Daily Media Briefing 25th September

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Policy & Research

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September 25, 2012

Corporate Reputation

Bumi probe into use of unit’s funds

Bumi plc, the Indonesian coal miner part-owned by financier Nat Rothschild, has launched an internal investigation into alleged financial irregularities at one of its affiliates. The probe was ordered after non-executive directors presented evidence to the board pointing to potentially suspect transactions at PT Bumi Resources, an Indonesian entity largely controlled by the Bakrie family, in which Bumi owns a 29% stake. (Financial Times*, Financial Times*, The Independent, The Times*)

Olympus, former executives plead guilty in fraud trial

Japanese camera and medical equipment maker Olympus and three of its former executives pleaded guilty on Tuesday over charges related to a $1.7 billion (£1.04 billion) accounting cover-up in one of Japan's biggest corporate scandals. The three admitted to hiding losses dating back to the 1990s, which were brought to light by a former chief executive, Michael Woodford. The company could be fined more than 100 million yen, according to the Japanese media. On Tuesday, three sources familiar with the deal said rival electronics and entertainment giant Sony was likely to approve a plan this week to invest 50 billion yen (£395.5 million) in Olympus, becoming its biggest shareholder with around a 10%. (Reuters, BBC)


Policy & Research

Starbucks and others tell congress to extend wind tax credit

Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co and 16 other companies have sent a letter to US Congress, urging elected officials to extend the wind ‘production tax credit’ (PTC) before it expires at the end of 2012. The PTC, originally signed into law by President George Bush seven years ago, provides a tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of renewable power generated. Installed wind capacity represents more than $79 billion in private investment, according to the letter. The American Wind Energy Association says industry layoffs have already begun, and extending the PTC could save 37,000 jobs by the first quarter of 2013. (Environmental Leader)

Trafigura lessons have not been learned, report warns

In 2009, the Guardian fought a landmark legal battle to reveal the links from Trafigura, a multinational oil trader, to the dumping of tonnes of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast three years earlier, causing a public health crisis that affected more than 100,000 people. But such devastating dumping could easily be perpetrated again in developing countries, according to a three-year investigation into the incident by Amnesty International and Greenpeace. Their report, published on Tuesday, states that there is still no agreed international process for preventing and dealing with toxic dumping activities. There have also been indications that the authorities in the Ivory Coast have failed to redistribute compensation to the victims of the dumping.  The NGOs that wrote the report called for Trafigura to face a criminal trial in the UK.  (The Guardian)



Morrisons prefers own-label to off-the-shelf pension plan

One of Britain’s biggest employers is set to sidestep the Government’s new flagship auto-enrolment pension regime by setting up a staff scheme that is exempt from the new rules, only days before they come into force. The move means that 130,000 staff at the supermarket group Wm Morrison will not be automatically enrolled in a pension scheme from October 1, unlike employees of almost every other leading employer in Britain. Auto-enrolment is a radical piece of social engineering intended to nudge 11 million low and moderate earners into a workplace pension for the first time. (The Times*)

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