€617m blow for BP over investment

Moscow: BP lost $849m (€617m) on its investment in OAO Rosneft yesterday, highlighting how its relationship with Russia’s state oil company may become awkward as the crisis in Ukraine develops.

€617m blow for BP over investment

Rosneft dropped 4.1% to close at 234.1 rubles in Moscow. Combined with a drop in the currency, the company’s market value fell by $4.3bn.

BP holds 19.75% of Rosneft after selling it half of the TNK-BP venture last year.

Obama budget to focus on jobs

Washington: President Barack Obama’s budget plan moves the spotlight away from reducing US deficits and instead seeks new spending to energise the Democratic base and give incumbents a job-creation platform for November’s mid-term elections.

The spending blueprint for fiscal 2015, to be released today, will maintain current positions rather than break new ground, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity before the budget is released.

Obama dumped his proposal to restrain Social Security payment increases to help reduce the deficit.

China should allow foreign car control

Beijing: Li Shufu, the Chinese billionaire chairman of Volvo Cars, said China should allow foreign carmakers to control their operations in the world’s largest auto market to encourage competition and bring down prices.

“We should let the market decide and form real competition between Chinese companies and foreign companies,” Li, who is also chairman of Volvo’s parent, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., told reporters at a briefing in Beijing.

Continental plans €1bn expansion

Modipuram: Continental, Europe’s second-largest tyre maker, plans to invest more than €1bn by 2016 to upgrade products and expand manufacturing outside its home region.

A plant at Modipuram, India, will begin operating this year, following the start of a new production line in Sumter, South Carolina, in January and a factory in Kaluga, Russia, last October, the German company said yesterday in a statement.

Volume will increase by more than 20 million tyres “in the run-up” to 2016, it said.

Continental, which is also Europe’s second-biggest maker of car parts, is targeting a fifth consecutive year of record sales in 2014 and has returned to making acquisitions after working to reduce debt following the 2007 purchase of Siemens car electronics unit.

The Hanover-based manufacturer is scheduled to release earnings figures for 2013 on March 6.

Europeans have less trust in mining

Sao Paolo: People in Brazil, Russia, India and China are almost twice as likely to trust the mining industry as Europeans, according to public relations firm Edelman.

About two-thirds of those surveyed said they trusted businesses in the mining industry to do the right thing, according to the online poll of 33,000 people over 18 in 27 countries.

That measure was below 50% for most developed countries, including the US and Australia.

While in poor countries the industry is seen as an engine for growth, in Europe, the region where it’s trusted least, “mining is seen largely through the prism of sustainable and ethical business practices,” Rishi Bhattacharya, managing director of energy and industrials in Europe and CIS at Edelman, said by email.

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