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Posts from ‘July, 2005’

The Independent on Sunday: The week that was: Investors get the jitters as lenders are hit by bad debts

The Independent on Sunday: The week that was: Investors get the jitters as lenders are hit by bad debts

“Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell unveiled half-year profits of £5.8bn, or £1.3m an hour. But it doesn’t plan to stop there. Shell plans to increase the money spent on exploring for oilfields to £1bn both this year and next year. Investors had been concerned that Shell wasn’t doing enough to replace its falling oil reserves.”

Sunday 31 July 2005

Fears that consumers have been over-extending themselves resurfaced again last week with Lloyds TSB reporting a jump in bad debt charges. While first-half profits increased 9 per cent, the market got a little jumpy when Lloyds said impairment losses on bad loans were up 52 per cent to £670m.

Statistics released by the Bank of England also suggested that consumers were getting nervous. UK lending to households rose in June by the second-smallest amount this year, the bank found. read more

The Observer: The marketing of Blairism

The Observer: The marketing of Blairism

“You could be forgiven for thinking that think-tanks exert more influence on the Prime Minister than business and unions combined.”: “There is lingering suspicion that think-tanks are skewed by the financial backing of big business. The SMF has a business group that companies like pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline and oil major Shell pay over £10,000 to join.”

Sunday July 31, 2005

Nick Mathiason meets Ann Rossiter, head of the Social Market Foundation think-tank, and leading light in the Third Way

Last May, Philip Collins, director of the Social Market Foundation (SMF), was parachuted into Number 10 as Tony Blair’s top speechwriter and strategic adviser. There to greet him was his old friend Matthew Taylor, former head of the Institute of Public Policy Research, now Blair’s chief policy guru.

You could be forgiven for thinking that think-tanks exert more influence on the Prime Minister than business and unions combined. read more

The Observer: And they call this the silly season?

The Observer: And they call this the silly season?

“Corporate giants like Vodafone, Rolls-Royce, BP, Shell, and AstraZeneca all came out with results that were – with the exception of beleaguered Shell – rather better than the market had a right to expect.”

Sunday July 31, 2005

Frank Kane

Whoever called it the silly season? It’s the end of July, just when businessmen, investment bankers and fund managers are supposed to be heading to the beach, but just look at the wall of corporate and investment news that hit us last week, when newspapers – business sections included – are supposed to be screaming for an event, any event, to fill up the space.

Corporate giants like Vodafone, Rolls-Royce, BP, Shell, and AstraZeneca all came out with results that were – with the exception of beleaguered Shell – rather better than the market had a right to expect. All paid top-notch dividends, to shareholders’ delight. read more

End of an Auto Sale

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: End of an Auto Sale

Exxon Mobil and Shell said earnings climbed more than 30% amid soaring oil prices, but both saw production decline

Sunday July 31, 2005

THIS WEEK

GM Discount Ends: General Motors plans to end its successful “employee discounts for everyone” promotion this week. The company also signaled that it will embark on a new pricing strategy for 2006 models that will attempt to focus on permanently lower sticker prices instead of big rebates.

Auto Sales: Tomorrow we find out what impact the Big Three’s discount programs have had, as the July motor-vehicle sales figures come out. Results could influence whether Ford and Chrysler extend their discount programs into August. read more

Yuppies mark Rossport card

The Sunday Times: Yuppies mark Rossport card

“A city-centre rally in support of the Rossport Five, the jailed Shell pipeline protesters, was heckled by a counter-demonstration staged by four young crusaders styling themselves as “pro-capitalists”. “…the impertinent interlopers really seemed to annoy the various Green, Labour, Sinn Fein and independent TDs who have leapt aboard the Rossport bandwagon.”

Sunday 31 July 2005

Wit is the last weapon one expects to see used in the guerrilla war between the far-left, environmentalist and anarchist factions that sputters away on the fringes of Dublin’s growing protest community. Last weekend, however, we caught a glimpse of a small but intrepid group that seemed determined to put the card into placard.

A city-centre rally in support of the Rossport Five, the jailed Shell pipeline protesters, was heckled by a counter-demonstration staged by four young crusaders styling themselves as “pro-capitalists”. read more

The Sunday Times: And Finally … If Shell is driven away who else will invest in Mayo?

The Sunday Times: And Finally … If Shell is driven away who else will invest in Mayo?

“THE people of Mayo know all about boycotts, having coined the word in 1880…”: “In all the fuss surrounding the jailing of the so-called Rossport Five it is easy to lose sight of the fact that Shell is acting entirely within the law.”: “With the world’s media picking up the efforts being made to prevent Shell proceeding with its legally approved project we can’t see the region’s fortunes improving any time soon.”

Sunday 31 July 2005

Frank Fitzgibbon

THE people of Mayo know all about boycotts, having coined the word in 1880 following a famous confrontation with Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott, a hated land agent for Lord Erne. Boycott, acting on behalf of the absentee landlord, refused to accept reduced rent from tenants as proposed by the Land League. The locals responded by shunning Boycott, refusing to work for him or serve him in the shops.

Today, more than a century later, a small number of locals and opportunistic politicians accompanied by the usual rag-tag of protesters, have decided that Shell, the oil multinational, is the modern-day equivalent of Lord Erne. Some are even trying to punish Shell by encouraging the public to give the company’s Irish interests Boycott-syle treatment. The company might have an earl on its board but with quarterly profits of more than €3.8 billion we don’t imagine the top dogs at Shell’s Dutch headquarters are quaking at the prospect. read more

Mayo council ‘to get Shell windfall’

The Sunday Times (UK): Mayo council ‘to get Shell windfall’

“Supporters of the Rossport Five — the local landowners who have spent the past month in jail — want Shell to move its operations offshore, but it has emerged that the council, which granted planning permission for an inland terminal, has a strong vested interest in keeping Shell on land.”: “The council will be paid €2m in rates… for downfall pipes, some of which will run through land owned by the Rossport Five.”: “…Mayo county secretary, confirmed last week that conditions laid down… in Shell’s planning permission will result in total payments to the council of about €6.5m from the firm.”

