Newsround Digest November 4 2005

Business news round up for this week

Catch up with the big stories from the world of business this week.

The TimesThe Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is thought to be trying to block the proposed sale of the British Nuclear Group, the company established to clean up Britain’s most toxic nuclear sites. Sir Anthony Cleaver, chairman of the NDA, is believed to have serious concerns about the £1bn sale.

Hollinger International has warned that its financial future was uncertain because the former Daily Telegraph owner faces an $867m tax bill. The levy was disclosed in the media company’s annual report which was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Guardian Compass, the world’s largest catering group, has sacked the chief executive of its operation and senior managers amid ‘serious concerns’ about improper conduct. Compass is still trying to overcome a series of setbacks after reporting its third profit warning this year.

Pilkington, the world’s no.2 glass maker, has rejected a £2bn bid from a Japanese rival, saying that their 150p per share bid was not enough. Nippon Steel Glass, which already controls 20% of the company, wanted to take control of the British business that has seen first-half-year profits of £99m.

The Financial TimesThe most expensive legal battle in English history has collapsed when an £850 million lawsuit brought by liquidators of Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) against the Bank of England was withdrawn, leaving a £100 million legal bill in its wake. Lawyers for Deloitte, BCCI’s liquidator, said the action was being discontinued after one of the High Court’s most senior judges ruled it was ‘no longer in the best interests of the creditors’ that it continue.

Oil prices could be 50% higher in 2030 than now unless Saudi Arabia invests billions more dollars in new production. Faith Birol, the group’s chief economist, said that the Middle Eastern country was not making enough investment to ensure that production met the rising demand from the growing economies of India and China.

The Daily Telegraph BSkyB was said to be panicking after two more shareholders said they would vote against its buyback plans. The broadcaster, whose largest shareholder is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, wants rules to be passed that would allow it to increase its stake without making a bid, as it would not sell shares into a buyback.

The senior official in charge of the Government’s troubled multi-million pound contract to build two logistics ships, at Swan Hunter’s shipyard on Tyneside, has quit. Steve Rayner, the team leader in charge of the DPA Landing Ship Dock resigned with no job to go to. The contract was at the centre of an ‘electoral bung’ controversy this year when it emerged that ministers has secretly given £87m to Swan Hunter to complete the project.

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