Egypt hurts Moeller-Maersk
Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moeller-Maersk said on Thursday it had partially reopened its activities in Egypt, but said the bloody revolt in the country would continue to impact its business. The world-leading container transporter had announced on Tuesday it was suspending all the Egyptian activities of its Maersk Line, Safmarin and Damco units, as well as its Suez container terminal. “Today [Thursday], Maersk Line, Safmarine and Damco offices have reopened,” the company said in an e-mail. At the Suez container terminal in Port Said, “there are limited vessel operations. There are also limited operations at the ports of Damietta and Alexandria,” it added.
Rosneft denies TNK-BP talks
Russian oil producer Rosneft said it was not in talks to buy out Russian shareholders in peer TNK-BP, following a report a possible sale was in the offing to resolve a row with BP. Four sources told Vedomosti business daily that AAR — a Russian shareholder consortium which co-owns TNK-BP, a 50-50 joint venture with British major BP — might sell its stake to Rosneft or the Russian government. “We are not in talks about buying AAR’s stake or TNK-BP itself,” Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov told Interfax news agency.
Mattel sued over Bratz dolls
MGA Entertainment Inc filed an antitrust suit against Mattel Inc, its archrival in the world of fashion dolls. The case is the latest volley in an ongoing dispute over MGA’s Bratz dolls. It was filed on Thursday in US District Court in Los Angeles and alleges unfair business practices and anticompetitive conduct. MGA claims Mattel used a “scorched earth strategy” to infiltrate confidential showrooms at industry events to copy new Bratz products, rearrange Barbie and Bratz displays at retailers, intimidate licensees and pay retailers not to buy MGA products. MGA says Mattel uses litigation instead of competition to protect Barbie’s monopoly over the fashion doll market and deprive consumers of choices.
India, Iran resolve dispute
An official said India and Iran have resolved a dispute over payments for Iranian crude oil, with India agreeing to set up a new mechanism that would allow payments in euros. The official said yesterday that the State Bank of India would route the payments through a German-based bank, ending a nearly six-week stalemate that had threatened to disrupt oil supplies to India. The payments for Iranian crude would be made through the Hamburg-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG, the finance ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media. Iran is India’s second-largest crude oil supplier and meets more than 12 percent of its oil needs.
Benchmark rate raised
The central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 6.75 percent, a move aimed at helping curb inflation blamed on spiraling foods prices. Halim Alamsyah, a deputy governor of the Bank Indonesia, announced the decision yesterday. Hours earlier, senior economic minister Hatta Rajasa expressed hope that harvests, which have been disrupted in recent weeks by extreme weather, would soon improve, helping bring down the price of chilies, soy beans and other staple foods. The bank had held the rate at a record low 6.5 percent for the past 18 months.