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


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

The FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent in early trading. Companies with reports and trading updates today include Ithaca Energy, Saga, Hiscox, Shepherd Neame, Chapel Down Group, Rolls-Royce, Flutter and Pendragon. Read the Business Live blog from Wednesday September 27th below.

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Flutter acquires majority stake in Serbian betting group

Paddy Power owner Flutter has initially bought a 51 percent stake in Serbia’s second-largest sports betting and gaming operator MaxBet for €141 million (£123 million) to expand in the Balkans.

Flutter said the deal, which also allows it to acquire the remaining 49 percent stake in 2029 on similar terms, is consistent with its strategy of targeting fast-growing, regulated markets where the company combines local expertise with its global pricing and technology can combine.

The world’s largest online betting company said the €700 million Serbian betting market was attractive due to its relatively low online penetration of about 35 percent and expected average online growth by 2025 of about 15 percent.

MaxBet, which had fully regulated pro forma revenue of €145 million in the year to June, 44 percent of which was 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 such as Georgia, India and Italy,” Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said in a statement.

Lindsell Train fund managers shared £36m in dividends despite disappointing investor returns

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

Nick Train and his wife received around £18 million 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 £49 million, although this amount was below the previous year’s figure of £53 million.

Saga raises profit expectations

Travel group Saga expects annual revenue to rise by double digits and underlying profit to beat market estimates after bookings for its ocean cruises surged on robust travel demand.

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

Hiscox sells 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 transaction to close by the end of 2023.

Equinor gets green light for Rosebank oil and gas field

The government has given Oslo-listed Equinor the green light to develop the Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea in collaboration with London-listed Ithica Energy.

Equinor holds a majority stake in Rosebank, 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 over its lifetime.

“Today we approved the Rosebank Field Development Plan, allowing the owners to proceed with their project,” the North Sea Transition Authority said in a statement.

Environmental campaigners had called on the government to stop the development, saying it breached Britain’s plan for a net-zero economy.

Gilad Myerson, Chief Executive Officer of Ithaca Energy, said: “We are pleased to announce the decision to advance the Rosebank development with Equinor.”

“Rosebank is the largest undeveloped field in the UK and with the granting of development consent by the NSTA we are now ready to embark on a journey that will not only deliver vital domestic energy but also have a significant 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 is having its worst month since last year’s mini-budget crisis due to recession fears

The pound fell to a six-month low against the dollar last night as it headed for its worst month since the mini-budget crisis last September on fears of a recession.

Sterling fell about half a cent to as low as $1.2157 as pressure mounted on the currency after the Bank of England decided to leave interest rates unchanged last week.

And while many observers believe that interest rates in the UK have peaked, it is believed that there could be further rate hikes in the US, which would strengthen the dollar.


Drew Weisholtz

Drew Weisholtz is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Drew Weisholtz joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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