Sun, Sep 21, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Illicit funding plagues Brazil

A former director of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras who has accused dozens of politicians of taking kickbacks allegedly pocketed one himself for the purchase of a US refinery, local media reported. Paulo Roberto Costa, currently in custody for money laundering, told police and justice ministry officials probing his allegations that he took 1.5 million reais (US$636,000) as part of a deal to buy the Texas-based refinery, Globo television reported on Thursday. Costa is at the heart of a corruption scandal that has made waves as Brazil approaches an Oct. 5 election and has left Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff fighting to fend off a challenge by former party ally Marina Silva.


Firms vie for Dresser-Rand

General Electric (GE) is lined up with Germany’s Siemens and other companies in pursuit of oil equipment maker Dresser-Rand Industries, with any deal likely to be worth more than US$6 billion. Sources close to the matter told AFP on Friday that GE has had preliminary discussions with the company. Earlier media reports in Europe said Germany’s Siemens was set to launch a multibillion-dollar bid for Dresser-Rand, even as Siemen’s Swiss rival Sulzer had its eyes on the company as well. Also potentially involved in any dealmaking is the Russian group Renova, which has 5 percent of Dresser-Rand, according to reports.


Citibank appeal dismissed

A US court on Friday dismissed an appeal by Citibank and Argentina to let the country make payments on debt tied up in a bitter legal battle with hedge funds.

The Federal Appeals Court for the Second Circuit ruled it did not have jurisdiction in the case and sent the appellants back to New York District Judge Thomas Griesa, who has blocked Argentina from servicing its restructured debt until it settles its US$1.3 billion dispute with the two US hedge funds.

Citibank was caught up in the row when Griesa expanded his initial payment freeze to include bonds issued under Argentine law.


Russia drilling to cease

Exxon Mobil said on Friday it will wind down drilling in Russia’s Arctic in the face of US sanctions targeting Western cooperation with Moscow’s oil sector, after the US granted a brief extension to safely mothball its operations. Washington extended sanctions on Russia last week over its aggression in Ukraine. The new measures seek to stop billions of dollars worth of cooperation between Western and Russian energy companies on oil drilling in Russia’s Arctic, in Siberia and offshore. Companies have until Sept. 26 to stop the work.


Phones 4U sells 140 stores

Phones 4U’s administrators PwC said Vodafone UK had agreed to take on 140 of its stores on Friday, saving 887 jobs, while a further 628 staff will be made redundant. The mobile phone retailer, which has 550 standalone stores and 5,596 employees, fell into administration on Monday after the nation’s biggest mobile operator EE joined Vodafone in not renewing its network agreement. The administrators said discussions to sell parts of the business were continuing. The deal remains subject to court approval on Monday and the terms were not revealed.

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