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Liberty Global increases ITV stake to 9.9% but denies takeover plan

Move by Virgin Media owner could suggest it thinks a bid for the UK broadcaster is increasingly likely

International cable operator Liberty Global has raised its stake in ITV to 9.9% but said it had no intention of taking over the UK’s biggest free-to-air commercial TV firm.

Liberty, the owner of pay-TV company Virgin Media, took a 6.4% stake in ITV a year ago, and in September said it had no plans to increase the holding.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Enhancing resilience to climate change in southeast Asia

Insurance company Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Group joins the Business Call to Action with a commitment to enhance resilience of small-scale farmers through its weather index insurance

Leading Japanese insurance company Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Group joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to enhance the resilience of 30,000 small-scale farmers in southeast Asia by 2025 through its weather index insurance. The first major insurance company to join the BCtA, the Group developed this innovative initiative to mitigate against climate change’s adverse impacts by offering financial services to low-income farmers.

BCtA is a global initiative that aims to support the private sector’s efforts to fight poverty through its core business. It is supported by several international organisations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

IMF will refuse to join Greek bailout until debt relief demands are met

Fund official confirms it will not sign up to any formal support programme unless eurozone creditors reach ‘explicit and concrete’ agreement

The International Monetary Fund will refuse to participate in a new bailout for Greece until there is an “explicit and concrete agreement” on debt relief from the country’s eurozone creditors, an IMF official has confirmed.

Without the IMF’s involvement, Greece’s eurozone partners will have to find more funds to meet Athens’ short-term financing needs, raising questions about whether the outline €86bn (£60bn) bailout thrashed out earlier this month will prove workable.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Portland icebreaker protesters cleared after judge fines Greenpeace $2,500 an hour

Authorities force back kayakers blocking the path of Royal Dutch Shell ship headed to Arctic oil drilling fields

Authorities have forced protesters in kayaks from a river in Portland, Oregon, where they were trying to stop a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving dry dock and joining an Arctic oil drilling operation.

Police also tried to lower protesters who were dangling from a bridge into the water below. Sergeant Pete Simpson said safety was the main priority, and police and coast guard officers were joined by firefighters and a rope-rescue team.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

British cable firm HellermannTyton snapped up in drive for intelligent cars

US car part maker Delphi Automotive pays £1.1bn for HellermannTyton as it seeks to capitalise on growing trend for vehicles that connect to the web

A US-listed car parts maker is paying £1.1bn to buy HellermannTyton, a British manufacturer of cable equipment, as it seeks to capitalise on the growing trend in intelligent vehicles.

Delphi Automotive said it expects HellermannTyton, which makes products for fastening, fixing, and protecting cables, to help it take advantage of increasing demand for vehicles that connect to the web and smart devices such as phones and tablets.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

After Hillary Clinton helped settle tax case, UBS increased foundation support

Clinton helped the IRS and UBS settle a tax evasion case in 2009 as secretary of state, and since then donations by UBS to the Clinton Foundation have grown

Hillary Clinton’s overlap of private and political activities was once again in the spotlight on Thursday after a Wall Street Journal report that since Clinton helped broker a settlement in a legal tax case against UBS while she was secretary of state, the Swiss bank has increased its financial support and involvement in Clinton Foundation projects.

In February 2009, the IRS sued UBS and demanded that it disclose the names of 52,000 possible American tax evaders with secret Swiss bank accounts. In the months that followed – thanks to involvement of Clinton as secretary of state and Swiss lawmakers – a legal settlement was negotiated. On 19 August 2009, it was announced that UBS would pay no fine and would provide the IRS with information about 4,450 accounts within a year.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

UK to back SBM Offshore despite bribery investigations

SBM Offshore says flagship oil project in Brazil to receive £34m of financial backing from UK

The UK government will provide significant financial support to a major Dutch company despite the company being under investigation for its involvement in a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal in Brazil.

Engineering company SBM Offshore – which is being investigated by Brazilian authorities over bribery allegations – confirmed that one of its flagship oil projects in Brazil will receive £34m worth of financial support from the UK.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Banks face new PPI compensation bill over commission payments

Analysts estimate financial services industry could now have to repay £33bn – on top of the £20bn paid out over mis-selling

The UK financial services industry could be facing a £33bn compensation bill for failing to disclose commission payments to customers, according to estimates by analysts.

The tally would be greater than the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal for which the industry has already shelled out more than £20bn and which is expected to rise further on Friday when Lloyds Banking Group is expected to top up its provision by £1bn.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Centrica's new boss vows to kick its spread betting habit

Under Iain Conn, the owner of British Gas is shifting away from an integrated approach and sticking to what it knows best in the energy market

Under its last chief executive, Centrica told its shareholders for half a decade that it was absolutely essential that the company should explore for, and produce, more oil and gas while simultaneously generating more of its own energy. Over-reliance on one end of the energy market – the retail business, meaning British Gas – was deemed dangerous. Centrica needed a spread of investments. Integrated Energy – the title of the annual report as late as 2012 – was the philosophy.

Centrica’s new boss, Iain Conn, like his predecessor Sam Laidlaw, comes from the world of Big Oil but he can see, as everybody can, the flaw in the old approach. Centrica, in spending the thick end of £10bn on oil and gas assets, made a bad bet and acquired a habit it can no longer afford.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS