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  1. 1. NEWS FILE Shell Bribes among ‘Culture of Corruption,’ Panalpina Admits David Voreacos and Laurel Brubaker Calkins - Bloomberg Businessweek - 5th November 2010 Bribes paid on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Nigerian unit came from “a culture of corruption” that Panalpina World Transport Holding Ltd., a Swiss freight forwarder, admitted in a U.S. court yesterday. Panalpina, Shell and five oil services companies agreed to pay $236.5 million to settle probes by the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission. Panalpina, which admitted to bribing government officials in seven nations, will pay $81.5 million, and Shell will pay $48.1 million. Prosecutors agreed to defer prosecution of five companies, including Panalpina and Shell. Panalpina said it paid at least $49 million in bribes to government officials in Angola, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Russia and Turkmenistan. The bribes from 2002 to 2007 let its clients avoid the customs process, pass off phony documents or smuggle contraband including medicines and explosives, Panalpina said. “Prior to 2007 a culture of corruption within Panalpina emanated from senior level management in Switzerland who tolerated bribery as business as usual,” the company said in a 34-page statement filed in federal court in Houston. “Dozens of employees throughout the Panalpina organization were involved in various schemes to pay bribes to foreign officials.” The company said Shell’s Nigerian employees “specifically requested Panalpina Nigeria to provide false invoices with line items to mask the nature of the bribes.” Shell wanted to “hide the nature of the payments to avoid suspicion if anyone audited the invoices,” Panalpina said. Panalpina, based in Basel, Switzerland, dropped 4.1 percent to 123.2 francs ($128.63) yesterday, ending an eight-day rise.
  2. 2. Scots head UK bankruptcy charts 6th November 2010 The number of people being made bankrupt in Scotland has been forecast to climb once more after declining modestly in the last three months. Scots continue to be made bankrupt at a rate nearly double that in the rest of the UK, despite a 4 per cent fall in the number of personal insolvencies in the three months to the end of September, according to figures published last week by the Accountant in Bankruptcy. They were confirmed yesterday by the government's Insolvency Service, which also showed that insolvencies in England and Wales fell 3.7 per cent over the quarter. Some 0.41 per cent of Scots have gone bankrupt in the past year, according to PKF accountants and business advisers, compared to 0.25 per cent of those in England and Wales. Anne Buchanan, corporate recovery partner with PKF, said Scotland's insolvency level was "worryingly high" given benign base interest rates and low mortgage costs. "This would indicate that there remains an enormous backlog of individuals who have been teetering on the brink of personal insolvency for some considerable time but have only just tipped over the edge in the third quarter," said Buchanan. She pointed out that many people have already been living beyond their means in an economy heavily dependent upon the public sector. And as creditors get tougher on people slipping into debt, growing personal insolvency levels will once more become the norm. She added: "Given that the impact of the spending review will start to be felt in the autumn and winter then I believe we will have many more quarters where large numbers of Scots are made bankrupt. Oil hits two year high as analysts predict $100 a barrel in 2011 7th November 2010 Oil prices rose to a two-year high in New York on Friday, raising fears of a return to $100 per barrel crude and consumer goods inflation. Brent crude, traded in London, hit $88.80 before falling back to $88, which is slightly below highs seen in the spring. But New York prices topped their highest in two years, touching $87.22 per barrel at one point, before retreating on a stronger dollar in late trading.
