Rosneft evades sanctions
Rosneft and British Petroleum (BP) signed an agreement on Saturday to jointly explore for hard-to-recover oil in Russia, the first major deal for the state-run Russian oil company since the West imposed sanctions over Ukraine in March. Rosneft is to hold 51 percent of the joint venture, which plans to explore the so-called Domanic formation. BP holds an almost 20 percent stake in Rosneft.
Arms export licenses falter
The country’s national security council declined two-thirds of applications for arms export licenses at its most recent sitting three weeks ago, newsweekly Der Spiegel said on Saturday. The economy ministry had prevented a license application to export to Saudi Arabia 500 million euros (US$681.6 million) worth of armored personnel carrier gunsights from being discussed in the council, it said. Der Spiegel said the sights were made by a unit of Airbus.
Amazon buries Hachette
Hachette Book Group apologized to its authors for a dispute with Amazon.com Inc that prompted the online retailer to block preorders for some of the publisher’s forthcoming book releases. “Please know that we are doing everything in our power to find a solution to this difficult situation, one that best serves our authors and their work, and that preserves our ability to survive and thrive as a strong and author-centric publishing company,” Hachette chief executive officer Michael Pietsch said in a letter. Disagreements between Amazon and publishers have centered on digital-book prices and a reluctance by some houses to replace physical copies of older books with online versions.
Piketty answers critics
French economist Thomas Piketty responded on Saturday to criticism by the Financial Times (FT) of his best-selling book on income inequality, telling reporters that the newspaper was being “ridiculous.” The paper said on Friday there was little evidence in the 43-year-old’s original sources to underpin his argument in Capital in the 21st Century that an increasing share of total wealth is in the hands of the richest. Piketty said: “The FT is being ridiculous because all of its contemporaries recognize that the biggest fortunes have grown faster. The data that we have on these fortunes is imperfect, but data for other things such as tax declarations on estates is more reliable.”
Caterham to be sold
Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of low-cost carrier AirAsia BHD, plans to sell the Caterham group of automotive and engineering companies, the Edge Malaysia reported. The 50-year-old Malaysian businessman is seeking about ￡350 million (US$589 million) for the assets that include UK sports car manufacturer Caterham Cars Ltd and the Caterham Formula One Team, the newspaper said, citing a person it did not identify.
US$200m stimulus urged
Minister of Finance Larry Howai has ordered the Caribbean island’s government bank to inject US$200 million into the local market to help boost foreign-exchange allocation. Howai says the money is required to meet short-term needs and tackle ongoing limited supply issues. He said last week that foreign reserves have grown and remain strong.