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Severn Trent
06 октября, 09:39

Европейские фондовые снизились в среду на опасениях сокращения объемов QE в Европе

Европейские фондовые индексы снизились в среду на слухах, что Европейский центральный банк (ЕЦБ) может приступить к постепенному сокращению программы количественного смягчения (QE), пишет MarketWatch.

05 сентября, 14:00

What to Know Before You Sign a Payment-by-Results Contract

Samuel Castro Paying for results is in vogue. The concept is fairly straightforward: The parties define the result up front, agree on a baseline, work out how confident the organization is in delivering the result, and then specify the expectation and payment in the contract. The idea isn’t new — it’s well established in online advertising, for example — but its application is becoming more widespread in the private and public sectors. Consider these examples: Education. The UK’s Department for International Development uses “results-based” aid to improve the educational outcomes of young girls in Africa and Asia. Pearson, the educational publisher, measures the efficacy of its products to improve educational outcomes. Its CEO, John Fallon, says of this approach, “It is by having a bigger impact on education — measured by expanding access and improving outcomes — that we will make Pearson a faster-growing and more sustainably profitable company.” Health care. Cigna is the first insurance company to get pharmaceutical companies to agree to value pricing based on results for certain cholesterol-lowering drugs. And the Health Care Transformation Task Force, a newly formed coalition of private insurers and provider organizations in the U.S., recently announced that its members are committing to transform 75% of their contracts into pay-for-performance models by 2020. Water. Severn Trent Water, among other UK water companies, has agreed to “outcomes-delivery incentives” with the regulator Ofwat that results in rewards and penalties if it meets or fails to meet, respectively, performance commitments. It’s no wonder that payment by results (PbR) is gaining traction. Customers and taxpayers want to see more value and accountability for the money they spend, so they’re starting to demand that the companies serving them focus on results. And providers want the flexibility to deliver outcomes in the best, most innovative, and most efficient way possible without being micromanaged by the customer. This often involves collaborating with other organizations to deliver the whole outcome – healthier living, better education, or lower crime rates. But as appealing as PbR is, it often goes off the rails. When PbR Doesn’t Work PbR can turn into a costly, risky exercise that delivers unpredictable results. Customers don’t always get the outcomes they expect, and providers can feel underrewarded for their efforts, especially when the result is hard to achieve. Another problem we’ve seen is that some providers, seeking to fit in to a payment cycle, focus on short-term results, losing sight of the end goals. Sometimes, measuring the results can involve a substantial amount of data collection and analysis, and the measurements are often in dispute. Disagreements focus on whether the result has been achieved and how much of the result was due to the organization under contract or to external factors. Did the patient really become healthier because of the drug in question, or because he’s eating better? Did the student get an A because of the textbook, or because the teacher was inspiring? Another problem is that badly designed contracts can leave open the possibility of companies gaming the system. There are plenty of ways to do this: going soft on the result in order to gain payment (for example, private probations officers being told to turn a blind eye to offenders who violate the terms of their probation); redefining the outputs to make it easier to achieve the result (for example, considering patients “admitted” when they’re placed on gurneys rather than assigned beds); adding cost into the contract to mitigate risk; or cherry-picking the best customers in order to achieve the result. Finally, some companies have struggled to finance their activities without payment while they work on delivering the results, limiting their ability to innovate too. As a result, some governments and private foundations have introduced social impact bonds to provide the necessary working capital. Making PbR Work  We’ve found that PbR contracts function best when: The parties define the result — and the baseline — without ambiguity and agree to practical approaches to measurement The role of the provider in delivering the result can be verified independently without manipulation — for example, through randomized control trials, statistical analysis, and qualitative analysis The provider has sufficient capital and risk appetite to take on the challenge while it waits for the payment There is enough time to develop innovative solutions to achieve the results There’s trust between the parties and the outcome is not “political.” Too much subjectivity and sensitivity can scupper the scheme. There are management tools and incentives in place to encourage a focus on results and the end goals Typically, the results are defined after conducting market research and engaging with customers. Performance is then assessed against a baseline on a regular basis — say, quarterly or annually. However, with the growth of sensors and wearable technology, we’re seeing more ongoing real-time assessment of product- or service-use and results. The great benefits of this are improved accuracy and transparency, and therefore accountability. Required Capabilities Promising a result creates a greater expectation in the eyes of the customer than simply providing a product or service. It sets a clearer purpose, often in improving the lives of customers and citizens. In our experience, this demands a more agile, higher-performing organization that masters three differentiating capabilities: Effective partnering with other organizations involved in the delivery of the outcomes. This includes the closer alignment of incentives, active performance management, and use of risk-sharing mechanisms for the complex, lower-trust contexts. For example, health and social care providers may work more closely within “integrated care” models. Flexible internal organizational structures. PbR arrangements require more internal collaboration, transcending vertical siloes based on products to organization-wide outcomes in what Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP calls “horizontality.” Use of digital technology. Wearables, sensors, and IoT applications produce real-time insight into the needs, expectations, and behaviors of customers — and, crucially, into their achievement of value outcomes. Companies need to use this digital technology to capture, analyze, and then act on the new insight to deliver the agreed-upon outcomes with the highest efficiency, tweaking products and services along the way as required. At first sight, results-based payments can be appealing for customers and providers. And digital technology is making it easier to measure the results. But PbR arrangements only work in specific circumstances by organizations with the capabilities to deliver them. Otherwise, they’ll find they will pay for more than they bargained for.

