Shell shuts down pipeline
Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it had shut down a pipeline in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta after a fire and a suspected attempt to steal crude from one of its lines. In a statement late on Sunday, Shell said its Nigerian subsidiary shut down the 71cm Bomu-Bonn trunk line after a fire on Sunday. Shell said the shutdown of the line would cut production by about 150,000 barrels of a oil a day. It said a helicopter saw a burning ship nearby. It did not discuss how much oil spilled in what it described as an attempted theft.
Lagardere opposes merger
A minority shareholder of Europe’s European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co (EADS) yesterday said it was unhappy with the current terms of a proposed merger with Britain’s BAE Systems to create an aerospace behemoth to rival US giant Boeing. French industrial and media group Lagardere “estimates that at this stage, the conditions of a merger between EADS and BAE are unsatisfactory,” the company said in a statement. The group called on the EADS, in which it holds a 7.5 percent stake, “to re-examine the project of the EADS-BAE merger to better take into account the interests of EADS French shareholders.”
Kingfisher cancels flights
India’s cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines yesterday canceled several flights due to staff unrest, it said, fueling more doubts about the private carrier’s future and sending its shares plunging. Kingfisher, which is desperately in need of capital to keep flying, said in a statement it believed some employees might not report to work after being threatened by other workers.
Merged Nippon ends down
Shares in the merged Nippon Steel and rival Sumitomo Metal Industries got off to a poor start, closing at ￥158 yesterday, down 1.25 percent from Nippon Steel’s last price on Friday amid concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy. The two firms formally merged yesterday, creating the world’s second-largest steelmaker. “The China-linked material sector is weak these days,” a senior analyst at a Japanese asset management firm told Dow Jones Newswires. “A drastic restructuring is needed for the shares to recover.”
Inflation slows to 4.31%
Inflation eased to 4.31 percent last month as food prices fell after Eid-al Fitr celebrations, the Central Statistics Agency said yesterday. The consumer price index came in lower than the 4.58 percent in August, while month-on-month inflation was recorded at 0.01 percent, from 0.95 percent in August. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food prices, was 4.12 percent last month, compared with 4.16 percent in August. Bank Indonesia has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 5.75 percent since February.
Alpha buying Emporiki
Alpha Bank SA, Greece’s third-biggest lender, said it was buying Credit Agricole SA’s unprofitable Greek unit Emporiki Bank for a “nominal” consideration. Alpha Bank said Credit Agricole would inject 500 million euros (US$641 million) into Emporiki and subscribe to a convertible bond. Credit Agricole is selling its Greek division as concerns linger over Greece’s future in the euro area. Emporiki’s loan book makes Credit Agricole the foreign bank with most to lose if Greece exits the euro.