GENEVA SET TO TRUMP LONDON IN OIL TRADING
Geneva will leave London behind and become the world’s most important trading hub for physical energy commodities, including oil, as leading companies relocate dozens of traders to Switzerland, according to industry executives. The transfers threaten the UK capital’s leadership in physical crude and oil products and come amid broader financial industry complaints about stiffer regulation, higher taxes and poor transport infrastructure in London.
YANUKOVICH GIVES EUROPE GAS PLEDGE
Viktor Yanukovich, the Ukrainian president, has promised Europe that it will not face the natural-gas supply disruptions that have plagued it in recent years.The pledge, made while Yanukovich was in Brussels for Monday’s European Union-Ukraine summit, was seconded by Sergei Shmatko, Russia’s energy minister.
SPANISH BANKS EYE WHOLESALE EXPANSION
Spain’s big banks have maintained high profits during the economic crisis thus far largely because they diversified into lucrative foreign markets,. Now Santander and BBVA are diversifying across business areas as well as geographical regions. Both are putting more emphasis on the high-margin global business of wholesale and investment banking to reduce dependence on their core retail operations.
IN-BUILT SIM FOR APPLE’S IPHONE 5 RULED OUT
Apple has told European mobile operators that the next version of its iPhone will not include a technology innovation that several network providers fiercely oppose, say people familiar with the situation.
DIAGEO IS REACHING ABOVE THE CLOUDS TO ADD ANOTHER TOT OF RUM TO COCKTAIL
Diageo is in negotiations to add a “super-premium” rum from Guatemala to its drinks cabinet. The drinks group, which already owns Captain Morgan, a spiced rum from Puerto Rico and the Pampero and Cacique rums from Venezuela is in talks to acquire a 50 per cent stake in the Zacapa Centenario from its owner Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala.
WAGAMAMA FREEZES SALE AS BIDS FAIL TO MEASURE UP
The Times understands that an auction launched for Wagamama in the summer has been put on ice after final bids fell short of the minimum £230m asking price. Despite the company’s impressive growth, it has not been enough to attact a premium bid.
The Daily Telegraph
GRANDMOTHERS COULD COST FAMILIES CHILD BENEFIT, GOVERNMENT ADMITS
Under changes to child benefit due to come into force in 2013, households would have their payments taken away if anyone in the family was a higher rate taxpayer. During a debate in the Hosue of Lords Lord Sassoon, failed to rule out a Labour suggestionthat wealthy grandmothers as well as parents would be covered by the move.
HALF OF BRITONS WILL START THE NEW YEAR IN DEBT
Almost half of Britons will start the New Year in debt according to new research. The statistics suggest millions of people will take on additional debt because of the strain on their finances. Credit cards will be the most popular type of credit, followed by overdrafts and personal loans.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
STATOIL NORTH SEA PLATFORM STRUGGLED TO AVERT BLOWOUT
Norwegian police have launched an investigation into oil firm Statoil ASA after the country's oil safety watchdog said only luck averted a major blowout at a North Sea oil-drilling operation earlier this year. The trouble Statoil encountered with the offshore platform, Gullfaks C, shows incidents like the disastrous blowout that ripped apart BP PLC's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico last April may not be as isolated as the oil industry has said.
REMOTE BHUTAN AIMS TO DRAW INVESTORS TO THE HIMALAYAS
The government of Bhutan, which didn't have television until the late 1990s and was ignored in the rush to emerging markets in recent decade has a message for the outside world: it is open for business.