24 мая, 11:09

Фондовые индексы Европы растут во вторник на корпоративных новостях

Европейские фондовые индексы повышаются во вторник, инвесторы оценивают корпоративные новости и заявления представителей Федеральной резервной системы (ФРС).

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12 марта, 21:27

Severn Trent drops chlorine warning for thousands of homes

Homes in Leicestershire and Derbyshire were affected after the company ‘over-chlorinated’ a reservoir, but the majority now have usable waterMost homes affected by Severn Trent Water’s chlorine crisis will be able to use their water as normal later on Sunday, the company has said.However, 241 homes in the region will continue to be left without usable water. Continue reading...

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11 марта, 19:14

People in Derbyshire told not to use water after high chlorine scare

Severn Trent Water tells customers in postcodes DE11, DE65 and DE73 not to use supply as it examines reservoir problemAround 3,500 Severn Trent customers in Derbyshire have been advised not to use their water supply because of abnormal chlorine levels.The utility said in a statement that residents in the DE11, DE65 and DE73 postcodes should not use their water supply at all until further notice. Continue reading...

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26 ноября 2015, 20:29

Severn Trent опубликовала полугодовые финансовые результаты

Британская компания сферы водоснабжения Severn Trent опубликовала полугодовые финансовые результаты. Так, прибыль до уплаты налогов компании увеличилась с 137,1 млн фунтов стерлингов годом ранее до 186,2 млн фунтов ($281,1 млн). Выручка в рассматриваемом периоде достигла 896,1 млн фунтов по сравнению с 898,3 млн фунтов за аналогичный период прошлого года.

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26 ноября 2015, 11:29

Severn Trent опубликовала полугодовые финансовые результаты

Британская компания сферы водоснабжения Severn Trent опубликовала полугодовые финансовые результаты. Так, прибыль до уплаты налогов компании увеличилась с 137,1 млн фунтов стерлингов годом ранее до 186,2 млн фунтов ($281,1 млн). Выручка в рассматриваемом периоде достигла 896,1 млн фунтов по сравнению с 898,3 млн фунтов за аналогичный период прошлого года.

23 июня 2015, 09:20

Европа: рынки приходят в себя. США: инвесторы вдохновились известиями из Европы

В понедельник, 22 июня, ключевые фондовые индексы Европы продемонстрировали положительную динамику на фоне ожиданий того, что Греция наконец сможет достичь соглашения с международными кредиторами. Так, фондовые индексы Франции, Германии и Испании выросли на максимальную с 2012 года величину. Из вышедшей накануне в регионе макроэкономической статистики можно отметить публикацию индекса потребительского доверия еврозоны за июнь, составившего -5,6 пункта, тогда как ожидалось -5,8 пункта. Отметим, что предыдущее изменение данного показателя было пересмотрено с -5,5 пункта до -5,6 пункта. По итогам сессии ключевой индекс Великобритании FTSE 100 повысился на 1,72%, французский CAC 40 поднялся на 3,81%, а немецкий DAX ушел в плюс на 3,81%. Региональный индикатор STXE 600, в свою очередь, прибавил 2,3% и закрылся на отметке 394,25 пункта.

22 июня 2015, 20:45

Канада/Великобритания: Borealis планирует приобрести Severn Trent за $8 млрд

Канадская инвестиционная компания Borealis Infrastructure планирует приобрести британскую фирму сферы водоснабжения Severn Trent за 5 млрд фунтов стерлингов ($8 млрд). Напомним, что два года назад Severn Trent уже отвергла предложение по ее приобретению со стороны Borealis.

22 июня 2015, 19:15

U.K. stocks higher at close of trade; FTSE 100 up 1.72%

U.K. stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Construction&Materials, Mobile Telecommunications and Fixed Line Telecommunications sectors led shares higher. At the close in London, the FTSE 100 gained 1.72%. The best performers of the session on the FTSE 100 were Severn Trent Plc (LONDON:SVT), which rose 5.89% or 121.00 points to trade at 2176.00 at the close. Meanwhile, International Airlines Group (LONDON:ICAG) added 4.15% or 21.00 points to end at 526.50 and Carnival (LONDON:CCL) was up 3.79% or 120.00 points to 3288.00 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Randgold Resources (LONDON:RRS), which fell 1.89% or 85.00 points to trade at 4413.00 at the close. Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LONDON:HIK) declined 1.85% or 36.00 points to end at 1911.00 and Fresnillo Plc (LONDON:FRES) was down 1.26% or 9.00 points to 703.50. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1983 to 669 and 428 ended unchanged. Gold for August delivery was down 1.51% or 18.20 to $1183.70 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in August fell 0.38% or 0.23 to hit $59.74 a barrel, while the August Brent oil contract fell 0.45% or 0.28 to trade at $62.73 a barrel. GBP/USD was down 0.48% to 1.5812, while EUR/GBP rose 0.46% to 0.7181. The US Dollar Index was up 0.15% at 94.45.

