PUSH FOR CLEARING HOUSES FAILS TO MOVE OIL TRADERS
Big oil traders are choosing to keep more derivatives deals private, in spite of a global regulatory campaign to steer such contracts to clearing houses. Their willingness to take on risks viewed as intolerable just a year ago reflects renewed faith in the strength of their trading counterparties, but also highlights a preference for opaque markets without a nudge from regulators. Regulators in the US and Europe want most derivatives trades to be settled and guaranteed by clearing houses.
PUBLICITY-SHY TRAFIGURA PUSHES FOR BOND ISSUE
Trafigura, one of the world’s largest and most profitable commodities traders, plans to approach investors next week over its first bond issue, in a move to diversify its funding. The capital market issue would mark a significant departure for the reserved trader, which has until now relied on bank credit lines. Tapping the bond markets will force Trafigura to open its books for the first time to investors, raising its public exposure.
INDIA’S ONGC AND RUSSIA IN ENERGY PACT TALKS
India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp is in talks with Gazprom and Rosneft over taking equity stakes in oil and gas projects in Russia to help cement an energy partnership between New Delhi and Moscow. An official at India’s foreign ministry said yesterday the talks would form part of an official visit by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, to New Delhi on Friday. Ajay Bisaria, joint secretary for Eurasia at the ministry, said: “We have had ongoing discussions with the Russian side on several more investments where ONGC Videsh is willing to go along with Russian oil and gas majors like Gazprom.”
TOYOTA STAFF MEMO ON SAFETY SACRIFICES HANDED TO US INVESTIGATORS
Toyota was forced yesterday to hand over to US congressional investigators a “smoking gun” memo produced by its own factory workers that warned management as far back as 2006 of systemic threats to car safety. The two-page memo was sent directly to Toyota’s then president Katsuaki Watanabe in 2006.
INDIAN HELICOPTER DEAL SAVES 4,000 WESTLAND JOBS
The jobs of up to 4,000 UK workers were secured yesterday when AgustaWestland revealed that it had won a £510m contract to supply helicopters to India. Westland will build 12 AW101s for the Indian Air Force, which will be used for transporting the country’s Prime Minister, President and other VIPs.
The Daily Telegraph
OMEGA PROFITS UP AHEAD OF KEY VOTE
Omega Insurance has geared up for its big showdown in Bermuda today by reporting a 67 per cent rise in full-year profits. The Lloyd’s of London insurer, which faces a shareholder revolt at a special general meeting on Friday afternoon, saw profits jump to $47.1m (£31.3m) in 2009 compared with $28.2m last year.
EUROPE’S BANKS BRACE FOR UK DEBT CRISIS
UniCredit has alerted investors in a client note that Britain is at serious risk of a bond market and sterling debacle and faces even more intractable budget woes than Greece. The Italian-German group, Europe’s second largest bank, said Britain’s tax structure will make it hard to raise fresh revenue quickly enough to restore confidence in the UK.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
FARALLON REGROUPS AFTER KNOCKDOWN
Farallon Capital Management LLC is shrinking and reorganizing its investment operations and acknowledging some mistakes as the giant hedge-fund firm emerges from the rockiest period in its 24-year history. Four veteran investment managers are departing the San Francisco-based firm.
AIG WORKERS WILL GIVE UP $45M TO UNCLE SAM
American International Group will recoup $45 in controversial 2009 retention payments made to AIG employees, in part by reducing retention awards slated for employees who have already left the firm, according to people familiar with the matter. AIG employees have agreed to return $40m, these people said. The resolutions comes after months of talks.