BUSINESS LIVE: Equinor given green light for Rosebank oil and gas field


BUSINESS LIVE: Equinor given green light for Rosebank oil and gas field

The FTSE 100 is down 0.1 per cent in early trading. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Ithaca Energy, Saga, Hiscox, Shepherd Neame, Chapel Down Group, Rolls-Royce, Flutter and Pendragon. Read the Wednesday 27 September Business Live blog below.

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Rosebank oil field given go-ahead by regulator

Britain has given the go-ahead for Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor to develop the Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea, in a move likely to provoke fresh criticism from environmental campaigners.

Equinor, which holds a majority stake in Rosebank, one of the biggest undeveloped oil and gas fields on the British continental shelf, will invest $3.8billion, or around £3.1billion, alongside its partner to develop the field.

Flutter buys majority stake in Serbian betting group

Paddy Power owner Flutter has bought an initial 51 per cent stake in Serbia’s number two sports betting and gaming operator MaxBet for €141million (£123million) in a bid to expand in the Balkans.

Flutter said the deal, which also allows it to acquire the remaining 49 per cent stake in 2029 on similar terms, aligns with its strategy to target fast-growing, regulated markets where it can combine local expertise with its global pricing and technology.

The world’s largest online betting company said the €700million Serbian betting market is attractive due to its relatively low online penetration of around 35 per cent and expected online compound annual growth to 2025 of approximately 15 per cent.

MaxBet, which generated pro forma fully regulated revenue of €145million in the year to June, 44 per cent of it online, also has a smaller presence in Bosnia, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

‘We believe MaxBet is an excellent opportunity to replicate the success we have achieved in markets like Georgia, India and Italy,’ Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said in a statement.

Lindsell Train fund managers split £36 million in dividends despite disappointing investor returns

The fund managers behind Lindsell Train split nearly £36m in dividends last year – despite disappointing returns for investors.

Nick Train and his wife received around £18m from the investment trust for the year to the end of January, as did his business partner Michael Lindsell and his wife, according to accounts filed with Companies House.

That was the lion’s share of a total dividend pot of £49m, although this was down from the previous year’s £53m.

Saga lifts profit expectations

Holiday group Saga expects annual revenues to rise by double digits and underlying profit to beat market estimates after a surge in bookings for its ocean cruises amid resilient travel demand.

The company, which also sells insurance to over 50-year-olds, separately told investors this mornign that finance chief James Quin would be stepping down from the role after nearly five years.

Hiscox to sell DirectAsia

FTSE 250-listed Hiscox has agreed to sell its motor insurance business in Singapore and Thailand.

The insurer will sell DirectAsia to Ignite Thailand Holdings following a strategic review.

The company expects the deal to be completed by the end of 2023.

Equinor given green light for Rosebank oil and gas field

The Government has given the go-ahead to Oslo-listed Equinor to develop the Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea in partnership with London-listed Ithica Energy.

Equinor holds a majority stake in Rosebank, which is one of the largest undeveloped oil and gas fields on the British continental shelf, and expects to produce 300 million barrels of oil from the field in its lifetime.

‘We have today approved the Rosebank Field Development Plan which allows the owners to proceed with their project,’ the North Sea Transition Authority said in a statement.

Environmental campaigners had called on the Government to halt the development, arguing it contravenes Britain’s plan for a net-zero economy.

Gilad Myerson, executive chairman of Ithaca Energy, said: ‘We are delighted to announce the decision to move forward with the Rosebank development alongside Equinor.

‘Rosebank stands as the largest undeveloped field in the UK, and with the receipt of development consent from the NSTA, we are now poised to embark on a journey that will not only provide critically important domestic energy but also ignite substantial economic impact.

‘The Rosebank project will create thousands of jobs and contribute significantly to securing the UK’s energy needs for many years to come.’

The pound faces its worst month since the mini-Budget crisis last year amid recession fears

The pound hit a six-month low against the dollar last night as it headed for its worst month since the mini-Budget crisis of last September amid fears of a recession.

Sterling dropped by about half a cent to as low as $1.2157 as pressure mounted on the currency in the wake of last week’s decision by the Bank of England to leave interest rates on hold.

And while many observers believe rates in the UK have peaked, it is thought there could be further hikes in the US, boosting the dollar.

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