22 июня 2015, 10:29

European stocks rise sharply on Greek deal hopes; Dax rallies 2.67%

European stocks opened sharply higher on Monday, amid new hopes for a Greek debt deal as European leaders prepared to hold last ditch talks to prevent Athens from defaulting. During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 jumped 2.72%, France’s CAC 40 surged 2.66%, while Germany’s DAX 30 rallied 2.67%. Greece submitted a new package of economic reforms on Sunday night, indicating that it is prepared to make concessions to break a deadlock in order to unlock €7.2 billion in funds. Greece’s existing bailout is set to expire at the end of this month, when it must also repay €1.6 billion to the International Monetary Fund. A default by Greece could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was to hold talks with representatives from the IMF, the European Central Bank and the eurogroup of finance ministers later in the day, ahead of an emergency summit by European Union leaders. If no deal is reached Greece could need to impose capital controls on Tuesday to stem a mounting crisis in the banking sector after bank withdrawals surpassed a billion euros a day late last week. Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) surged 2.72% and 2%, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) advanced 2% and 2.40%. Among peripheral lenders, Italy’s Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) soared 2.56% and 2.92% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) climbed 2.18% and 2.58%. Elsewhere, Bouygues (PARIS:BOUY) SA skyrocketed 14.40% after Altice SA (AMS:ATCE) said its cable and wireless unit has made an offer to buy France’s third-largest mobile-phone company from Bouygues. Altice SA shares jumped 13.16% following the news. In London, FTSE 100 advanced 1.29%, led by Sky Plc (LONDON:SKYB), whose shares surged 4.29% amid reports the Murdoch family is considering a new takeover bid for the U.K. company after turning down two offers from Vodafone Group (LONDON:VOD) Plc and Vivendi (PARIS:VIV) SA. Severn Trent Plc (LONDON:SVT) added to gains, with shares up 2.48% amid talk Borealis is considering a bid for the U.K. water utility. Financial stocks were also broadly higher, as Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) gained 0.42% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) climbed 0.92%, while HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) advanced 0.98% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) jumped 1.38%. In the mining sector, stocks were also on the upside. Shares in Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) edged up 0.14% and Anglo American (LONDON:AAL) gained 0.72%, while Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) and Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) climbed 0.77% and 0.94% respectively. In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.73% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.77% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.75% climb.

22 июня 2015, 09:44

Канада/Великобритания: Borealis планирует приобрести Severn Trent за $8 млрд

Канадская инвестиционная компания Borealis Infrastructure планирует приобрести британскую фирму сферы водоснабжения Severn Trent за 5 млрд фунтов стерлингов ($8 млрд). Напомним, что два года назад Severn Trent уже отвергла предложение по ее приобретению со стороны Borealis.

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22 мая 2015, 21:09

Severn Trent growth pledge amid price fall

Water company tells investors they can expect improving profits and dividends

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30 января 2015, 12:55

Severn Trent divi cut invites marauders

Interested parties may be encouraged to renew takeover approaches

21 января 2015, 21:18

Courts Deep-Six Details of Chevron's Relationship to Shady Characters in Cover-up of Ecuador Environmental Disaster