  3. 3. Analysts have begun to forecast that the price of crude will reach $90 before the year is out and top $100 per barrel in 2011. This week, JP Morgan raised its average 2011 forecast for New York-traded crude to $89.75 a barrel from $82.50, after the US Federal reserve said it would continue with quantitative easing. "It is still the Fed's decision of Wednesday which is boosting oil price," said analysts from Commerzbank. "The additional liquidity pumped into the markets by the Fed's treasury purchases should also reach commodity markets and is thus leading to increasing oil prices. What is more, the higher price level reflects the weaker US dollar which is a direct consequence of the ultra-expansive US monetary policy." Global oil demand has grown to 1m barrels per day in 2010 - increasing by an amount more than double previous forecasts. Prices were boosted this week when Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian oil minister, predicted prices of $70 to $90 rather than his previous estimate of $70 to $80. Libya, another member of the Opec, the oil cartel, has forecast $100 oil by the year end. "The current oil price is largely supported by the fundamental anticipation of continued and growing demand from the developing nations, although the quantitative easing in the US has weakened the dollar and added some froth to crude prices," said Andrew Moorfield, head of oil & gas at Lloyds TSB. Another bullish factor for oil is the high prices that energy companies are currently getting for their reserves. Both BP and Shell have been divesting fields for larger sums than the market expected this year. Analysts from Evolution Securities, said: "Royal Dutch Shell's announced that it is selling proved reserves of 27m barrels of oil equivalent for an average $16.7 per barrel. This is another example, following BP's recent disposals, where the selling down of peripheral assets can realise significant amounts of cash for relatively little loss of reserves and production." Royal Dutch Shell has offloaded stakes in six mature deepwater Gulf of Mexico gas fields for $450m (£270m). The oil major is taking advantage of high prices as it tries to divest $8bn of assets this and next year. It sold the fields, which produce 18,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 27m barrels in reserves, to W&T Offshore Inc. "We are focusing our investment on the most promising growth opportunities and that means selling some fields that no longer fit our strategy," said Marvin Odum, Shell's director for upstream Americas. Shell's production in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen by 4pc since BP's oil spill provoked a ban on deepwater drilling.
  4. 4. IMF Board Votes to Expand Power of Emerging-Market Economies Wall Street Journal - 8th November 2010 The International Monetary Fund's executive board voted Friday to boost the role of emerging economies within the organization as part of a move to increase its role as the world's arbiter on economic matters. The vote to overhaul its governance structure is a critical part of an agreement reached in October by finance ministers from the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations. The IMF pledged to hold the vote before the G-20 leader's summit, set for Nov. 11-12. The change will result in increased powers for China, Brazil, Russia and India by allowing them to become larger shareholders in the IMF. The changes include a rebalancing of quota shares, which determine voting powers of IMF member countries as well as the financial contribution each country contributes to the fund. The changes will also affect which countries hold seats on the IMF's executive board. The changes would also double the total contributions countries make to the IMF, a figure the IMF put at $755.7 billion at current exchange rates. "This historic agreement is the most fundamental governance overhaul in the Fund's 65- year history and the biggest ever shift of influence in favor of emerging market and developing countries," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said after the board's decision. "The negotiations have not been easy, but our members have shown willingness to compromise." Under the changes, China will hold the third largest quota share at 6.4%, below Japan's 6.5%. The U.S. has the largest quota at 17.7%, which would decrease to 17.4% under the plan. Germany's quota at the fund will fall to 5.6% from 6.1%, while both the U.K. and France quotas will fall to 4.2% from 4.5%. In total, world financial leaders agreed that more than 12% of the quota share at the IMF would shift to emerging economies with more than 6% coming from advanced economies to dynamic emerging economies and another approximately 6% from over- represented countries to under-represented countries. Completing the governance restructuring will take time, however. While the IMF's executive board approved the changes, the IMF's board of governors must also act
