A report by Citigroup has warned that Saudi Arabia could run out of oil to export by 2030, raising fears that oil prices may rise significantly in coming years. The Kingdom is the world’s largest oil producer, accounting for about 13 per cent of global supply, but it may need to use a growing share of its production for power generation to meet rising electricity demand, Citi said. Its export capacity could steadily reduce and, “if nothing changes, Saudi may have no available oil for export by 2030”, Citi analyst Heidy Rehman wrote, according to The Telegraph.
Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders who are threatening a £3.3bn lawsuit against the lender and its former directors have been dealt a blow after a US court dismissed similar allegations that the bank misled investors. US preference shareholders filed a class action against RBS, its directors and advisory banks in 2009 on the grounds that the defendants had been “materially false and misleading because they did not disclose the extent of RBS’s sub-prime exposure, misrepresented the veracity of RBS internal controls and provided an inaccurate assessment of RBS’s acquisition of ABN Amro”. However, a ruling late on Tuesday by Judge Deborah Batts in a New York district court found that there had been no “material” mis-statements or omissions and dismissed the case “in its entirety”, The Telegraph reports.
Bill Clinton formally anointed President Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate last night with a show-stopping, full-throated and largely off-script endorsement of the man who four years ago thwarted his wife’s ambitions of becoming American’s first woman president. Mr Clinton, who the Pulitzer-prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison once labelled “America’s first black president” took to the stage of the Democratic National Convention to wild applause to lay out the case for the re-election of the true claimant to the title, says The Times.
Investors in Bumi are becoming accustomed to seeing the group at bottom end of the mid-cap index, and today was no different. The FTSE 250 company, which financier Nat Rothschild brought to London, lost a further 19.3 to 268.7p, the worst-performer on the index. That means the shares have now dropped almost 25% since last Tuesday, with debt levels at coal producer Bumi Resources, in which the London-listed group has a 29pc stake, as well as weak coal prices a source of investor concern. Investors took fright last month, when Bumi Resources posted a first-half loss and it was revealed Recapital Asset Management did not meet a deadline to repay a $231m (£145m) investment to the company, which would have helped the group with debt reduction, The Telegraph explains.
George Osborne has publicly questioned the veracity of Barclays’ explanation for embarking on its now notorious £300m tax dodge. The Chancellor explicitly contradicted the explanation of Barclays’ former chief executive Bob Diamond, who told Parliament in May that there was a clear precedent for the controversial tax avoidance plan. Mr Osborne scotched that claim in a letter to Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, published today. “It has been suggested that HM Revenue & Customs was aware of other companies that had used a similar approach for debt buybacks. HMRC tells me that this is not right,” he wrote, The Times reports.
Lloyds Banking Group is being investigated by the regulator for mis-selling financial products to retail customers in the latest scandal to hit Britain’s high street banks. The state controlled lender is being probed by Financial Services Authority (FSA) for designing incentive schemes that encouraged staff to sell products regardless of the risks to customers or the bank. In a statement Lloyds said “it was working closely” with the FSA but in the meantime had made “significant changes to our incentive schemes” since the start of the year. The director in charge of Lloyds retail division, Helen Weir, has already left the bank and been replaced. The investigation emerged today when the FSA announced a crack-down on the whole industry over mis-selling. The watchdog said it planned tough new controls after it found that 90pc of firms it surveyed had “risky” sales incentive schemes, The Telegraph reports.
Shares at the troubled Finnish mobile giant Nokia tumbled by 13% yesterday as analysts gave a thumbs down to its new range of Windows 8 smartphones. Nokia staged a glitzy launch in New York rather than its native Helsinki to unveil two devices, the Lumia 920 and 820, which are the result of its alliance with Microsoft. But analysts were not impressed with Nokia’s decision to invest in high-quality camera technology as a way to stand out against better-selling rivals Apple and Samsung. The Lumia 920, the flagship device, has “augmented reality” software which means that when you point the camera at a city street, it overlays maps and information about local restaurants and shops on the screen.