US OIL PRODUCTION REVIVES
US oil production last year rose to its highest level in almost a decade, thanks to an increase in the use of “unconventional” extraction techniques. As a result, analysts believe the US was the largest contributor to the increase in global oil supplies last year over 2009, and is on track to increase domestic production by 25 per cent by the second half of the decade.
SHELL CHIEF WARNS ON DODD-FRANK
Greater transparency requirements laid down by new US legislation threaten to destroy the progress that oil companies and governments have achieved in disclosing money flows between each other, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell has warned.
Peter Voser said the US Dodd-Frank Act was a process dictated by one country that infringed national sovereignty.
LANSLEY U-TURN OVER COMPETITION
Andrew Lansley is to amend his NHS bill to remove the right of the new health regulator to set “maximum” prices for NHS care. The move is intended to defuse a damaging row with health economists, think-tanks and the Labour party after they accused the government of seeking to introduce price competition in the NHS by allowing providers to undercut each other on the set price, or so-called tariff, that covers much of hospital care.
GRAMEEN WILL NOT DISMISS YUNUS
The bank founded by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize winning microfinance pioneer, has defied an order by Bangladesh’s financial regulator to remove him from office. Setting the stage for a battle for control of the lender, Grameen Bank said Mr Yunus, 70, remained at the helm after Bangladesh Bank said he had been “relieved of his responsibilities as managing director”.
WITTY TAKES £1M PAY CUT
GlaxoSmithKline’s chief executive took a £1 million pay cut last year as the company failed to meet profit targets. The annual report showed that Andrew Witty was paid £7.2 million in salary, bonus and shares, about £1 million less than in 2009 after GSK failed to meet profits targets.
LSE DEAL TO TRAIN LIBYA’S ELITE
The London School of Economics faces fresh scrutiny today over its links with Libya as it emerged that the university secured a £1 million deal to train hundreds of members of the dictatorship’s future elite. British diplomatic sources say that the private commercial arrangement was made by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, a student at the LSE and one of its most generous benefactors.
The Daily Telegraph
EU RAIDS PUBLISHERS IN E-BOOK PROBE
European investigators raided several major publishers on Wednesday as the worldwide probe into allegations of price-fixing of ebooks stepped up a gear. The European Commission said its agents had "reason to believe" that several unnamed companies across Europe "may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and other restrictive business practices".
KWIK-FIT SOLD TO JAPAN'S ITOCHU
Kwik-Fit, Britain's biggest tyre retailer, has been sold to Itochu Corporation for £637m. French private equity firm PAI Partners and Itochu, a Japanese conglomerate, are expected to announce the deal overnight, according to sources. Itochu is thought to have beaten off competition from rival Japanese group Marubeni and other private equity firms to get hold of Kwik-Fit.
THE WALL STREET
TERRORISM SUSPECTED FOR SHOOTING
A lone gunman killed two American servicemen and wounded at least two others on a U.S. military bus outside Frankfurt Airport in what officials described as a possible terrorist attack. The shooting was the first deadly assault on U.S. military personnel in Europe in years. German police apprehended a suspect at the scene whom authorities described as a 21-year-old Kosovo native of Albanian descent.
FED FINDS HIGH COSTS HIT SHOPPERS
Many manufacturers are passing along higher input costs to their customers, a sign that rising prices for wheat, cotton, iron, and other commodities could increasingly reach consumers in coming months, according to the Federal Reserve's beige book survey.