After more than two decades of litigation, Chevron continues to protect a series of shady characters who have been instrumental in trying to sabotage a legal case brought by indigenous groups over environmental damage in Ecuador's rainforest. No wonder. In the case, Chevron admitted that its predecessor Texaco dumped billions of gallons of toxic oil waste into rivers and streams relied on by local indigenous groups for their drinking water, bathing, and fishing. Several peer-reviewed studies have documented dramatically higher rates of cancer in the region ravaged by the oil company. Chevron wants the case to disappear and has paid big bucks to those willing to try to make it happen. For example: Chevron has paid an Ecuadorian judge, who admitted to taking 14 bribes while on the bench, $2 million so far to testify against the Ecuadorians and their lawyers, falsely accusing them of bribery; (See my earlier blog about him.)  Chevron is paying an unknown fortune to a group of corporate arbitration lawyers who are suppressing a forensic report that appears to prove wrong Chevron's charge that the Ecuadorians' lawyers wrote the Ecuador judgment.  Chevron re-located to Peru a convicted American drug dealer who tried to entrap an Ecuadorian judge in a video scandal to help the oil giant kill off the case; (See this investigative report about Wayne Hansen, the drug dealer.) Chevron also has paid at least $2 million to a husband-wife team who tried to deceive the Ecuador court by secretly switching out dirty soil samples for clean ones.  Pressing questions about these individuals and the issues associated with them remain unanswered largely because U.S. courts and a corporate arbitration panel haven't pushed Chevron to address them. That's too bad given that the answers obviously could be critical to the various ongoing legal proceedings that are part of Chevron's avowed "lifetime of litigation" strategy. Among those proceedings: Enforcement actions where the villagers are trying to collect Chevron assets in Canada and Brazil to force compliance with their winning a $9.5 billion judgment that the oil company - in an illustration of its arrogance - now simply refuses to pay, even though it insisted the trial take place in Ecuador. An extraordinarily important appeal by the villagers and their counsel before a New York federal appellate court. The villagers are seeking to reverse a non-jury decision by a controversial U.S. trial judge that condemned Ecuador's entire judicial system as unworthy of respect based largely on Chevron's corrupt evidence. Here are just a few of the questions that, if answered, would tell us a great deal more about the lengths to which Chevron has gone to evade accountability for its toxic dumping in Ecuador: Is Chevron renegotiating its two-year, $2 million contract with the self-admitted corrupt Ecuador judge (Alberto Guerra) whose testimony that a "bribe" occurred has unraveled completely?  What is in a 2014 expert forensic report that appears to prove that Guerra lied and that Ecuador Judge Nicholas Zambrano testified truthfully when he said he and he alone wrote the judgment? Why are Chevron and a group of corporate arbitration lawyers so scared to release the report?  Is Chevron still paying Diego Borja, an Ecuadorian, who worked for the company during the trial and admitted on tape that he had evidence that would prove Chevron's guilt?  Is Chevron still employing or paying Borja's wife, Sara Portilla? At one point, Chevron paid her 5,000 per month even though Borja admitted in a deposition he didn't know what his own wife did for the oil giant. (See pages 119-121.)  Where is Wayne Hansen, the American drug felon caught lying to and secretly videotaping an Ecuador judge for Chevron? Hansen fled the country with Chevron's apparent assistance to avoid a subpoena. He was last seen living in a beach town in Peru. See this Courthouse News article.  Let's take a closer look at each of these individuals for an explanation of why they are important to the company's campaign to sabotage the legal claims of the indigenous communities that held it accountable.  Alberto Guerra Guerra is Chevron's star witness. He is also undeniably corrupt. Even Guerra admits it, as this legal brief explains.  Chevron needs to disclose all the details of the package of cash and benefits it has paid to Guerra and his family in exchange for the corrupt testimony. Chevron moved his family and his son's family to the U.S., paying for all of their daily expenses. Chevron should disclose whether it's renegotiating the two-year, $2 million contract (signed in 2013) with Guerra. Company executives may be forced eventually to reveal how much they have paid Guerra in any asset seizure trial, but that is not likely to occur until late 2015 or 2016. Before testifying for Chevron in U.S. court in October 2014, Guerra admitted to having taken bribes in 14 unrelated court cases in Ecuador. He also changed his "bribery" story about the Ecuador judgment at least three times during monetary negotiations with Chevron as new forensic evidence emerged to disprove his prior claims. Each time Guerra changed his story, he negotiated more money from Chevron. His personal diary and emails - which he said corroborated his testimony - mysteriously went missing. U.S. Judge Lewis Kaplan allowed Guerra's testimony to blight New York's federal courthouse. But Judge Kaplan did not require Chevron to answer any questions about the tainted relationship, including details of a recording between Guerra and a Chevron attorney who paid him $20,000 out of a suitcase to begin the negotiations for his testimony. It is a violation of the ethical rules to allow a fact witness to be paid in this manner. Corporate Arbitration Lawyers J. Christopher Racich is a forensic expert hired by the Government of Ecuador to review the evidence regarding the oil giant's erroneous allegation that someone other than the Ecuador judge wrote the judgment. It appears from legal filings in a related international arbitration claim that this expert's findings disprove Chevron's allegations. See pages 1 & 32-40. However, Chevron and the corporate arbitration lawyers hearing the case have blocked the release of the actual report. In 2009, Chevron filed an arbitration claim against the Government of Ecuador to try to shift its clean-up liability to Ecuadorian taxpayers. The arbitration panel's proceedings are completely private, a fact that is most disturbing to the Ecuadorians, as well as to Public Citizen in the U.S., a good government advocacy group that has been urging for reform of corporate arbitration because arbitration generally favors corporations versus the governments sued. The villagers whose claims are supposedly being "re-litigated" by the panel (which consists of three private lawyers who have been paid millions in fees by the parties) have no ability to pry information or legal documents from the panel. However, Chevron and/or the corporate arbitration lawyers could easily agree to the report's release. But both have a hard time exhibiting such candor. The attorneys for Ecuador's government have claimed publicly that Chevron's charge "has now been shown to be false" by the contents of this critical expert report that is still being hidden from the public and from other courts.  