  5. 5. along with action by member countries in a process that could take several years. For example, it will likely take around a year for European governments to decide which of their smaller countries will give up their two of eight seats on the 24-member board. Smaller nations such as the Netherlands, Belgium or Denmark stand a strong chance of losing their seats to countries such as Turkey, South Korea or Poland. The IMF has set an October 2012 target for the reforms to be complete. When implemented, the changes will update a structure based primarily on the balance of global power following World War II, attempting to put the IMF's power structure in line with the economic muscle of member nations. IMF officials have called the changes "historic", and there is hope in the U.S. and Europe that by giving emerging economies a greater role in the fund would cement the legitimacy of the institution as a global financial referee. Additionally, a greater buy-in by more dynamic economies could strengthen the fund's function. Today: Tuesday 9th November David Cameron has arrived in Beijing, saying he wants to double trade between the UK and China. George Bush has defended the use of waterboarding on terrorist suspects. And are culture and arts the best way to bridge the gap between rich and poor children? Bankers flock to Barclays despite bonus crackdown 10th November 2010 Barclays said yesterday it was having "no problems" in attracting top bankers to its investment banking arm despite Europe's crackdown on bonuses. The bank's hiring spree comes as other banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, have loudly bemoaned new rules on bonuses and threatened to quit Britain. Barclays has so far set aside £1.6bn to cover bonuses for staff, largely at its investment bank Barclays Capital where the compensation ratio has hit 43 per cent. That comes
  6. 6. despite a marked slowdown at the division, which has been the driving force behind the company's growth in recent years. When accounting treatments covering the value of Barclays' own debt are taken into account, BarCap actually lost £182m in the quarter although without these accounting quirks, the profits totalled £765m. The reason for the high compensation ratio. however, was put down to the recruitment of 2,000 new bankers. Asked if the bonus rules were preventing his ability to hire Rich Ricci, co-chief executive, corporate and investment banking, said: "We have had no problems recruiting a bumper crop of talent. People join banks for a number of reasons. I think Barclays Capital is a great place to work." Privately senior figures at Barclays have expressed irritation at the array of new rules covering how they can pay bonuses imposed by Europe. However, its more emollient public stance is markedly different to rivals such as HSBC, which last week renewed the threats to quit Britain as a result of the regulations being imposed. Mr Ricci did, however, insist that regulators should take care to provide the bank with a "level playing field" against financial institutions based in other countries. Many banks have been sharply critical of new rules imposed on European banks by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors, because they say they go beyond international agreements on how bankers should be paid and therefore imposed an unfair burden on the continent's finance houses against rivals when it comes to attracting staff. However, Barclays appears to have had few problems drawing City talent to its banner. Asked how he could justify the bonus money Barclays is expected to lavish on those bankers, Chris Lucas, finance director, said the payments were a "function of the market operating". Overall Barclays reported income, net of insurance claims, of £22.9bn, up 2 per cent for the first nine months. However, impairment charges fell sharply to £4.3bn from £6.2bn. Pre-tax profits grew 4 per cent to £4.3bn. Barclays said it was growing its share of the mortgage market, although it declined to give details on its share of net new lending. Outgoing chief executive John Varley, however, insisted that Barclays was playing its part in supporting the economic recovery in Britain. He said the company had advanced £35bn in loans to UK households and businesses so far this year, an increase of nearly a third when compared with last year. "We understand what is required of us to support private-sector led economic activity," said Mr Varley in the bank's trading statement. He is being replaced by Bob Diamond next year. The shares finished up 11.35p at 297p. Lloyds under fire for more job cuts: The sacked would now fill a small football ground says union Lloyds Banking Group got into the (un)seasonal spirit yesterday by announcing another
