Updates from BP, Xstrata and Logica


Despite the on-going eurozone stress, the FTSE 100 managed a +9.67 point lift yesterday, taking it across the 5,300 threshold to almost 5,307 points. The biggest riser was InterContinental Hotels, up +6.12%.

Slowing manufacturing Chinese data saw the Japanese Nikkei slip -0.7%; however Hong Kong's Hang Seng picked up +0.4%.
The week ends with big news from BP - it wants to pull out of Russia. In a terse statement to the stock exchange at 7am, BP said it had "unsolicited approaches and consistent with its commitment to maximising shareholder value".

BP has notified Alfa Access Renova, its other shareholder in TNK-BP, of its intention to pursue a sale. It added that "there can be no guarantee that any transaction will take place".

Mikhail Fridman, TNK-BP's chief executive, announced this week he would be stepping down "for personal reasons". However, a BP exit from Russia could take some time, given the current rifts within the TNK-BP venture. BP's relations with its Russian billionaire oligarch partners have been consistently fraught.

Its been revealed that Xstrata boss Mick Davis could be in link for a massive £28.8m payout to keep running the combined operation. Whether this pay-out will be backed by shareholders remains to be seen. Forty per cent of investors did not support Xstrata's recent remuneration report.

What will particularly worry Xstrata investors over the £28.8m payment to Davis is that it is not dependent on company performance. Other payments - they total £170m - to retain key staff have also been signalled by Xstrata. There could be quite a pay scrap coming.

Lastly, its emerged that Logica boss Andy Green is to bag a £1m windfall following a £1.7bn takeover bid from Canadian CGI. What investors may find difficult about this news is that Logica's group value has tumbled substantially during Green's reign.

Operating profits have plunged recently and there have been significant lay-offs. However since the CGI bid, Logica's shares have surged. Green did not take a bonus recently.

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