & Young, the bank’s administrator. KSF, which went bust in 2008, had lent hundreds of millions of pounds to high profile City individuals including Simon Halabi, the billionaire property investor, and luxury property developers Nick and Christian Candy. A total of £1.2bn was lent to individuals, with £300m used to purchase yachts and aircraft.
CHINA ON THE SPOT OVER IRON ORE
Iron ore is one of the essential building blocks of the Chinese economic miracle. It is used to make steel, which is vital for the country’s infrastructure plans. If China can’t continue to build, its economy will grind to a halt – and bring a multitude of problems to the country.
COLD SNAP BOOSTS UTILITIES
The cold winter weather this year will deliver a £100m boost to the profits of Britain’s Big Six energy companies, according to forecasts by City analysts. Centrica, the owner of British Gas and Britain’s largest gas and electricity supplier, with 16m customers, is likely to be the biggest single winner, Peter Atherton, utilities analyst at Citigroup, said.
CITIES FACE GREEN WRECKING-BALL
Huge expanses of British town and city centres built in the Sixties and Seventies may have to be torn down to meet carbon emission standards for buildings. In an interview, the government’s new chief construction adviser said that there may be no choice but to demolish buildings put up in those decades because it is impossible to refurbish them to a sufficiently high standard.