BIG THREE JAPANESE CARMAKERS IN GREEN PUSH
Japan’s three largest carmakers have joined forces to promote the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with a plan to build 100 filling stations in Japan for the next-generation “green” cars by 2015. Toyota, Honda and Nissan will be joined by 10 Japanese natural-gas refiners and distributors.
STRONG FOURTH-QUARTER RESULTS BOOST SAP
SAP reported record fourth-quarter results that beat its own as well as market expectations, pushing up the shares of Europe’s biggest software group by sales. The German group’s operating margin rose to 39 per cent in the last three months of the past year, higher than the 35.5 per cent reported in the fourth quarter of 2009.
US REGULATORS QUESTION GOOGLE’S DEAL TO BUY ITA
The US government has stepped up its investigation into Google’s proposed acquisition of travel search company ITA, potentially putting the search company on a collision course with regulators over a deal that would make it a key player in the online travel business. The Department of Justice has accelerated its requests for information from others affected by the transaction.
STARBUCKS JOINS TATA FOR INDIA FORAY
Starbucks is to enter India through an alliance with Tata, the Indian conglomerate, that could see the US-based coffee retailer open its first branded coffee shop in the country within six months. The two sides said they had signed a memorandum of understanding to explore retail opportunities, after Starbucks signed a sourcing and processing deal with Tata Coffee.
ANTI-BRIBERY LAWS UNDER REVIEW AFTER BACKLASH
The Government is to review Britain’s strict new anti-bribery laws amid fears that they could hamper the competitiveness of UK businesses. The Bribery Act, described by lawyers as the toughest anti-corruption regime in the world, is due to come into force in April. Complaints about the Act have escalated in recent months.
PIPING ISRAELI GAS TO CYPRUS MAY REDUCE THREAT OF ARMED ATTACK
Gas discovered off the coast of Israel could be exported to Europe via Cyprus in a move designed to reduce the threat of armed attacks on the project from neighbouring countries. Israeli company Delek has applied to the Government of Cyprus to build a £500m LNG terminal at Vasilikos on the island’s south coast.
The Daily Telegraph
AUSTRALIA FLOODS: COAL PRICES WILL RISE ALONG WITH THE WATER LEVEL
London-listed mining groups remain tight-lipped about the impact of the Queensland floods on their operations, but they are probably right to be cautious. There’s a chance the situation could get much worse. “The one thing that’s certain is that everything is still uncertain,” Rhys Kealley, lead energy analyst at Datamonitor, said.
RGI SHAREHOLDER PETR SHURA SAYS COMPANY OWES HIM $99M
Petr Shura, the shareholder accusing RGI of being a “personal bank” for management, is claiming the Aim-listed Russian property company owes him $99m (£64m). RGI International was accused of bribery, nepotism and financial malpractice by Mr Shura, owner of 22.5pc of the company, in a stock market statement in December.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
SEC PROBES BANKS, BUYOUT SHOPS OVER DEALINGS WITH SOVEREIGN FUNDS
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether banks and private-equity firms violated bribery laws in their dealings with sovereign-wealth funds, according to people familiar with the matter. The SEC has sent letters of inquiry to Citigroup as well as Blackstone Group, the people said.
TOTAL IN TALKS TO SELL UK REFINERY
French oil major Total SA is currently in discussions with a preferred bidder to sell its U.K.-based refinery in Lindsey, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. It is “hoped” a deal will be reached between the two parties by the end of the first quarter, although it could be closed at a latter date, the person said.