Daily Media Briefing 16th October

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment

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October 16, 2012

Corporate Reputation

Fukushima disaster could have been avoided, nuclear plant operator admits

The company at the centre of last year’s nuclear crisis in Japan, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), has acknowledged for the first time that it could have avoided the disaster. The company previously insisted that nothing could have been done to protect the Fukushima Daiichi power plant from the earthquake and tsunami that killed almost 20,000 in March last year. However, in a statement on Monday, an internal task force led by Tepco’s president, Naomi Hirose, said that the company knew that safety improvements were needed before the disaster but had failed to implement them. The admission comes after a damning report released in July by a parliament-appointed panel criticised years of “collusion” between Tepco, industry regulators and politicians, describing the disaster as “manmade”. (Guardian, Bangkok Post)

Warrant issued for Kingfisher chief

The owner of Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya, is facing a warrant for his arrest over four bounced cheques. Once one of India’s most popular carriers, Kingfisher is now highly indebted and has been forced to ground flights since October 1st because of unrest by staff who have not been paid for six months. A court in Hyderabad issued the warrant for Mr Mallya and four other Kingfisher managers on Friday after they failed to appear in court in the cases filed by Bangalore-based airport builder GMR. The dispute centres on cheques that Kingfisher issued to GMR worth nearly $2m. As well as trying to stay out of jail Mr Mallya faces the task of saving Kingfisher, which has debts of more than $1bn, much of which is owed to the State Bank of India. (Financial Times*, Telegraph)



Tullow defies Arctic fear in Greenland deal

Tullow Oil has agreed to buy a 40 percent stake in an exploration block off Greenland’s coast, just three weeks after Total’s chief executive argued that energy groups should abandon drilling for oil in Arctic waters because of environmental and reputational risks. The London-based oil and gas company is to acquire its stake from Denmark’s, Maersk Oil, which will continue as operator of the block. Tullow’s decision follows a long-running dispute over whether or not Greenland holds promise as a major province for oil and gas exploration. (Financial Times*)

Energy companies warn UK government over delays to green subsidies

Leading energy companies have warned the UK government not to delay its decision to extend the system of green subsidies that would enable millions of pounds of investment in wind farms and other power plants to be realised. RWE Npower and SSE, two of the so-called ‘Big Six’ energy companies, voiced their fears on Monday in anticipation of proposed reform to the energy bill, which will come before parliament next month. Open disagreement between Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs on the coalition’s environment policy has already caused unease in the business community, with companies such as Microsoft and PepsiCo last week pushing the government for clearer commitments to the de-carbonisation of the economy. (Financial Times*) 

Finance & Banking

RBS suspends senior trader in Libor probe

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has suspended one of its most senior traders in London in the latest development in the Libor fixing scandal. Jezri Mohideen was suspended last week for allegedly instructing colleagues to lower Libor rates. RBS would not comment on Mohideen, whose suspension comes as the bank awaits a fine from regulatory bodies, including the Financial Services Authority (FSA), for its role in the Libor scandal, which has already led to the departure of Barclays chief executive, Bob Diamond. RBS, 81 percent owned by the UK taxpayer, has also taken disciplinary action against a number of individuals involved in attempting to rig Libor while others have left of their own accord. (Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times*)

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