BP DELAYS LIBYA DEEP WATER PLAN
BP has delayed its plans to explore in the deep water off the coast of Libya until next year after deciding not to use its original drilling rig “for operational reasons”. The UK oil group said that it was still in the process of ensuring any safety lessons learnt from its Gulf of Mexico spill had been fully implemented.
FREEPORT DECLARES SPECIAL $1 DIVIDEND
Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s biggest copper miner by market capitalisation, has declared a special $1 per share dividend as the price of the red metal continues to rise sharply on strong demand from manufacturing countries such as China. In a sign of the rapid financial turnround the big mining firms have enjoyed since 2009, Freeport declared a two-for-one stock split and the unloading of $471m of excess cash to shareholders.
IASB PROPOSES HEDGE ACCOUNTING OVERHAUL
Companies will have a more straightforward method of explaining their risk management activities under proposed changes to commonly used hedge accounting rules. However, the rewrite of International Financial Reporting Standards outlined yestesrday by the International Accounting Standards Board did not tackle portfolio hedging.
GOLDMAN CDS TRADING ACTIVITIES UNDER FIRE
Goldman Sachs ’ trading activities in the credit insurance market in 2007 have come under attack after e-mails revealed a senior trader urged colleagues to “kill” some investors’ positions. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, told a hearing that the alleged activity “looks like a trading abuse to me”, although he added that at the time the credit insurance market was unregulated.
FORMER LADBROKES BOSS LEADS THE GALLOP FOR THE POST AT THE TOTE
The former chief executive of Ladbrokes is being tipped as a frontrunner in the race to buy the Tote after saddling up with partners prepared to back a bid of at least £200m. The Times understands that Chris Bell, who left Ladbrokes in January after almost 20 years, has joined forces with GI Partners and RBS.
POWERFUEL COLLAPSE THREATENS GOVERNMENT PLANS
Plans to make Britain a world leader in a key new environmental technology were dealt a blow last night after the company behind one of only two remaining UK clean coal projects collapsed into administration. Powerfuel, which had planned to build the world’s largest clean coal power station in Yorkshire, called in KPMG to act as administrators.
The Daily Telegraph
CATALYST PULLS £40M SATELLITE INFORMATION SERVICES SALE
Catalyst Media Group has quietly shelved plans to sell its major asset – a near-21 per cent stake in Satellite Information Services – after failing to attract bids that met its £40m asking price. The Aim-listed company, which is valued at £24.2m, hired NM Rothschild earlier this year to explore the sale of its stake in SIS.
STERLING WILL BE STRONGEST MAJOR CURRENCY IN 2011, SAYS BARCLAYS
Sterling will be the best-perfoming major currency next year, Barclays has forecast, as the UK gets its “house in order”. The prediction came as Barcap, the securities arm of the retail bank, also used its 2011 outlook to predict that stock markets will outperform government bonds and that the US economy will stage a stronger recovery than it has managed in 2010.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
CABLES PAINT SHELL AS DISMISSIVE OF NIGERIA
Royal Dutch Shell feared it could lose the bulk of its oil-license acreage in Nigeria after the country’s new Petroleum Industry Bill is passed, according to one in a series of diplomatic cables that offer glimpses into the intersection between business and politics in Africa’s biggest oil producer.
BAYER TO INVEST €1BN IN CHINA
German drug and chemicals maker Bayer said yesterday it plans to invest about €1bn (£840m) to double its polymer-production capacity in China over the next five years. Bayer said Bayer MaterialScience AG will invest in five separate expansion projects at the company’s manufacturing base in Shanghai to meet rising demand in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.