Daily Media Briefing 15th May

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Supply Chain, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

May 15, 2013

Corporate Reputation

European Commission raids oil groups over price benchmarks

Europe’s leading antitrust authority has raided oil majors Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Statoil in an investigation into the setting of oil prices, the latest probe into global benchmark rates. The European Commission (EC) has launched an investigation into whether oil producers and traders are colluding to rig oil prices in a move that inflates their profits at the expense of consumers. As part of the investigation, the EC said it was also examining whether the companies may have prevented others from participating in the pricing process "with a view to distorting published prices". The probe into oil benchmarks comes in the wake of the Libor interest rate and gas price manipulation scandals. (Financial Times*, Independent)


Singapore cracks down on cross-border tax evasion

Singapore has tightened its rules designed to prevent cross-border tax evasion by making it easier to share information with other countries on financial details of individuals and financial institutions in an effort to “reject tainted money”. The move comes as the Asian city state, which is growing rapidly as a wealth management centre, is determined to clamp down on illicit funds flows and money laundering.  In July, a new law will come into effect that will heavily penalise banks that facilitate tax evasion; it will therefore be a money laundering offence for a bank to assist tax evaders in hiding their funds.  (Financial Times*)

Supply Chain

Wal-Mart outlines own Bangladesh safety plans

Following the Rana Plaza factory collapse, Wal-Mart has said that it will conduct its own safety inspections at its Bangladesh factories instead of joining an accord with other retailers. Labour groups have drawn up an industry-wide pact to improve fire and building safety conditions however Wal-Mart, along with several other U.S. retailers, said it would not participate. It has plans to perform its own inspections at its 279 factories, saying that will yield faster results. The decision comes after newly found documents indicate that a Wal-Mart contractor from Canada had produced apparel at the Ether Tex factory, which was situated on the fifth floor of the Rana Plaza building. (New York Times)

Responsible Investment

Rockefeller Foundation launches $100m initiative

The world-renowned Rockefeller Foundation has today marked its centenary with the launch of a major initiative designed to establish a network of 100 Resilient Cities, capable of tackling climate risks and enhancing their environmental and economic security. The new network will be backed by up to $100m of funding, which will be used to allow members to hire dedicated Chief Resilience Officers and develop comprehensive resilience strategies designed to help protect urban centres against a raft of environmental, health, and economic threats. The network will also enable the sharing of climate adaptation and city resilience best practices, ensuring that effective strategies are quickly replicated across the group of 100 cities. (Business Green)


UK Environmental Industries Commission to access Chinese market

The UK's Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday with the Chinese Society of Environmental Sciences (CSES), aiming to ease UK environmental firms' access to Chinese markets. The agreement enables EIC member companies to seek accreditation with the CSES, providing a platform from which to offer their products and services into the Chinese market. Commenting on the agreement, EIC's chairman, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: "Today marks a new opportunity for EIC in creating tangible export prospects for its members to take advantage of the growing market in China. (Edie)

*Requires subscription