US gas firm mulls options
Chesapeake Energy Corp, the second-largest US natural gas producer, said it is looking at options including the sale or a spinoff to existing shareholders of the company’s oilfield services unit. The unit, Chesapeake Oilfield Operating LLC, had sales of about US$2.2 billion last year and is able to work as a stand-alone firm, the Oklahoma City-based energy producer said in a statement. The unit earns about 35 percent of its revenue from contracts with companies other than its parent. The oilfield services business “will offer Chesapeake and its shareholders enhanced return opportunities as a stand-alone company,” Chesapeake chief executive officer Doug Lawler said in the statement. “A separation … is aligned with our strategies of financial discipline, and profitable and efficient growth from captured resources.”
LG focuses on top models
LG Electronics Inc is withdrawing its range of lower-priced smartphones in China as South Korea’s second-biggest phone maker tries to revive profit by focusing on premium models that run on fourth-generation (4G) networks. LG is in talks with three mobile operators in China to expand sales of premium devices, Park Jong-seok, the head of LG’s mobile-communications division. told reporters in Seoul. It is boosting the number of its products that run on 4G networks to better compete with Chinese producers. “We have the world’s best LTE technology and the China market is shifting toward LTE,” Park said. “We’ve been pulling out all cheap smartphones and decided to closely collaborate with mobile operators in the premium segment.”
UK in talks on yuan-clearing
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the nation is in “active” discussions with China to establish a yuan-clearing bank in London and this should be done in “fairly short order.” “Everyone is committed to the idea in principle so it’s just the practicalities of it,” he said on Sunday in an interview in Sydney, where he is attending a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors. “The renminbi [yuan] market, it’s really expanding rapidly in London and the clearing bank is the next logical step,” he said. The Bank of England said in November last year that it was ready to help set up such a bank, following a government announcement that China and the UK would introduce direct trading between the yuan and the British pound. Osborne last week said that the UK will host the first international yuan conference in this summer.
German bank alters US plans
Deutsche Bank has laid out plans to reduce its US balance sheet as the US Federal Reserve adopts new rules to shield the country’s taxpayers from costly bailouts, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. The lender is expected to reduce its US$400 billion balance sheet in the US to about US$300 billion in part by reassigning operations such as its Mexican arm and its Frankfurt and Tokyo-based repo businesses that are currently part of its US business elsewhere, the newspaper reported. The daily said that the bank will also reduce a sizeable chunk of its repo business in the US after discovering that some of its clients were not making use of its other offerings. The bank may reassign US-based operations to Europe or Asia to reduce assets in its US division, the newspaper said.