Diego Borja Chevron also should address questions about its exorbitant payments to Diego Borja and his wife Sara Portilla. Both worked for Chevron in Ecuador in various capacities during the eight-year trial there. A 2010 discovery motion submitted by the villagers seeking the sordid details about Chevron's relationship with Borja and Portilla is pending before a California federal court. Curiously, more than three years after oral argument on the motion,the court has yet to rule. There is no conceivable explanation for such a long delay. Borja has admitted on tape to having evidence of Chevron's corruption, its creation of dummy laboratories in Ecuador to dupe the court, and other malfeasance that he said would result in Chevron losing the case if released publicly. To deceive the court, he also admitted that on behalf of Chevron he switched out toxic soil samples from the company's former well sites and exchanged them for clean ones during the trial. Portilla submitted the fake samples to the Ecuador court as an "employee" of what should have been an independent lab but was in fact an entity created and controlled by Chevron. In mid-2009, Chevron negotiated with Borja a similar payout as the one it later negotiated with the crooked judge Guerra. Earlier that year, Chevron met with Borja and Hansen (the American drug dealer who was working with Borja in Ecuador) about secretly filming the presiding Ecuador judge. The two surreptitiously taped the trial judge with a spy watch and pen during a meeting arranged under false pretenses. Chevron later released the videos to the news media, claiming they showed the judge agreeing to take bribes. In return for the videotapes, Chevron paid to relocate the Borja family to Houston. The company paid their income taxes, fees for the lawyer who obtained them political asylum under false pretenses, and covering their housing and living costs. By September 2010, Borja and his wife had been paid $2 million. Chevron should disclose how much more they have been paid as it absolutely bears on their credibility and that of the company. Sara Portilla Part of the $2 million income to the Borja family was a $5,000 monthly "retainer" for Portilla. In a deposition, Borja could not describe what his wife Portilla was doing for Chevron to justify her $5,000 retainer. See here and here. What we do know is that Portilla, along with her husband Borja, were key to Chevron's efforts to falsify evidence. This press release reveals more about how Chevron manipulated evidence. This "chain of custody" record submitted to the Ecuador court dated March 15, 2006, clearly shows that Borja turned over contamination samples to Portilla, a representative of Severn Trent Labs, the U.S. laboratory Chevron used to test contamination samples. Portilla's title is listed as Project Manager and her contact information is listed as a Severn Trent Labs company email address. This handoff to Portilla, who also worked for Chevron in Ecuador at the same time, compromises the "chain of custody" of the soil and water samples, providing one piece of evidence that Chevron's labs were not independent. Other evidence also points to the lack of independence of Chevron's labs. See here.  Wayne Hansen No one knows the whereabouts of the mysterious Wayne Hansen, the convicted American felon and drug dealer who pretended to be a "businessman" interested in cleaning up the contamination. He partnered with Borja to secretly videotape the Ecuador judge under false pretenses. Last we heard he had fled to Peru months after the New York Times blew up the scheme by reporting that Hansen was a convicted felon and con artist. Also, after closer examination of the videotapes, several news outlets wrote that the videos did not show any bribe, despite Chevron's incendiary charges to the contrary. See here. The little we do know is from a few emails obtained during court discovery. Chevron's investigators tracked down Hansen in a Los Angeles hospital after he had sent them an email complaining that Borja, his partner, had been paid handsomely for his espionage efforts but he, Hansen, had not. See this Courthouse News story. The emails link Hansen to a private investigative firm hired by Chevron. Hansen sent the first message, bearing the subject line "dooped ?????", weeks before Chevron released the videos in late August 2009. "I have been waiting for your call, you said you would call me .... It seems that the oil co has cut a deal with Diego [Borja] and I have not heard a word from anyone but Diego. What am I to think? ... "As I can see the window of life coming to a close I will not hold back. I need to hear from a real player with a plan for Wayne [Hansen]. If I do not hear from the oil co. by July 17, 09 I must think I have been left out and I am to do what and think what ... I have been duped." In late 2010, about two months after the Government of Ecuador obtained a subpoena for Hansen, he sent a similarly enigmatic email to the Mason Group, a private investigative firm based in the San Francisco area. "I am in a nice place where you guys from SF might like to visit or just hang it up and live like a king for 1,200 a month. ... The little beach town is Moncora in northern Peru and the waves are the best I have ever seen. ... come on down. [L]ots of fish to cook up. ... Best Regards and GOD Bless you Wayne Hansen." [Ellipses and brackets in original.] None of the questions about Borja, Portilla and Hansen's relationship to Chevron have been answered in part because California Federal Magistrate Judge Nathanial Cousins has yet to rule on a 2010 discovery motion. We are not sure what Judge Cousins is up to, but he did take the time to attend a party with Chevron's and Borja's attorneys the night before the motion hearing. We know this because he joked with them about the party as the hearing began. From the court transcript: Judge Cousins: "I regret to inform that there are no Mai Tais or ice cream left over from Judge Chen's party last night, but we'll do our best to accommodate you." Chevron-paid attorney: "You made it here, your Honor." Judge Cousins: "Yes. Yes, despite long odds. We've got two motions pending, as well as some follow-up on the protocol that we discussed last week, by telephone .... I suggest we start with that. So if we could, start there. And everyone speak slowly, because we are still recovering from yesterday." Partying aside, all of our questions could be answered if U.S. courts and the corporate arbitration panel would force Chevron to turn over documents, as Judge Kaplan forced the Ecuadorians and their lawyers to do four years ago in the company's retaliatory racketeering case. Judge Kaplan even ordered an Ecuadorian to immediately turn over his laptop when he admitted to having one in his possession during the U.S. trial. The laptop produced no evidence, only photographs of the man's children. It did, however, show the power of a single corporation to get what it wants from the federal judiciary. Apparently, helping impoverished villagers who have been decimated by an American oil company in faraway lands is not a priority for the federal judiciary in the world's greatest democracy.

21 октября 2014, 15:12

Frontrunning: October 21

Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough (Reuters) China GDP Growth Rate Is Slowest in Five Years (WSJ) Oil at $80 a Barrel Muffles Forecasts for U.S. Shale Boom (BBG) Carney Faces Scrutiny on Worst Payments Outage Since 2007 (BBG) Ebola crisis turns a corner as U.S. issues new treatment protocols (Reuters) Gold Buying Rebounds in India on Diwali Jewelry Sales (BBG) China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud (Reuters) Greece Said to Seek Recycling of Bank Funds for Exit (BBG) Another merger-arb blows up: AbbVie to Pay Shire $1.64B Fee Over Nixed Merger (AP) Because the market is unrigged: Forex-Rigging Fines Could Hit $41 Billion Globally (BBG) Sears Seeks New Cash Via Two Paths (WSJ) Oil Slump Rings Alarm Bells for Nigeria as Elections Loom (BBG) SEC Is Steering More Trials to Judges It Appoints (WSJ) Hong Kong leader indicates possible concession ahead of talks (Reuters) Government Watchdog Recommends Review of Firm Facing Fraud Allegations (WSJ) For More Teens, Arrests by Police Replace School Discipline (WSJ) Staples says probing possible payment card data breach (Reuters)   Overnight Media Digest WSJ * China's economy grew at its slowest pace for five years in the third quarter, suggesting the government's targeted easing measures to boost economic growth haven't yielded expected results. (http://on.wsj.com/1wl3lbA) * French oil company Total SA said Chairman and Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie died Monday in a plane crash at a Russian airport. (http://on.wsj.com/1tGL8bA) * The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Monday made a rare recommendation that the Department of Homeland Security consider stripping a $210 million contract from a major contractor, delivering a blow to the private company that once carried out most background security checks for the government. (http://on.wsj.com/1CO3PsO) * Samsung Electronics Co said Tuesday the U.S. National Security Agency approved a number of its mobile devices for use by government officials to carry classified information, a positive step for the smartphone maker's struggling mobile division. (http://on.wsj.com/1wh5ZQs) * The Securities and Exchange Commission is increasingly steering cases to hearings in front of the agency's appointed administrative judges, who found in its favor in every verdict for the 12 months through September, rather than taking them to federal court. (http://on.wsj.com/1DuRxHU) * Sears Holdings Corp is again turning to billionaire CEO Edward Lampert for funds, as the struggling retailer shores up its balance sheet ahead of the holiday season and seeks to reassure vendors worried about its health. (http://on.wsj.com/1s0zwss) * CVS Health Corp is offering a prescription-drug plan that charges patients more if they buy their medications at pharmacies that sell tobacco products, a plan that could benefit the company's own network of drugstores. (http://on.wsj.com/1vFcsFZ) * Amazon.com Inc and CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster publishing arm have reached a new multi-year print and digital contract, a pact that comes as the online retailer continues difficult negotiations with Hachette Book Group. (http://on.wsj.com/1FuiFJ6)   FT Bank of England Governor Mark Carney launched an independent review on Monday into what is the worst disruption of Britain's banking payment system in seven years. British Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure by members of his own Conservative party and harried by the anti-EU UK Independence party to formulate a policy to tackle the issue  of curbing immigration - and fast. However, as the rest of Europe is in no mood to rip up the rules that allow freedom of movement within the European Union, the British prime minister risks angering everyone while pleasing no one. An overnight fire at one of UK's biggest power stations has cut capacity to generate electricity, however the government on Monday insisted that there was no risk of blackouts during winter.     The head of U.S.-based pharma company AbbVie Inc, which had dropped its support last week for a $55 billion takeover of UK drugmaker Shire PLC, blamed the  U.S. Treasury for destroying the deal as both the companies took the final step to nullify the deal.   NYT * A slowing in the pace of growth, partly by design, has made assessing the Chinese economy and predicting its prospects difficult. Chinese inflation is at its weakest levels in nearly five years and foreign investment is contracting. The overall economy, though, continues to chug along at a steady pace. (http://nyti.ms/1t6Yzzn) * More than 14 million vehicles by 11 automakers that contain defective air bags made by Japan's Takata Corp have been recalled. At the heart of the defect is a faulty propellant that is intended to burn quickly and produce gas to inflate the air bag but instead is too strong and can rupture its container, shooting metal parts into the cabin. (http://nyti.ms/1oov2Ba) * Trinity Industries Inc, the highway guardrail maker accused of selling systems that can malfunction during crashes and slice through cars, was found by a Texas jury on Monday to have defrauded the federal government and as a result may need to pay $525 million in damages. (http://nyti.ms/1sJ31mo) * Wall Street's main regulator on Monday stepped up his campaign to improve the ethical culture of large banks. William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, told bankers assembled at the New York Fed that continued ethical lapses would be a sign that their institutions were too big to manage - and that they might need to be reduced in size. (http://nyti.ms/1CObSpr) * Apple Inc's biggest cash cow, the iPhone, is gaining weight. Sales of iPhones, including the new, big-screen iPhone 6 models released last month, helped carry Apple to a record-breaking quarter and offset slowing sales of one of Apple's other major products, the iPad, the company announced Monday. (http://nyti.ms/121vlYz)   Canada THE GLOBE AND MAIL ** The Conservative government is weighing changes to its key income-splitting promise that would respond to critics who say the tax cut would mostly benefit well-off Canadians. Conservative sources say the notion of capping access to the tax cut so that it is less available to higher-income Canadians is under consideration. (bit.ly/1tHGauZ) ** A company's willingness to become a sponsor of the 2015 Toronto's Pan American/Parapan Games will be considered in the awarding of a new security contract, according to a request for proposals document issued by the TO2015 organizing committee. (bit.ly/1t7wnh5) ** Canada is looking at slapping duties on iconic U.S. products ranging from California wine to ketchup after the World Trade Organization found the country's meat-labelling laws offside for a third time in five years. (bit.ly/ZEewRC) NATIONAL POST ** Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is once again accused of breaking city rules after he was kicked out of three advance polling stations late last week. (bit.ly/10hmCRm) ** Evan Siddall, the president of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, acknowledges