Royal Dutch Shell Group .com

Daily Telegraph (UK): The week that was: “Shell, which is restructuring itself after losing 25pc of its proved oil and gas reserves last year, has announced one of its biggest finds of the year off the coast of Norway.” ( 28 May 05


(Filed: 28/05/2005)


A summary of this week's main business stories


• Barclays has become the first major bank since the recession of the early 1990s to issue a warning that bad debts are growing sharply.


• The crisis at Wm Morrison has escalated as the troubled supermarket group admitted that it has lost track of how much profit it is making.


• Gerry Murphy, chief executive of DIY giant Kingfisher, warned of no end to the consumer downturn, as he reported a fall in B&Q's quarterly profits.


• Legal & General's £1.1m fine for endowment mortgage misselling was cut to £575,000 by the Independent Services & Markets Tribunal. Tim Breedon, head of the life insurer's fund management arm, is set to replace chief executive David Prosser when he retires next March.


• The world's biggest quoted hedge fund manager, Man Group, confounded City sceptics by reporting better than expected profits and dismissing fears of the collapse of a major rival.


• Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline said it was preparing to eye up Boots' £1bn medicines business.


• Shell, which is restructuring itself after losing 25pc of its proved oil and gas reserves last year, has announced one of its biggest finds of the year off the coast of Norway.


• Eliot Spitzer, the New York attorney general, formally accused insurance titan Maurice Greenberg of fraud, saying he manipulated the books of American International Group to deceive regulators and shareholders.


• New cash incentives to encourage people to delay drawing their basic state pensions will be worth less than expected because they will be subject to income tax, accountants said.


• Cable & Wireless is to speed up plans to build a broadband network that reaches half the UK population as the telecoms operator returned to profit and raised the dividend 21pc.


• Bob Diamond, head of Barclays investment banking arm Barclays Capital, is to join the main board and his appointment is expected to be announced imminently.


• The European Central Bank has brushed aside mounting calls for an emergency cut in interest rates to lift the eurozone out of its slump, insisting defiantly that monetary policy must be tightened further.


• GUS, the Argos and Homebase conglomerate, announced the £1.1billion demerger of its remaining 66pc stake in fashion house Burberry but upset the City by delaying plans to hive off its information services business Experian.


• The Duke of Westminster, chairman of Grosvenor Group, said his "most important" decision as head of his family's £4billion property empire was to never join the stock market.


• Abbey National was fined £800,000 by the City watchdog for mishandling complaints about endowment mortgages.


• ScottishPower shocked investors by selling PacifiCorp, the US energy company, to billionaire investor Warren Buffett for $9.4billion (£5.1billion).


• Mortgage lenders will only throw their financial muscle behind Gordon Brown's plans to help first time buyers if they can profit.


• Raymond Mould and Patrick Vaughan, founders of Pillar Property, are in line to share about £68m from shares and options as the company agreed a £811m cash bid from British Land


• Blackstone took the first step towards building a large attractions business with the £102.5m purchase of Merlin Entertainments, owner of London Dungeon and Sea Life Centres.


• Jarvis, the infrastructure services group, has warned its shareholders that they would be all but wiped out by a debt-for-equity swap.


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