PRESS DIGEST – British business – Aug 24

Daily Telegraph

KOREANS POISED TO BUY DANA SHARES

Korea National Oil Company will attempt to crank up the
pressure on oil explorer Dana Petroleum (DNX.L: ) this week by
making two plays in the latest development of its hostile
takeover bid.

KNOC is aiming to begin announcing formal acceptances from
15 to 20 percent of Dana’s long-term investors prior to the
company reporting its interim results on Friday, while it also
hopes the reporting of results will free it from inside
information restrictions.

Dana founder and chief executive Tom Cross rejected KNOC’s
18 pounds-a-share offer in the hope of securing a higher offer,
despite KNOC receiving letters of support from 47.6 percent of
shareholders.

CRACKDOWN ON CARBON CREDIT FRAUD

Carbon credit trading will be subject to reverse value added
tax charges in an attempt to reduce “Missing Trader
Intra-Community” fraud.

The fraud occurred as most emissions allowances were
VAT-free when bought from abroad by a UK-based company, with the
fraudulent company then selling the credits to another UK
company, charging VAT, but failing to pay the tax to HM Revenue
& Customs.

The new system will see the customer, rather than the
supplier, having to account to HMRC for the VAT payments.

NORTH SEA FIRMS WARNED OVER SAFETY

Occupational health, safety and illness body the Health and
Safety Executive has warned North Sea oil and gas companies that
they must improve their safety record.

The HSE offshore division’s head Steve Walker told the
companies: “The industry has shown it can do better and it must
do in the future.”

Major injury cases rose by 30 percent in 2008-09 to 50, with
the combined fatal and major injury rate almost doubling from
106 per 100,000 workers to 192.

Industry representative Oil and Gas UK said the sector “will
now reflect on these statistics and seek a way forward by
identifying the things which we can do better.”

PETROFAC SHARES LEAP ON BUOYANT FIRST HALF

Shares in oil services company Petrofac (PFC.L: ) rose by 3.5
percent after it reported profits almost doubled in the first
half of 2010 and a 29 percent increase in the interim dividend.

Pre-tax profits rose from 174.3 million dollars to 388.1
million following the 125.8 million dollars it received from the
demerger of EnQuest (ENQ.L: ), while turnover increased by 34.3
percent to 2.13 billion dollars.

Petrofac’s interim dividend of 8.91 pence will be payable on
October 22.

QUESTOR

Petrofac (PFC.L: ) (Buy)

James Fisher (FSJ.L: ) (Buy)

The Independent

BP’S SPILL CLAIMS HANDED TO INDEPENDENT ASSESSOR

The adjudication of damages claims relating to BP’s (BP.L: )
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has officially been transferred
to lawyer Kenneth Feinburg.

It remains unclear, however, whether claimants will use the
facility or prefer to pursue the matter through the courts in
the hope of a higher settlement.

Feinburg was criticised for insisting the compensation
payments should be viewed as full and final legal settlements,
forcing claimants to sign away their right to sue BP.

Feinburg said: “I’m going to have to draw some tough lines,
but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to enjoy the benefit of saying,
‘Well, if I haven’t found you eligible and you opt out of this
voluntary programme, no court will find you eligible’.”

FIGHT FOR CONTROL ON MINERVA GETS NASTY AS EGM DATE
APPROACHES

Property group Minerva (MNR.L: ) has accused its leading
shareholder KiFin of lying to other investors prior to next
month’s emergency general meeting, accusing it of trying take
control of the company.

KiFin warned fellow shareholders Minerva has been left in a
“perilous state” following five years “without any meaningful
ownership”, accusing the company of “inadequate financial
reporting and hype about profits”.

However, Minerva retorted in a statement: “The announcement
by KiFin contains a number of factual inaccuracies and
unsubstantiated claims about Minerva.

The board entirely rejects KiFin’s statements… All of these
claims are entirely without merit.”

INVESTMENT COLUMN

Halfords (HFD.L: ) (Buy)

PRESS DIGEST – British business – Aug 24