that there may be a "data gap" when it comes to the degree of foreign ownership in the marketplace, as debate swirls over whether overseas buyers are inflating house prices in markets like Vancouver and Toronto. (bit.ly/1yTR7Lj) ** Questions from the progressive conservatives about the possible sale of public assets and a government loan to a charity to expand a medical research center dominated the return of the Ontario legislature on Monday. (bit.ly/1whwWmZ)   China SECURITIES TIMES - Beijing Tongchuang Jiuding Investment Management Co Ltd, a private equity firm, recently said it invested 3.64 billion yuan ($594.43 million) in Tianyuan Securities, making Tongchuang the first PE company to hold stock in a brokerage in China. SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS - China plans to publish the first regulations on the online insurance industry by the end of this year, according to a document obtained by the newspaper from authorities who are familiar with the matter. CHINA DAILY - Information transparency is of great importance for the accountability of the Chinese government and is fundamental to the rule of law, the newspaper said in an editorial. SHANGHAI DAILY - The dean of the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) course at Fudan University said student enrolment has fallen 10 percent after the Chinese government rolled out a series of anti-corruption campaigns, including banning government officials from using public funding to take EMBA courses. PEOPLE'S DAILY - The rule of law has the power to push China going forward. The ongoing fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party is a historically important moment to realize this goal, the government's mouthpiece said in an editorial on Tuesday. Britain The Times SIGNALS OF DECLINE MOUNT FOR RAIL ROUTE The TransPennine Express is a microcosm of the British railway industry, at once enjoying unprecedented growth but with old, overcrowded trains that create a bar to economic progress. It is the railway that lives up to only half its name. Its core route is transporting people across the Pennines between Leeds and Manchester, but it does so at non-express average speeds of 40mph. (http://thetim.es/11ZcHk6) CGI EXPANSION GIVES WALES HIGH-TECH JOBS BOOST The burgeoning Welsh high-tech sector is set for a major boost after CGI Group Inc, the Canadian company that bought Logica, announced plans to create 620 skilled jobs in south Wales. CGI, which is the largest tech employer in the region with 900 employees, has announced plans to create hundreds of positions over the next five years after receiving a 3.2 million pound grant from the Welsh Government. (http://thetim.es/1zijBQd) The Guardian BARCLAYS CHAIRMAN QUESTIONS IMPACT OF LARGE BANK FINES ON PUBLIC CONFIDENCE David Walker, appointed chairman of Barclays Plc in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal in 2012 said on Monday that big fines on banks were making it harder for the industry to win back public trust. He also suggested fines were being levied for activities that in the past might have been regarded as acceptable, though he acknowledged past conduct issues needed to be dealt with. (http://bit.ly/1yc58Rw) FORMER JJB SPORTS CHIEF FAILS TO GIVE EVIDENCE AT 1 MLN STG FRAUD TRIAL Christopher Ronnie, former chief executive of JJB Sports Plc, accused of a 1 million pounds ($1.62 million) fraud has chosen not to give evidence in his defence at his trial. Ronnie was warned by the judge that jurors may "draw such inferences as appear proper" by his failure to take to the witness box. Ronnie is accused of receiving three payments from two sporting goods companies and failing to declare them to JJB's board of directors. Southwark crown court heard he used some of the cash to buy property in Florida. It had been anticipated that he would give evidence in his defence, but his barrister, Jim Sturman QC, told the jury on Monday: "We are calling no evidence at all for Ronnie." (http://bit.ly/1wko2Ey) The Telegraph PUBLIC VOTE ON EU MEMBERSHIP WOULD 'RESOLVE UNCERTAINTY' FOR BUSINESS, SAY CONSERVATIVES A referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union would end companies' concerns over the country's increasingly fractious relations with Brussels, according to Matthew Hancock, Business Minister. Speaking at a CBI event on Monday about Britain's industrial strategy, Hancock denied that the Conservatives' pledge to put the decision on EU membership to voters would create problems for companies. (http://bit.ly/1rZggvj) EUROZONE STARTS QE-LITE AS CURRENCY BLOC FACES FRESH CRISIS The European Central Bank (ECB) has begun purchases of some French assets, in an attempt to revive a flagging eurozone. Monday's purchases marked the start of the covered bond purchase programme (CBPP3), and is one of three new tools intended to stimulate the euro area economy. By buying covered bonds - bonds backed by underlying loans - the ECB intends to expand its balance sheet, and boost demand in the region. (http://bit.ly/1r1mQlQ) Sky News ROYAL MAIL AND AMAZON CREATE 32,000 XMAS JOBS More than 30,000 temporary jobs are to be created for the Christmas postal rush, it has been announced. Royal Mail Plc said it would take on 19,000 additional workers and online retailer Amazon Inc wanted 13,000 staff. Privatised last October, Royal Mail said the jobs will start in the middle of November and end in January, with the peak staffing period in December. The roles will be in support of the company's 124,000 full-time sorting and delivery personnel. (http://bit.ly/1t68lmz) The Independent GREENE KING RAISES GLASS TO SPIRIT MERGER DEAL Greene King and Spirit Pub Company Plc have agreed a 723 million pound takeover to create a pub company with the highest sales in Britain. Together the two will own just over 3000 pubs nationwide, which places them behind rivals Enterprise with 5500 and Punch with 4000. (http://ind.pn/1ybbekU) GOOGLE COMMITS EXTRA $25M TO EUROPE'S TECH START UPS Google Inc has committed a further $25 million to invest in Europe's tech start ups, with the head of the search giant's venture capital arm revealing the company could be on the verge of investing in a London start-up. Bill Maris, who founded Google Ventures in 2009, revealed that the size of Google Ventures Europe's inaugural fund has been raised from $100 million to $125 million. The European arm was announced in July and is based in Clerkenwell. (http://ind.pn/1zilSL8) SHIRE CFO LEAVES FOR SEVERN TRENT AFTER ABBVIE BUYOUT FALLS THROUGH FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals giant Shire Plc has had its finance director poached by water firm Severn Trent Plc, days after the collapse of its $55 billion by US rival AbbVie Inc. (http://ind.pn/1sHVVhU) BALFOUR BEATTY WANTS 'EXTRA 50 MILLION STG' TO FINISH WEST HAM STADIUM CONVERSION Taxpayers could have to find tens of millions more to fund the conversion of the Olympic Stadium into West Ham United 's home as building firm Balfour Beatty Plc presses for more cash. Balfour Beatty - hit by a string of calamitous profit warnings and without a chief executive - won the deal to