CHEVRON EXPECTED TO COME UNDER FIRE OVER LAWSUIT IN ECUADOR
Chevron is expected to come under fire from shareholders over its environmental record in Ecuador, which has left the world’s third-largest oil company facing potential liabilities of $27bn. Investors, as well as indigenous and farming communities from Ecuador’s Amazon, are set to attack Chevron at the US group’s annual meeting, while human rights and environmental activists are expected to demonstrate outside.
FREDDIE $1BN BOND AIMS TO FREE UP CAPITAL
Freddie Mac yesterday began marketing to investors the first commercial mortgage bond guaranteed by a government-sponsored mortgage agency.
The new financing tool will help Freddie preserve capital while providing greater liquidity to the mortgage market. The $1bn bond, which is backed by 62 commercial mortgages for multi-family apartment buildings, will be sold to investors in the second week of June. Freddie and rival Fannie Mae, which were taken over by their regulator last year on concerns about capital, have in the past held multi-family loans on their books without securitising them. This requires the mortgage financiers to hold significant capital against them.
BA EYES BMI’S HEATHROW SLOTS
Willie Walsh said that British Airways would consider trying to buy BMI’s landing slots at Heathrow airport if they became available, in spite of the airline’s cash constraints. BA’s chief executive admitted that the attraction of the valuable slots at Europe’s busiest international gateway might prove too tempting to ignore. In the current environment, it is difficult to argue we should go out and acquire those slots,” he said. “But may be the only opportunity we ever get.”
SOLAR POWER SHOULD REPLACE WIND ENERGY, SAYS JACK STEINBERGER
European governments, including Britain, should scrap their support for wind energy as soon as possible to focus on far more efficient emerging forms of clean power generation including solar thermal energy, one of the world’s most distinguished scientists said yesterday.
CHESTER-LE-STREET AND CAMBERLEY: UK’S BIGGEST DEBT-RIDDEN TOWNS
Chester-le-Street in Durham and Camberley in Surrey have earned the dubious accolade of being the most indebted towns in Britain. Residents of Chester-le-Street have racked up the biggest loan debts in Britain, owing an average of £3,470.79 each on personal loans and hire purchase agreements. Inhabitants of Camberley owe more than £2,000 each on credit cards.
The Daily Telegraph
FAIR PRICE FOR OIL IS $75-$80 A BARREL, SAYS KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABI
“We still believe that a fair price is $75 and perhaps $80 a barrel, especially now,” the king said yesterday.
King Abdullah – whose country is the world’s top oil exporter and a leading member of the OPEC oil cartel – also said that prices, which have dropped sharply due to the global economic meltdown, will eventually stabilise at a higher range when the world economy recovers.
CATTLES LOSES CHAIRMAN AMID BATTLE WITH BANKS
The crisis at struggling sub-prime lender Cattles escalated yesterday after chairman Norman Broadhurst, 66, revealed plans to step down at the next annual meeting. Cattles has already removed the finance director following accounting irregularities.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
INTEL OUTLINES PLANS FOR XEON CHIP
Intel yesterday disclosed plans to take its Xeon chip line into bigger servers, posing stiffer competition for its own Itanium product line as well as technology offered by competitors.
The company provided new details of forthcoming Xeon models that pack more electronic brains onto each piece of silicon, and can be used in servers that use more chips.
NEW CARRIER AIMS TO SERVE SMALL MARKETS
A new low-cost airline will begin serving midsize US cities that it thinks larger carriers have left behind.
JetAmerica said 34 nonstop passenger flights a week will start 13 July. JetAmerica is targeting small and midsize cities like Lansing, which has seen the number of daily flights at its airport fall to 12 from 35.