EXXON CHIEF CLAIMS BP LOST TIME
BP lost valuable time at the height of its devastating accident in the Gulf of Mexico last year pursuing solutions to contain the oil spill that were never going to succeed, the chief executive of ExxonMobil has claimed. In a sharp criticism of the handling of the disaster, Rex Tillerson said Exxon’s engineers knew that one of BP’s initial efforts to stem the oil flowing from the ruptured Macondo well – by building a containment dome – “wasn’t going to work”.
SINGAPORE AIMS TO BE RENMINBI HUB
Singapore has made a bid to become the first overseas hub for trading renminbi, marking a new stage in the internationalisation of the Chinese currency. The Monetary Authority of Singapore said Beijing would soon appoint a Chinese bank to clear renminbi trades in the city state – a move that would enable Singaporean banks to directly access onshore renminbi rather than having to route transactions via Hong Kong or commercial banks on the mainland.
BA CHIEF LETS FLY AT SECURITY CHECKS
An airline pilot and a Yemeni student should not be subject to the same airport security checks, the chairman of British Airways, Sir Martin Brought, has said, calling for “security light” lanes for trusted frequent flyers.
SYSTEM BRED TEPCO’S COSY LINKS TO WATCHDOGS
When an American whistleblower told Japanese nuclear regulators in 2000 that Tokyo Electric Power had been hiding safety violations at its atomic plants, the regulator assigned the task of investigating to the entity that knew the plants best: Tepco itself. Evidence later emerged that it had falsified inspection data.
GEITHNER SAYS THERE IS “NO RISK” OF A DOWNGRADE FOR THE US ECONOMY
Tim Geithner, the US treasury secretary, shrugged off warnings from a leading ratings agency about the US public finances as he sought to reassure Wall Street that the world’s biggest economy would be able to maintain its highly prized AAA rating. Geithner said there was “no risk” of a downgrade.
IRISH BANKING COLLAPSE CAUSED BY GREED AND COMPLICIT SAYS REPORT
Bankers taking risks on a “almost unbelievable” scale, a complicit public willing to “let the good times roll” and a lack of regulation combined to cause the collapse of the Irish banking system, a government-commissioned report concludes. The nine-month inquiry was by Finnish finance expert Peter Nyberg.
The Daily Telegraph
OIL DIPS BELOW $120 ON DEMAND FEARS
Oil fell below $120 per barrel for the first time in two weeks, after worries that high crude costs could destroy demand and damage growth. Warnings came last week from the International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration and Opec, the oil producers’ cartel, that they had begun to see the first signs of a downturn in consumption of oil.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER PLANS ASSEMBLY PLANT IN CHINA
Jaguar Land Rover is hoping to set up an assembly plant in China, its chief executive said yesterday at the Shanghai Auto show. The company, which doubled its sales to 27,000 cars in China last year, is “still in discussions” with a range of potential Chinese partners, said Dr Ralf Speth.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
GE PUTS CONDITIONS ON OPTIONS GRANTED TO IMMELT
Responding to shareholder criticism, General Electric agreed to put new conditions on 2m stock options granted to Chief Executive Jeff Immelt a year ago. The options, which GE says were valued at $7.4m when granted in March 2010, will now only vest if the company successfully boosts its industrial businesses and delivers shareholder returns, including stock appreciation and dividends, that are as good or better than those of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.
TOYOTA EXTENDS NORTH AMERICAN OUTPUT CUTS
Toyota will extend North American production cuts through 3 June to preserve parts. Toyota will operate its plants only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, bringing production to 50 per cent of normal volume.