Falling crude burns big hole in takings at secretive empire

Vitol reported that it had a “solid” year even as revenues fell by $13 billion Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Bloomberg/GettyIt is one of the world’s biggest companies you’ve never heard of, with an empire that stretches from oil refineries to fuel services, but Vitol has become the latest to suffer from the fall in crude prices. The Swiss-based company said in its annual results yesterday that revenues dropped by almost a tenth last year as lower crude prices more than offset a rise in traded volumes. Turnover at the privately owned business fell to $152 billion as oil prices averaged about $45 — down from $168 billion in 2015 when crude prices averaged more than $52. The volumes of crude and oil- derived products traded by Vitol increased by 16 per cent to 2.6 billion barrels, an average of more than 7 million per…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Interest in Co-op Bank raises hopes of quick sale

The bank is also holding discussions with bondholders and potential new ­investors with regard to raising capital as an alternative to a sale GETTY IMAGESThe Co-operative Bank has received interest from “credible strategic and financial” parties, boosting hopes that a sale is possible. The Manchester-based lender is inviting expressions of interest early next month. It said yesterday that further due diligence would be carried out “with a view to making an offer for all of the issued ordinary share capital of the bank”. The bank is also holding discussions with bondholders and potential new investors with regard to raising capital as an alternative to a sale. Pressure is mounting to conclude a quick sale or convince bondholders to carry out a debt-for-equity swap before September when a £400 million senior bond will mature.

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Cadbury spells out price of quitting EU

Chocolate bars are set to shrink in size or will cost more as a result of Brexit Tom Pilston/Times Newspapers LtdCadbury said that it may have to increase prices or reduce the size of its products after Britain’s exit from the European Union. However, Mondelez, the American foods group that owns the chocolate maker, also underlined its commitment to staying in the UK. Glenn Caton, who is in charge of Cadbury in Britain, said that the company would adapt to the terms of Brexit, but that Britain would remain the “home of chocolate manufacturing”. Other food companies, including Unilever, the owner of Marmite, and Premier Foods, the maker of Mr Kipling cakes, have raised their prices or warned that they will do so to offset the weakness of the pound after Brexit. Mondelez faced a backlash after reducing the size of its Toblerone bars last…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Want to buy a home? Become a pilot

The average salary of pilots and flight engineers has risen sharply to a median annual pay of £89,317, meaning that the average house price of £212,748 is 2.4 times their annual earnings Alexander Hassenstein/Getty ImagesThey are often considered to have one of the most stressful jobs in the world, but at least pilots can comfort themselves with being best placed to get on the property ladder. Pilots and flight engineers have enjoyed a bigger growth in pay over the past five years than any other profession in Britain, meaning they have kept better pace with soaring house prices than those in other careers. Analysis by Private Finance, the mortgage broker, found that of the 304 occupations where official data is available only five had enough wage growth since 2011 to make the average home more affordable. The average salary of aircraft pilots and flight engineers has risen by £22,507 over the past five years to a median annual pay…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Hamilton happy, focused — and ominously fast

Hamilton clearly has a point to prove after losing out on the world title last year Dan Istitene/Getty ImagesFor all the talk in the build-up to the new Formula One season about who would be able to challenge the dominance of the Mercedes, the Silver Arrows were in no mood yesterday to let anybody think they could catch them. Least of all Lewis Hamilton, who topped the timesheets in both the morning and afternoon free practice sessions at the start of the first race weekend of the year. The three-times world champion clearly has a point to prove after losing out on the world title last year to his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, who then swiftly retired. The ominous sign for Mercedes’ rivals was that Hamilton was more than half-a-second quicker than anybody in both sessions — including his new team-mate, Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton won…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC



Firefighter gives dog the kiss of life

Andrew Klein performs “mouth to snout resuscitation” on the unconscious dog before fitting a pet oxygen mask BILLY FERNANDO/SANTA MONICA FIRE DEPARTMENTUnited States A firefighter in California has been credited with bringing a dog back from the dead after he pulled it from a burning building and revived it using “mouth to snout resuscitation”. Happy ending: after 20 minutes’ “mouth to snout”, Nalu was breathing on his own Billy FernandoAndrew Klein of the Santa Monica fire department moved through the flat on all fours and found Nalu, a ten-year-old bichon frise and shih tzu cross, unconscious. “He was totally lifeless,” he said later. “I picked him up and ran out of the apartment because time is key, especially with a small dog.”He brought the little white dog out of the building and laid him on a patch of grass. A video taken of the rescue shows that Mr Klein began resuscitation then attached a pet oxygen mask to Nalu, a…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Stress tests expected to put Brexit survival top of the list

