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Shell’s £47bn swoop on BG Group fuels hopes for wave of energy deals
Royal Dutch Shell has swooped on its smaller rival, BG Group, striking the energy industry’s biggest deal in more than a decade to extend its dominance of the global natural gas industry. The £47bn deal, excluding debt, is the oil sector’s most dramatic response to the slide in the price of crude, which has slumped 50 per cent since last June.
Car sales on a roll but mortgage demand cools
Consumers are flocking to buy new cars in record numbers but holding back on home purchases. The launch of the new “15” registration plate helped the UK ring up its best March car sales ever, extending the industry’s record run of growth into a fourth year.
Companies and Markets
Paris lifts Renault stake ahead of AGM
The French state has moved to maintain its grip on the French automotive sector by spending as much as €1.23bn to temporarily increase its stake in Renault and block a proposal that could lessen its control.
BG’s Brazil assets jewel in crown for Shell
Speculation that Royal Dutch Shell would buy BG Group has been doing the rounds in the oil industry for at least the past 20 years. Yesterday it became reality. Shell unveiled plans to acquire BG for £47bn excluding a debt, a 50 per cent premium to its current share price.
‘Backstabber’ Miliband attacked over Trident
David Cameron will challenge Ed Miliband today to march a commitment to replace all four of Britain’s nuclear submarines as the Tories mount their most personal attack so far on the Labour leader. Aston Martin miles ahead in honesty of fuel figures
It is a gas guzzler reviled by environmentalists but also the only car on sale in Britain that is honest about its fuel efficiency. Owners of the £90,000 Aston Martin 4.7lV8 Vantage may be more interested in the 4.8 seconds it takes to accelerate from 0-62mph or its top speed of 190mph.
‘Non-doms are defended because they fund Tories’
The Conservatives have been accused of opposing moves to abolish non-dom tax status because of their heavy reliance on wealthy donors who gain from the system. Ed Miliband’s surprise pledge to scrap the tax breaks – which will be a key part of the Labour manifesto – provoked the bitterest exchanges of the election campaign so far.
The future of BP as an independent company was thrown into doubt yesterday as analysts said BG’s takeover will prompt a wave of consolidation in the struggling sector, writes Peter Campbell. Firms across the industry have been hit by the falling oil price, trimming their values and making them more vulnerable to bids.
Oil price ‘a help’
The boss of Royal Dutch Shell said his £47bn swoop for BP Group was not just about the collapse in the oil price – but admitted cheaper crude did play a part, writes Hugo Duncan. Ben van Beurden insisted the deal was an opportunity for Shell to beef up its operations – particularly through greater exposure to liquefied natural gas (LNG) where BP is a major player.
Car sales hit century record
Sales of new cars have hit their highest level so far this century as the economic recovery gathers pace, figures showed yesterday. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said a total of 492,774 new cars were registered in March – up 6 pc on a year ago and the highest monthly figure since August 1998.
Labour tax plan to spark exodus
Tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and business leaders will leave Britain because of Labour’s “cataclysmic” plans to scrap the “non-dom” tax status, experts have warned. Leading tax barristers warned that 30,000 of Britain’s 115,000 foreign investors could leave in the wake of Ed Miliband’s announcement that a Labour government would abolish the tax rules surrounding non-doms.
Driverless cars increase chances of travel sickness
Old-fashioned human frailty could put the brakes on the hi-tech world of driverless cars with travel sickness expected to be a major problem in automated vehicles. A study from the University of Michigan predicts a 27.8pc rise in the number of people suffering from motion sickness symptoms including nausea, dizziness and even vomiting when travelling in vehicles where computers do the driving.