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THE LONDON TIMES: Half of the FTSE 100 establish relief operations: “Shell is providing free fuel to rescue operations in Thailand and fresh water supplies in parts of Sri Lanka.” ( 31 Dec 04


By Our Business Staff


THE Vodafone Group and HSBC have donated millions of pounds towards the disaster relief efforts to kickstart an unprecedented show of corporate support from Britain.


More than half the members of the FTSE 100 said that they had instigated their own relief operations.


Companies such as Pearson, the media group, and Legal & General have pledged to match staff donations. Cairn Energy, the Edinburgh oil and gas company, said that it had donated £120,000. It is also providing free use of its Indian-based helicopter for rescue operations. BP has spread a £1.6 million donation among the Red Cross, Oxfam and Unicef. HSBC has given £518,000 to the Red Cross. Vodafone has donated £1 million to the Red Cross, Télécoms Sans Frontières and the Disasters Emergency Committee. Shell is providing free fuel to rescue operations in Thailand and fresh water supplies in parts of Sri Lanka.


Next has pledged £250,000 towards home reconstruction in Sri Lanka. Tesco has donated £100,000 to the Red Cross.


Several other retailers, including J Sainsbury and Dixons, said that they would carry out staff and in-store collections.


British American Tobacco said that it was helping to rebuild a village, and Scottish Power hopes to join the City of Glasgow in assisting a town or city. John Lewis Partnership has donated £50,000 to the Red Cross. Lloyds TSB, which gave £20,000 to the Red Cross, has waived transaction charges for people transferring money to affected areas. Other banks may follow its lead.


Several FTSE 100 companies are yet to make a decision on how best to support the relief efforts. Many company offices were closed this week.


Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS, neither of which was affected by the disaster, said that they were still considering how best to assist the relief efforts. Anglo American and BHP Billiton, the mining giants, are also yet to make a decision, as are BAE Systems, Imperial Tobacco, retail and business services group GUS, Reckitt Benckiser and mmO2, the mobile phone group. Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian miner which has a mine in Indonesia, has donated $120,000 to the country’s relief operations.


GE Healthcare, the global health and life sciences business based near Amersham, has given $1 million (£519,000) to the Red Cross and a further $100,000 to Unicef.

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