Nils Pratley

BP dividend: To pay or not to pay?

The more it says it can cope with whatever penalties are imposed on it, the more US politicians are entitled to ask whether they are high enough.

What does the war on Wall Street mean for the big banks?

More details please. On Thursday ­President Obama declared war on Wall Street -- but what would ­victory look like?

Not much can be done for taxpayers who face being fleeced

It was a bad plan -- but it was a plan. The refusal of the US House of Representatives to back Hank Paulson's bail out takes us into new territory.

Day the time bombs went off

If this is the death of Wall Street as we know it, the tombstone will read: killed by complexity.

Is oil going back under $100 a barrel?

Is it over? Was that the oil shock? Can we relax, sit back and expect our energy bills and prices at the pumps to tumble?

FTSE hits landmark 6 000

The FTSE 100 (the Financial Times/London Stock Exchange list of the top 100 companies) spent much of last week above 6 000 points for the first time since March 8 2001, achieving the latest landmark in one of the most remarkable post-war stock market recoveries. It didn't quite last -- the closing level was 5 999,4.

Marriage for ‘beauty not money’

SABMiller has won its fight to buy Bavaria, a Colombian-based brewer regarded as the last major prize in the global beer industry's pursuit of growth in South America. SAB's shares moved sharply higher as investors applauded an apparent bargain price of ,8-billion, almost -billion below some market estimates of Bavaria's value.

Have the fans met their match?

His 60-year career has spanned fast food and nursing homes, and involved some bizarre court cases. He has generally adopted a ''never explain'' approach to the many controversies he has provoked during his climb to the top. Now Malcolm Glazer is determined to buy Manchester United soccer club — regardless of what the fans think.

Outcry over Shell’s record profit

Oil giant Shell is fighting calls for a windfall tax after it recorded the biggest profits by a British company to date. The £9,4-billion earned in 2004 from oil and gas -- £1-million an hour and equal to nearly 1% of the United Kingdom's gross domestic product -- came after the prices of UK domestic gas, electricity and petrol soared. Banking group HSBC is predicted to match Shell's profits.

Militant fans in new threat to Glazer

A militant group of Manchester United fans this week threatened a renewed and potentially more violent phase of its campaign to keep Malcolm Glazer from taking control of the club. The group calls itself the Manchester Education Committee and has been responsible for ''direct action'' against those it suspects of involvement in any takeover.

Glazer woos Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson will be offered a beefed-up role at Old Trafford by Malcolm Glazer as part of the American tycoon's attempt to reverse fans' hostile reaction to his takeover plans. Glazer and his advisers are understood to have been shocked by the level of opposition from groups such as Shareholders United to their ambition to buy Manchester United.

Up, up and away

Oil prices could still rise sharply in the coming months, two large investment banks have warned. Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) said oil could spike at to a barrel in the next year, while Deutsche Bank said this year is set to be the sixth successive one in which analysts have underestimated the strength of crude oil prices.

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