convert the stadium with a bid of 154 million pounds. But according to the industry website Construction Enquirer, Balfour has been pushing for around 200 million pounds to complete the deal due to the technical complexity of the contract in a series of meetings with the client. Sources told the Enquirer that builder Balfour Beatty is pushing for up to 50 million pounds more to complete the job. (http://ind.pn/1uuap37) (   Fly On The Wall Pre-Market Buzz ECONOMIC REPORTS Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include: Existing home sales for September at 10:00--consensus up 1% to 5.1M rate ANALYST RESEARCH Upgrades Belden (BDC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Brandywine Realty (BDN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein EOG Resources (EOG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim Eagle Materials (EXP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Halliburton (HAL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim Pioneer Natural (PXD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim Post Holdings (POST) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Rouse Properties (RSE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at MLV & Co. TECO Energy (TE) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays Downgrades AbbVie (ABBV) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim BHP Billiton (BHP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies Bank of Marin (BMRC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette Consolidated Edison (ED) downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley HCP (HCP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies IBM (IBM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore Inland Real Estate (IRC) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill Universal Forest (UFPI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee Initiations American Axle (AXL) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna American Eagle (AEO) initiated with an Outperform at BlueFin Autoliv (ALV) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna BorgWarner (BWA) initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna CONE Midstream (CNNX) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays Dana Holding (DAN) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna Delphi Automotive (DLPH) initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna Ford (F) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna General Motors (GM) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna Lear (LEA) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna Liberty TripAdvisor (LTRPA) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer Medley Management (MDLY) initiated with a Buy at Gilford Securities Medley Management (MDLY) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman Medley Management (MDLY) initiated with an Outperform at Keefe Bruyette PC Connection (PCCC) initiated with a Neutral at B. Riley PCM, Inc. (PCMI) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley RealNetworks (RNWK) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley Retail Opportunity (ROIC) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo Rexford Industrial (REXR) initiated with a Buy at MLV & Co. Tenneco (TEN) initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna Textron (TXT) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo TripAdvisor (TRIP) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer Twitter (TWTR) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup Visteon (VC) initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna COMPANY NEWS AbbVie (ABBV), Shire (SHPG) announced termination of proposed merger. AbbVie will pay Shire a $1.64B break up fee AbbVie (ABBV) announced new $5B stock repurchase program, raised dividend nearly 17% to 49c per share Total (TOT) confirms death of CEO Christophe de Margerie. de Margerie was killed in a private plane crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow, following a collision with a snow removal machine Chipotle (CMG) sees FY15 low to mid-single digits comparable restaurant sales gains DISH Network (DISH) announced that Monday night Turner Networks (TWX) removed Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, HLN, truTV and Turner Classic Movies from the DISH programming lineup. The two companies have been unable to negotiate the terms of a renewed distribution agreement Rhino Resources (RNO) lowered quarterly dividend to 5c per share from 44c per share EARNINGS Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include: Apple (AAPL), Customers Bancorp (CUBI), Lexmark (LXK), Regions Financial (RF), Carlisle (CSL), Signature Bank (SBNY), Steel Dynamics (STLD), First Defiance Financial (FDEF), Helix Energy (HLX), Celanese (CE), East West Bancorp (EWBC), BancorpSouth (BXS), Healthstream (HSTM), Texas Instruments (TXN), Rent-A-Center (RCII), Rambus (RMBS), Illumina (ILMN), Hexcel (HXL), Cadence Design (CDNS), Washington Trust Bancorp (WASH), ServisFirst (SFBS), Chipotle (CMG) Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include: BBCN Bancorp (BBCN), GulfMark Offshore (GLF), Steel Dynamics (STLD), Potlatch (PCH), Kaiser Aluminum (KALU), Ultra Clean (UCTT), Zions Bancorp (ZION), Wilshire Bancorp (WIBC) Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include: Brown & Brown (BRO), Packaging Corp. (PKG), Werner (WERN) NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES Staples (SPLS) may be latest retailer to be hacked, Krebs reports (TGT, HD) Lawyers for Ackman, Valeant (VRX) say Allergan (AGN) CEO oversaw campaign to discredit Valeant, Reuters reports Actavis (ACT), Sanofi (SNY) among bidders for Omega Pharma, Bloomberg reports (PRGO) Yahoo (YHOO) in talks to acquire BrightRoll, TechCrunch reports Apple (AAPL) iCloud may have been attacked by Chinese hackers, Reuters reports Apple (AAPL) to supply more iPhone 6 Plus to satisfy China demand, DigiTimes reports Investigators say plough driver in Total (TOT) crash was inebriated, Reuters says SYNDICATE CEL-SCI (CVM) announces proposed offering of common stock, warrants Tesoro Logistics (TLLP) 20M share Secondary priced at $57.47    

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20 октября 2014, 15:37

Shire CFO leaves for Severn Trent after AbbVie buyout falls through

FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals giant Shire has had its finance director poached by water firm Severn Trent, days after the collapse of its $55 billion (£32 billion takeover) by US rival AbbVie.    

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20 октября 2014, 13:10

Shire CFO calls it quits

Shire's (NASDAQ:SHPG) interim CFO, James Bowling, is stepping down only days after AbbVie walked away from a $55B planned takeover of the company.Bowling will leave Shire at the end of the first quarter of 2015 to join Severn Trent (OTCQX:STRNY) as the water utility’s finance chief. Post your comment!

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10 октября 2014, 12:30

Severn Trent Water to axe 500 jobs

Severn Trent Water, based in Coventry, announces 500 job cuts in a restructuring programme.