Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
Tom's Feed
Mar 25, 2015

Top UK industrialist channelled millions through obscure company

ROCESTER, England, March 25 (Reuters) – A leading British
industrialist and political donor has channelled more than half
a billion pounds through an obscure company that isn’t required
to file financial accounts, a Reuters analysis of corporate
filings shows.

Much of the money allegedly ended up being paid to the
industrialist himself, according to claims in court documents.

Mar 13, 2015

Weak euro to help European companies, force U.S. rivals to adapt

LONDON (Reuters) – The euro’s slide toward parity with the dollar will provide a much-needed boost for European companies this year and force U.S. rivals to adapt their businesses or risk losing market share.

While currency hedging arrangements mean the benefits may not be seen straight away, the currency’s weakness has already cheered European chief executives by making their products cheaper overseas and lifting the value of dollar-based sales.

Mar 11, 2015

Google change allows company statements to top news searches

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – A little-noticed change in the
way Google selects search results has allowed company
statements to top the list of news links shown when users search
for information on businesses.

The measure may cost news publishers web traffic and risks
misleading users, analysts said.

Feb 23, 2015

Below the radar, growth in Europe starts swelling company profits

LONDON/PARIS, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Signs of a long-awaited
recovery in Europe are starting to show through in the profits
of leading global companies, even if their bosses are still
giving most of the credit to strong demand in Asia or the United

Reuters has analysed comments from more than 50 of the
biggest companies selling in Europe, which in recent weeks have
mostly reported improving global earnings. In investor
presentations and analyst calls, 71 percent said they enjoyed a
swing from contraction to growth in Europe last year, or
experienced a pickup in growth.

Feb 16, 2015

UK financial watchdog investigates HSBC over tax claims

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog said
it was investigating HSBC following reports it helped clients
evade taxes but said it was focusing on the bank’s current
behaviour rather than alleged past abuses.

In its first statement on the matter, the Financial Conduct
Authority (FCA) said it wanted to verify that the “failings” the
bank admitted to were in the past.

Feb 11, 2015

UK may follow U.S. lead if pursues HSBC over tax

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – British authorities may follow a
trail set by their U.S. counterparts in investigating
allegations that HSBC’s Swiss private bank helped its customers
dodge taxes, lawyers say.

Any prosecution against the bank or individuals could hinge
on whether HSBC’s Swiss private banking unit sent staff
to the UK and advised clients on how to evade British taxes and
whether top executives were aware of any such advice.

Feb 6, 2015

British lawmakers attack PwC and Shire over ‘industrial scale’ tax avoidance

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – A panel of British lawmakers has
accused drugmaker Shire and accountancy firm PwC of
extensive tax avoidance and urged the government to tighten
regulation of corporate tax advisers to curb the practice.

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee said on Friday
that thousands of internal PwC documents released by a
consortium of international journalists last year showed that
Shire had used 10 billion pounds ($15.3 billion) of
intra-company loans to shift profits to Luxembourg, where it
paid tax at an effective rate of only 0.0156 percent.

Feb 5, 2015

Oil majors fail to find reserves to counter falling output

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Big oil companies had a poor
record of finding and producing oil and gas last year, according
to figures out in the past week – and big cuts in spending in
response to falling crude prices could undermine their plans to
turn that around.

Four of the world’s six biggest oil firms by market value -
Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and
ConocoPhillips – released provisional figures showing
together they replaced only two-thirds of the hydrocarbons they
extracted in 2014 with new reserves.

Dec 19, 2014

How GE changed tack on Russia

LONDON (Reuters) – About five years ago, General Electric Co, the largest Western player in Russia’s market for medical equipment, uncovered pervasive corruption in its Russian business. Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, then chief executive of GE Germany and Developed Markets, told an investor conference in 2012 that senior management became aware of the problems around 2009.

“We had to eliminate more than half of our healthcare organization because we discovered that they were happily scamming our customers, scamming against us and scamming against the government,” Beccalli-Falco told the conference.

Dec 19, 2014

Special Report: Opaque middlemen exact high price in Russia’s deals with the West

MOSCOW/LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Russia pays hugely inflated prices for vital medical equipment made by Western companies, in part because some manufacturers channel sales through obscure intermediary companies, a Reuters examination has found.

These middlemen firms, which have no easily traceable owners or offices, add mark-ups that mean Russian state hospitals frequently pay two or three times more than hospitals in the West for the same equipment. A Reuters examination of Russian customs data and state procurement records shows the price differences can be hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single item.

    • About Tom

      "Tom leads our coverage of the oil and gas industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is also author of 'Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP'. A former oil broker who turned to journalism 12 years ago, he is regularly interviewed on CNBC and other TV and radio stations on energy matters. Tom has reported from over twenty countries including Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, the U.S. and Russia. As Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Correspondent, he has chartered the rise in oil prices to record levels, interviewed oil ministers and the CEOs of ..."
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