Sunday 31 July 2005

Aine Ryan

MAYO county council is in line for a substantial financial windfall if Shell processes its Corrib gas find on land.

Supporters of the Rossport Five — the local landowners who have spent the past month in jail — want Shell to move its operations offshore, but it has emerged that the council, which granted planning permission for an inland terminal, has a strong vested interest in keeping Shell on land.

The council will be paid €2m in rates for the terminal building at Bellanaboy, and for downfall pipes, some of which will run through land owned by the Rossport Five. read more

Gulf Times: Shell loses appeal to restore LNG jetty approval

Gulf Times: Shell loses appeal to restore LNG jetty approval

“The Royal Dutch Shell Plc-led venture on Russia’s Sakhalin Island may face delays on plans to sell liquefied natural gas to Asia after losing an appeal to reinstate an environmental approval”: “Talks with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development about funding for the project stalled after the bank found environmental problems”

Sunday, 31 July, 2005

By Torrey Clark

MOSCOW: The Royal Dutch Shell Plc-led venture on Russia’s Sakhalin Island may face delays on plans to sell liquefied natural gas to Asia after losing an appeal to reinstate an environmental approval, ecologists said.

The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk court earlier this week upheld a previous decision that annulled a favourable environmental impact review for a temporary jetty built by Sakhalin Energy Investment Co, the project operator, California-based Pacific Environment has said in an e-mailed statement. read more

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS HEADLINES JULY 2005

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS HEADLINES JULY 2005

Gulf Times: Shell loses appeal to restore LNG jetty approval: “The Royal Dutch Shell Plc-led venture on Russia’s Sakhalin Island may face delays on plans to sell liquefied natural gas to Asia after losing an appeal to reinstate an environmental approval”: “Talks with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development about funding for the project stalled after the bank found environmental problems”: Sunday, 31 July, 2005: Read the article

The Sunday Times (UK): Mayo council ‘to get Shell windfall’: “Supporters of the Rossport Five — the local landowners who have spent the past month in jail — want Shell to move its operations offshore, but it has emerged that the council, which granted planning permission for an inland terminal, has a strong vested interest in keeping Shell on land.”: “The council will be paid €2m in rates… for downfall pipes, some of which will run through land owned by the Rossport Five.”: “…Mayo county secretary, confirmed last week that conditions laid down… in Shell’s planning permission will result in total payments to the council of about €6.5m from the firm.”: Sunday 31 July 2005: Read the article read more

Further delays and soaring expenditure in big energy projects emerge at Royal Dutch Shell

The Times (UK): That was the week: “Further delays and soaring expenditure in big energy projects emerge at Royal Dutch Shell after the oil group admits that the start-up of Bonga, a giant offshore Nigerian oilfield, has been pushed back until late this year.”

Saturday 30 July 2005

Further delays and soaring expenditure in big energy projects emerge at Royal Dutch Shell after the oil group admits that the start-up of Bonga, a giant offshore Nigerian oilfield, has been pushed back until late this year.

AstraZeneca announces that David Brennan, head of the Anglo-Swedish drug group’s US operations, will replace Sir Tom McKillop as chief executive from next January, ending months of speculation. In another management overhaul, Jürgen Schrempp, architect of the controversial merger between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler, agrees to step down as chief executive of DaimlerChrysler at the end of the year. Sony, the Japanese electronics company, stuns investors with a dramatic cut to its earnings forecast and its first back-to-back quarterly loss in four years. read more

Daily Telegraph: Not bad results this half but UK plc could do better

Daily Telegraph: Not bad results this half but UK plc could do better

“… Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Shell, whose sums have given so much trouble recently, admitted: “It is clear we must improve our project management.”

Saturday 30 July 2005

(Filed: 30/07/2005)

Although company figures are encouraging, economists know the truth, says Philip Aldrick

School’s out for the City. The summer holidays have arrived and corporate Britain has been packing up its pencil case to head off on a well-earned break. A total of 21 blue chip companies published their half-term reports this week, 14 of them on Thursday, and the figures show that only one or two have been slacking.

“Things do look quite rosy at the moment,” says Richard Buxton, head of UK equities at Schroders. “Aside from the companies directly facing the consumer on the high street and feeding off the housing market, the corporate sector is in good health. read more

Daily Telegraph: A summary of this week’s main business stories

Daily Telegraph: A summary of this week’s main business stories

“Shell declared a 27pc increase in first-half profits to $10.17billion (£5.8billion) but admitted that its oil and gas production had fallen by 129,000 barrels a day over the period.”

Saturday 30 July 2005

• Sir Tom McKillop, chief executive of Astrazeneca, said he would step down in January and be replaced by US head David Brennan, as second-quarter pre-tax profits at the pharmaceutical giant rose 7pc to $1.75billion (£1billion) on sales up 16pc to $6.13billion.

• Glaxo Smithkline, Britain’s biggest drug company, reported a 7.8pc rise in first-half pre-tax profits to £1.66billion on sales up from £4.97billion to £5.35billion, despite problems at its Puerto Rico plant which led to the disruption in supply of two key drugs. read more

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