Due to the volatility of American oil and gas prices shale producers need to be quick and nimble, adjusting their production higher or lower as a function of their commodity price forecasts. Unfortunately, such agility clashes with the predominant business model of the oil majors. Hence, BP has decided to put its 'tight' US oil and gas assets into a standalone business so as to improve operating performance and then sell it off, The Times reports.
Close on the heels of its return to profitability after its acquisition of collapsed mortgage bank Northern Rock, Virgin Money´s latest annual report shows that an initial public offering is a distinct possibility. The lender is also gearing up for the launch of a current account in the first half of this year, The Scotsman says.
The Governor of the Bank of England confirmed that the Bank will this month begin to analyse a toughening of the Remuneration Code on the basis of the recommendations made to it by the banking commission of MPs and peers. That means that bank bosses could be stripped of their bonuses even after having cashed them in, as opposed to as at present, according to The Daily Mail.
Manchester-based online fashion retailer Boohoo.com is understood to have set the price for its upcoming flotation at 50p per share. That would allow the latest aspirant from the retail sector to become a quoted company, or to sell shares, at a market valuation of £500m, although the firm declined to comment. At the moment the Kamani family own an 82% stake in the business, The Daily Telegraph says.
The message for Britain from the Geneva Motor show is that the country´s automobile manufacturers will have more work heading their way soon. Little surprise then that the sector is being pushed to capacity, with over four decade-old production records set to be hit again at some point over the next few years. Jaguar Land Rover announced its decision to put its new baby Jag into production at Solihull in 2015, while Nissan will ramp up production of its all-electric Leaf car at its Sunderland plant, The Times says.
The public debate over the effects of the Bank of England´s record low interest rates is heating up again ahead of tomorrow´s meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting. For Ros Altmann, a former Saga director-general, what has been witnessed over the last few years is a dramatic redistribution of wealth between borrowers and savers that would have caused an uproar had it been done through the tax system. Consultancy McKinsey also suggested in 2013 that persistently low rates could damage growth via lowered consumption, The Times explains.