  7. 7. 420 job losses, bringing the total axed since its disastrous merger with HBoS to 22,000. The banking union Unite said that the people sacked by the group – whose senior directors all remained in place despite the bank going cap in hand to the Government for a £15bn bailout – would now almost fill a smaller Premiership football ground. In total, 840 roles will be affected but relocation and redeployment will leave the number of redundancies at half that level. The majority of the cuts will hit the wholesale division and the Black Horse Personal Finance operation which is being closed to new business. Unite national officer Cath Speight said in response to the announcement: "Craven Cottage [home of Fulham FC] could hold the 22,000 people from this state-supported bank who been left devastated by the weekly flow of job loss announcements. "Unite is calling on the new CEO, António Horta-Osório, to make a firm commitment to all colleagues that his first priority will be job security when he joins the company in early 2011. Today more than 400 people face the reality of a future without employment as Lloyds Banking Group continues to throw increasing numbers of staff on to the scrap heap of the jobless." By contrast to Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, which required an even bigger bailout but axed directors, has indicated that no major redundancy announcements were likely in the final quarter of the year at its recent third-quarter results announcement. US: Business leader reveals how his recession- defying companybecame most successful in its field Transcendental Meditation News - UK 11 November 2010 The international finance world was impressed when the head of a leading US hedge fund revealed several months ago that his company had made billions more than any other hedge fund worldwide in the previous year (returning a record 38% yield on one
  8. 8. $50 billion fund). Now a recent article in a business publication explains that this executive attributes his success to Transcendental Meditation, which he has practised for 35 years. In a video interview and other publications, he explained why he has made a donation of $1.23 million to David Lynch's charity, which supports the teaching of Transcendental Meditation toyoung people worldwide, and why he pays for all his employees to learn the Transcendental Meditation Technique. 'I think it's the single most important reason for whatever success I've had . . . . I notice a difference from the moment I start to meditate. I can be stressed or tired, and immediately I will get very rested and relaxed and the stress will flow off me. I'll finish meditation feeling refreshed and centered, and that feeling will carry throughout the day.' He adds that this is quite a good return 'on an investment of twenty minutes'. Saturday, November 13, 2010 War News for Saturday, November 13, 2010 Taliban fighters launched a pre-dawn attack on a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, triggering a firefight with foreign and Afghan forces that left eight militants dead. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said its troops and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stationed at Jalalabad airport came under attack, but that none of their forces were killed. "The forward operating base received small arms fire from an unknown number of insurgents and after gaining positive identification of insurgent fighting positions an ANA and ISAF quick reaction force was sent to the area," it added. "Initial reports indicate no ANA or ISAF service members were killed." One of the attackers was wearing a suicide vest, ISAF said. Chery Launches New Electric Car In China November 15, 2010 Chinese automaker Chery Automobile has released its first 100% electric vehicle, Riich M1-EV, at the 25th World Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition held in Shenzhen. The latest move marked the auto maker's entry into the new-energy vehicle market. The Riich M1-EV uses a 336V lithium iron phosphate battery pack. It has a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour and can drive up to 160 kilometers on a single charge. In addition, Chery also showcased its S18D all-electric car at the event.
  9. 9. Sensex Recovers as Select Blue Chips Move Higher 2010-11-16 10:37:42 The Sensex is down 5.62 points or 0.03% at 20,304.07, well off the day's low of 20,209.65. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down 6.40 points or 0.1% at 6115.20. Realty stocks, which started off on a weak note, have edged higher on modest support after recent sharp losses. A few stocks from healthcare, automobile, FMCG and banking sectors have moved up a bit. Capital goods, information technology and metal stocks are seen struggling to make a headway. Oil stocks are also mostly subdued this morning. Midcap and smallcap stocks are finding modest support. Sterlite Industries has lost around 1.3%. HDFC Bank is down by a little over 1%. Wipro, Cipla, ONGC, BHEL, ITC, Tata Power, Infosys Technologies, Hero Honda, Hindalco, State Bank of India and Maruti Suzuki are trading lower by 0.3% - 1%. Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra and Reliance Infrastructure are also trading weak. Larsen & Toubro is down with a modest loss despite a consortium of the company and non-resident Keralite businessman P Mohamed Al-led Galfar Engineering & Contracting bagging the design and development order for the New Salalah International Airport in the Sultanate of Oman for $764 million (Rs 3,452 crore). L&T is the leader of the consortium and its scope of works will be approximately $500 million (Rs 2,200 crore). L&T’s scope of works involves the complete design, including airside and landside works, and construction of the 660,000 sq ft passenger terminal building, the air traffic control tower, ancillary buildings including MEP Systems and airport-wide system networks. These are scheduled to be completed in 30 months. Upon completion, the airport will have a capacity to handle two million passengers per annum, said a press release. Bharti Airtel has gained over 3% to Rs 319. Reliance Communications, the other telecom stock in the Sensex, is up 1.8% at Rs 172. DLF, ICICI Bank,Jaiprakash Associates and Tata Steel are also up with notable gains. Among Nifty stocks, Sesa Goa, BPCL, Suzlon Energy, GAIL India, SAIL, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank and Siemens are trading weak. HCL Technologies is also down in negative territory despite reports the company has bagged a $100 million deal for its BPO unit. Ranbaxy Laboratories is up nearly 2%. Reliance Capital, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Kotak Bank and IDFC are also trading firm. Meanwhile, Gravita India is on song on its maiden
  10. 10. appearance at the bourses. The stock is currently trading at Rs 236, up 89% over the issue price of Rs 125. On the National Stock Exchange, over 10.5 million shares have been traded so far at the Gravita India counter this morning. Mahindra Satyam (down 7.65% at Rs 77.80) continues to languish deep down in negative territory due to weak results for the July - September 2010 quarter. Coal India is up by about 1% at Rs 320. klqkBFiidbc.html General Motors IPO "Well-Scripted," Comments SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov 17, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) –, the premier online resource for automotive information, offers the following observations about the General Motors IPO: "Anyone doing an IPO might want to use this as a case study - it's so well-scripted," stated CEO Jeremy Anwyl, "Executives Stephen Girsky and Chris Liddell know the financial market and understand what it takes to make an IPO successful. They lined up institutional investors ahead of time and began a steady drumbeat of good news about 45 days ago in order to set the stage for the big day." Anwyl points to the following recent events that have kept GM in a favorable light during this pre-IPO period: GM solidified its executive management and hired a group of respected marketing professionals to shift the company's image. GM reduced its debt by $11 billion and promised that upon the completion of its IPO, it will buy back some of the GM stock held by the US Treasury and contribute significantly to the GM pension plans. GM became the first automaker to sell two million vehicles in China. GM launched advertising for the Chevy Cruze that delivered head-on comparisons against of competitors, attempting to boost consideration of GM's most important new vehicle launch of the decade. GM followed with nostalgic Chevy ads to round out the appeal of the brand. A special edition Chevy Cruze received better-than-anticipated mileage ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency. GM announced that it would discontinue the Mr. Goodwrench brand just like it discontinued Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer, emphasizing its commitment to
  11. 11. efficiency regardless of history. GM announced impressive third-quarter results, and celebrated the fact that it exceeded October sales expectations. GM announced that General Electric will buy 12,000 Chevy Volts just as the media begin to question the Volt's significance within the larger context of the auto industry. Chevy Volt was named as Motor Trend's Car of the Year and Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year. Promising Buick product plans are under embargo until the Los Angeles Auto Show -- the very day of the IPO pricing announcement. "Given the steps GM has taken, the IPO should play out well for them despite complications such as the fact that the government is a major investor," noted Anwyl. "Scripted or not, these messages surely paint a favorable picture of the company and offer hope for the future." 11-17?ref Latin Americaattractive marketfor Indian export: Minister 2010-11-18 19:40:00 Indian exporters should focus on the emerging economies, especially Latin American countries, to sustain growth as demand in rich countries slackens, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia has said. 'We need to augment our exports to Latin American countries as they are vibrant economies and offer big opportunities,' Scindia said at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) here Tuesday. Scindia said his ministry would announce a report on 'reduction of transaction cost' after consultation with all concerned ministries. 'Government will chalk out a strategy to facilitate exports and investment after in-depth study which will be commissioned shortly,' the minister said. Advising Indian exporters to focus on developing countries, Scindia said advanced nations would show an import growth of 0.9 to 1 percent while developing economies would exhibit import growth between 4.5 to 5 percent. FIEO President A. Sakthivel said new and untapped markets were helping maintain export momentum despite moderate growth in traditional
