BP, solar, De Beers, Centrica
In this week’s podcast: Interim results from BP fail to please investors; solar power – how economic is it? We ask CEO of Canadian Solar, Dr Shawn Qu; diamond company De Beers gets a new chief executive; and, Centrica – what should we expect from its results?
Presented by Sylvia Pfeifer with Vincent Boland, Pilita Clark, William MacNamara and David Blair.
Produced by LJ Filotrani
After the dot.com crash and the credit crunch, investors are being warned of the potential consequences of a ‘carbon bubble’.
Stock markets are sitting on vast reserves of fossil fuels that cannot be burnt if the world is to stick to climate change targets, according to research issued by the Carbon Tracker initiative.
The board of Tony Hayward’s new energy fund, Vallares, which will see the former head of BP return to British corporate life, is taking shape. George Rose, the former finance director at BAE Systems, the defence contractor, is in talks to take up the position of chair of the audit committee.
If he agrees, it would be a good catch for Hayward. Rose, who stepped down from the board of BAE in March this year, was well-respected during his time at the defence company. He is currently also a non-executive director at National Grid, a position he has held since 2002, and where he chairs the audit committee, and was until recently a candidate for its chairmanship.
Tepco president Masataka Shimizu
The news last week that the Japanese government was close to agreeing a bailout plan for Tepco, the electricity company that owns the Fukushima nuclear plant, should have come as a relief for the company and its debt holders.
But the opposite appears to be true. Amid uncertainty over the structure of the bailout and when it might finally be agreed, Moody’s has taken the proactive step of downgrading the company’s debt, saying that the plan as it looks so far actually increases the risk of a default.
The clause that particularly seems to trouble the ratings agency is the one that Tepco will only be insured for compensation payments of up to Y120bn. Anything above that limit will be the company’s liability.
The warnings may finally be coming true. Four months after the OECD warned that the soaring oil price could damage the economic recovery in developed nations (since when Brent has advanced another 19 per cent), the IEA has noticed that global oil demand has begun to flatline.
In its March Oil Market Report, it notes the first month of near-zero growth since the summer of 2009, which was just as the recovery was getting under way.
Part of the decline in demand is because of the Japanese refinery capacity which was knocked out by the earthquake and tsunami.