Britain’s seven biggest lenders are braced for the details of the tests, which the Bank of England will reveal on Monday. They are expected to be severe because the Bank wants financial institutions to build their resilience when the economy is healthy so that they can cope when it deteriorates. Analysts said it was difficult to guess what the Bank would target in the tests, which lenders must engage with over the summer. The results will be released towards the end of the year. Last year Royal Bank of Scotland emerged as…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Donations pour in for family of stabbed PC

PC Keith Palmer with Staci Martin, a US tourist, on the day he was killedMore than £600,000 has been raised for the police officer who was murdered in the Westminster terrorist attack. One fundraiser, launched by the Metropolitan Police Federation for the family of PC Keith Palmer, 48, who was killed as he guarded the Palace of Westminster, had raised more than £600,000 last night, smashing its £250,000 target. Nearly 29,000 people had donated to help his wife, Michelle, 34, and their five-year-old daughter Amy. The initial goal had been to raise £10,000, but donations topped £100,000 less than six hours after the page was created. PC Palmer’s…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

A good walk: Alston and Garrigill, Cumbria

The little sloping market town of Alston lies among the North Pennine hills. Stone-walled lanes lead away from the town across the fells, and I found one to follow southwards along the eastern flank of the River South Tyne. The postie in his red van jolted in front of me, delivering letters to a string of farmsteads. At Fairhill ducks waddled among superannuated tractors. The view today is a sublime Pennine prospect, down sheep pasture to the river, up the green inbye fields of the far slopes, squared…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Talking Horses: Saturday’s best bets for Newbury and Kelso

If there is a value bet to be had, though, it could be Hughie Morrison’s Sister Sibyl (3.00) at around 10-1. Shotavodka is 11 now, but may be the best option having shown signs of a return to form when third last time out. Kelso 2.05 Just four runners but the field is closely matched on their best form. Kelso 3.15 Silver Tassie was a ready winner at Ayr a fortnight ago on similar ground and is another 6lb higher here. Newbury 3.35 Seven of the 11 runners arrive with winning form in at least one of their last two starts.

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

You may need to work until 70, or beyond

“Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” sang the Beatles. In 1967, when the song was released, the retirement age was 65 for men and 60 for women. The state retirement age at which women can collect their pension is to rise to 65 by the end of 2018. By 2020 the age will climb to 66 for men and women, and by 2046 it will be 68. This week further changes were suggested, including the proposal that those in their thirties won’t qualify for a state pension until they are 70.

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

MPs got rid of ‘intimidating’ armed guards at main gate

A report found that some members and staff felt the presence of armed guards outside the main visitor entrances did not create a welcoming atmosphere HANNAH MCKAY/EPAPermanent armed guards were removed from the gate at which PC Keith Palmer was murdered after MPs complained their presence was “intimidatory”, police sources have told The Times. The fixed armed position at Carriage Gates was replaced at some point over the past two years by a mobile firearms patrol. Parliamentary security sources confirmed that the switch had occurred but claimed it was because of Scotland Yard’s concerns that a static armed officer on a gate that was usually open would be vulnerable to attack. The change in deployment could explain why the terrorist Khalid Masood was shot dead by a police close protection officer who happened to be on the scene rather than by a uniformed firearms officer stationed at Westminster. Police and the…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

Turkish expats urged to take a stand against ‘autocrat’ Erdogan

Turks in Germany claim that they are being harrassed for publicly opposing President Erdogan DAVID GANNON/AFP/GETTYGermany’s main Turkish organisation has called for a “no” vote in President Erdogan’s referendum amid signs of a backlash against the vitriolic attacks from Ankara. Leaders of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) urged its 60,000 members to take a stand against “the neutering of parliament, restriction of justice and the concentration of power in the hands of an autocrat”. Mr Erdogan’s repeated criticism of “Nazi methods” after Angela Merkel’s government blocked campaigning visits by Turkish ministers appears to be galvanising opposition among the 1.4 million Turkish voters in Germany. However, the campaign is exposing deep divisions in Germany’s Turkish communities, with vocal opponents of Mr Erdogan being harangued on social media as traitors. “ ‘No’ voters are being intimidated by denunciation and defamation,” said Gokay…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

The lion and unicorn on the Times masthead are left to their own devices

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March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC

The pound’s collapse is our best chance to rebalance the economy

Change is easier to handle the slower it happens, when it creeps up unnoticed, only really evident in hindsight. When it isn’t really change at all, but a contradiction or a kind of inertia. Sure, humans evolved from apes but it took six million years. It was the despondent tone that caught me, but Lord King of Lothbury had good reason. By then, global imbalances…

March 25, 2017 00:00 UTC




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