UGANDA TAX ROW DELAYS HERITAGE SALE OF OIL FIELD
Uganda is insisting that Heritage Oil, the UK-listed oil explorer, must agree to pay $360m (£243m) in capital gains tax on the “super profits” it will make on a $1.35bn oilfields sale before it will sanction the deal. Uganda’s energy minister said the government “would not budge” and that Heritage is liable for tax like any other company in the country.
RAIL REVIEW TO FOLLOW BILL FOR HIGHER SUBSIDIES
The government has signalled a radical shake-up of the rail industry at the same time as an arbiter ruled that it must pay Stagecoach between £70m and £100m in subsidies. With train revenues under pressure from falling passenger numbers, the government has been forced to pay higher than expected subsidies to rail operators.
METLIFE CHIEF SLAMS US REFORMS
The head of MetLife, the largest life assurer in the US, has criticised the financial reforms being finalised by Congress, saying some measures betray a “total misunderstanding” of the insurance industry and could hit the sector hard. Robert Henrikson warned of “negative unintended consequences” from a financial overhaul that was too focused on banks.
EN+ STRENGTHENS TIES WITH CHINA
Oleg Deripaska’s En+ holding company has bought 10 per cent of the start-up Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange as the Russian tycoon seeks to strengthen business ties with China. En+ said the acquisition was a strategic investment to help develop alternative trading systems in Asia that could eventually rival traditional exchanges, such as the London Metal Exchange. Last month the LME opened its own office in Singapore.
QATARIS SET TO BUY CANARY WHARF
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is set to take over Songbird, the listed owner of Canary Wharf, as the Gulf state steps up its London spending spree.
The Qatar Investment Authority, which already owns Harrods and stakes in Barclays and the London Stock Exchange, plans to spend more than £700 million to mop up the 76 per cent of Songbird that it does not already own, The Times has learnt.
TESCO HEADING FOR ROW OVER EXECUTIVE PAY
Tesco is on a collision course with activist investors over executive pay. An American investment group, affiliated to trade union-sponsored pension funds with holdings in the supermarket group, last night urged shareholders to vote against Tesco’s remuneration report at its AGM.
The Daily Telegraph
WINNEBAGO SALES JUMP SIGNALS US RECOVERY
Winnebago sales jumped 165pc in the third quarter – a further sign of the United States’s recovery from recession. Yesterday Winnebago Industries posted stronger-than-expected quarterly results as a rise in vehicle shipments to dealers pushed sales up from $50.8m in the third quarter of 2009 to $134.8m this year.
UK RETAIL SALES BOOSTED BY WORLD CUP
British retail sales rose six times faster than expected on the month in May as consumers flocked to electrical goods stores ahead of the World Cup soccer tournament, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. The ONS said sales volumes including automotive fuel rose 0.6pc last month and 2.2pc on the year.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
US AND EU CLOSE TO AIR TRAFFIC DEAL
The US and the European Union expect to sign as soon as Friday an agreement that will increase cooperation on their new-generation systems for highly efficient air-traffic management, people close to the talks say.
Authorities from both sides of the Atlantic have been working for years to develop satellite-based navigation equipment that will enable pilots to fly more direct routes and provide controllers with advanced tools to safely handle many more planes in the same airspace.
FRANCE JOINS NATIONS REVIEWING GOOGLE BREACH
France has become the latest country to hold Google Inc. to account over a privacy breach that saw the search engine giant mistakenly gather and store data over public Wi-Fi neworks.