  12. 12. markets. 'The market diversification strategy has started yielding result and will help us to expand our export base. ' klrtErahbbd.html Indian, Pakistani traderswant less restrictions 2010-11-21 14:30:00 Indian and Pakistani businessmen at the 30th India International Trade Fair (IITF) want more access to each other's markets and removal of various barriers to further trade and good relations between the two neighbours. Pakistan pavilion director Mazhar Mufti, who is also assistant secretary of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said business and trade opportunities are enormous between the two countries. 'There is a huge opportunity here. We need Indian goods. It's a necessity for us. Indian businesses could also get access to a huge market as Pakistan,' Mufti told IANS. According to Mufti, trade barriers like product lists for exports and imports only hurt the interests of the people on both the sides. 'We are currently importing everything from vegetables to other products but because of such restrictions, people's interests are getting hurt,' he added. Mufti pointed out that opening trade, business and people-to-people contacts will help in generating more jobs, control price rise and lead to good relations between the two neighbours. 'You import cement, gas and other products from around the world at high prices and we import products like medicines when all these can be traded between us at a more affordable rate,' he pointed out. Mufti also cited the export of cement by Pakistan for Commonwealth Games projects here and said there was a great opportunity for all kinds of goods. Pakistani traders selling goods like textiles, spices and handicrafts have reported bumper sales and an enthusiastic response from their Indian customers at the IITF. Pakistani businessman Ali Noor, who is in the country to sell and promote his spices and ready-made food pastes, felt that the reason for such a robust response to
  13. 13. Pakistani items is the lack of trade with India. Similar sentiments were expressed by the Indian business community at the fair. Ramesh Tiwari, who co-owns one of the stalls, said retail venues of products should be opened all year around - to benefit everyone. 'This only happens once a year, but if the governments agree and provide us with permanent year-round venues in each others' countries for retail sales, that would be fantastic for both the sides,' he added. Enthusiastic shoppers are buying everything from textiles to spices at such a rate that the stall owners believe will exhaust all their stocks before the fair ends. Six-month rego: all in favour Deborah Gough November 22, 2010 THE three major political parties have backed a campaign for a six-month payment option for vehicle registration, the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce has said. Labor, the Liberal-National Coalition and the Greens have all committed to considering the payment option for the ever-increasing registration fee which is more than $600 a year. The six-monthly payment option is currently only available to concession card holders but the VACC's executive director, David Purchase, said other motorists found it difficult to pay because of the high cost. The payment option was available in all other states. "Vehicle registration and the TAC fees payable on the average family car are one of the largest government-levied charges in the household budget: a lump-sum payment is a big hit to the pocket,'' Mr Purchase said. The VACC quoted from letters sent to it from Labor's Minister for Roads, Tim Pallas, and the Coalition's transport spokesman, Terry Mulder, who both said it was a matter to consider. The Greens' Greg Barber said the Greens supported it under condition that the administration costs did not affect the option for low-income earners. Mr Purchase called for the next state government to introduce the six-month payment option upon election. 181zf.html
  14. 14. South Korean Market Trades Notably Lower 11/22/2010 The South Korean market is trading notably lower, mirroring the trend in most of the markets in the Asian region on the back of renewed concerns about Ireland's debt worries. Automobile and shipping stocks are among the prominent losers, while bank stocks are trading notably higher. The benchmark KOSPI index, which opened at 1,938.9, marginally below the unchanged line, is currently down 18.4 points or 0.9% at 1,926. Among automobile stocks, Kia Motor and Hyundai Motor are trading lower by 2.4% and 1.6%, respectively, while Ssangyong Motor is gaining about 1%. Shipping stocks Samsung Heavy Industries, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are down 1.6%-2.6% from their previous closing prices. STX Pan Ocean is up with a gain of 1.7%. Among technology stocks, Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics are trading flat, while LG Display LCD and LG Electronics are up 2% and 1.5%, respectively. Bank stocks Woori Finance, Shinhan Financial and KB Financial are up 1.7%-2.6%. Korea Exchange Bank is gaining about 0.8% and Hana Financial Group is up as much as 7.6%. Among steel stocks, Hyundai Steel is trading modestly higher, while POSCO is down with a loss of 1.5%. Oil stocks are trading mixed.