Archive for January, 2011

National Grid to shed 7% of US workforce

Monday, January 31st, 2011

UK energy business begins a radical restructuring of its US business, aiming to lay off a quarter of senior executives, to save ?125m

Exxon bolstered by higher oil prices

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The group beat analysts’ expectations with a 46 per cent rise in earnings per share in the fourth quarter, helped by the rise in prices for oil and petrochemicals

Oil companies choose different paths

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The three largest US oil groups may be facing the same problems in securing access to conventional sources of oil and gas but they have each chosen a different response

Cowen will not stand in election

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen says he will not contest the upcoming general election.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Torres set for talks with Chelsea

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Liverpool give permission for striker Fernando Torres to hold talks with Chelsea after the clubs agree a transfer fee.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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‘Mubarak out of order, Mubarak donkey’

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Cairo for a seventh day to try to increase the pressure on President Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Bingaman backs nuclear in U.S. clean energy standard

Monday, January 31st, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the Senate’s energy panel said on Monday he could support including nuclear power in the White House’s clean energy standard for generating electricity as long…

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Afghan opium farming ‘to spread’

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Opium poppy production in the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar is predicted to be down again this year, but elsewhere the news is more bleak.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Wary markets watch Egypt unrest

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Anti-government protestersThe protests in Egypt have been going on for the past week

Ratings agency Moody’s has cut its debt rating for Egypt, and changed its outlook from stable to negative.

Moody’s said the cut was “prompted by the recent significant rise in political event risk and concern that the policy response could undermine Egypt’s already weak public finances”.

It has downgraded the country’s debt rating one notch from Ba1 to Ba2.

Thousands of Egyptian protesters have taken to the streets, calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

On Friday, Fitch also downgraded its outlook on Egypt from stable to negative, citing the political unrest.

“Finally the rating agencies wake up. Egypt rated flat with Turkey was always a joke,” said RBS analyst Timothy Ash.

The anti-government protests have been largely driven by public anger at rising prices, unemployment, and accusations of corruption and lack of democracy.

The Moody’s downgrade reflects growing unease among ratings agencies at the impact of political tensions across parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

The unrest in Egypt follows the uprising in Tunisia, which ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Last week, Standard & Poor’s also named Algeria and Jordan as being vulnerable to unrest similar to that seen in Tunisia, saying the political uncertainty weighed on their sovereign ratings.

Concerns that the unrest in Egypt could spread also knocked European stock markets, with shares in airlines and travel operators taking a hit.

In London, shares in Thomas Cook fell 4.7%, Thomson Holidays owner TUI Travel shed 2.7%, while the new BA/Iberia airline group IAG dropped 2.6%.

Shares in German carrier Lufthansa were down 1.9%.

The Cairo Stock Exchange itself was closed for the third straight day.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell back on Monday after the head of the oil producers’ group Opec said he did not expect the turmoil in Egypt to affect the Suez Canal.

Oil prices had been pushed higher by fears that supplies could be disrupted if the protests led to the closure of the canal, which connects Europe and Asia.

But a canal official told state media that the waterway was functioning at full capacity.

US crude initially rose 33 cents to $89.67 a barrel before falling back to $89.22, while London Brent dropped to $98.61 a barrel after nearing the $100 mark.

More than 4 million barrels of crude oil a day are shipped through the canal or an adjacent pipeline.

On Friday, shares in shipping companies rose, when worries over the Suez Canal began to emerge.

Its closure would mean ships would have to travel around the southern tip of Africa, adding thousands of miles to their journeys, and traders speculated that the tanker owners would be able charge accordingly.

Shares in Frontline, one of the world’s largest oil tanker operators, ended Friday 7.7% higher on the New York Stock Exchange.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Bulgaria Urges Coordinated EU 27 Actions on Egypt

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov has urged the EU member states to come up with coordinated actions with respect to the intensive civil unrest protests against the Mubarak regime in Egypt.

Mladenov took part Monday in the sitting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. He recommended the quick drafting of clear rules for everybody in the EU with respect to situations such as the current crisis in Egypt.

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