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We’re all very proud today of Sheila McNulty, our correspondent in Houston who last night was named Reporter of the Year and Specialist Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards for her investigative coverage of BP. Another example of her work was, conveniently, on display on our front page this morning.
There is more BP news today. Its Russian joint venture, TNK-BP has been outbid by Rosneft for a 9.4 per cent stake in Rosneft itself. Frankly, though, it doesn’t look like BP tried very hard. It seems more like an exercise in cosying up to the Kremlin.
Today we also have Ofcom’s defiance of Brussels. It is forcing Vodafone, Hutchison and other 3G wireless providers to cut the fees they charge each other for connecting calls to their mobile networks – but by much less than Brussels wanted. We’ll tell you what it means for the companies, and for your and my phone bill? The answer, I fear, may be not as much as we’d all like.
We’ll also have another look at our story this morning about Mike Ashley buying 3 per cent of Adidas. He seems to have bought the stake privately, with proceeds from the float of Sports Direct, so is he now in competition with that company? And does anyone worry he will try and flog that stake to Sports Direct on terms very favourable to himself at some stage? You can watch Tom Braithwaite chewing over some of this online now. Adidas shares are up more than 4 per cent today. Paul Murphy and Neil Hume (who picked up the story late last night) have been going over it on FT Alphaville as well.
More bad news from GCap Media? It said today it expected total revenue for the year to March 31 to decline by 9 per cent. But hang on: the owner of London’s Capital Radio also said advertising revenue performance had improved steadily over the past six months and that it expected to be ahead of the market for the last quarter of the financial year. The market is focusing on the second part of the trading update: the shares are up more than 3 per cent.
Rumour of the Day: Next was the sharpest climber in the FTSE 100 today, gaining 3.6 per cent following a rumours in our pages that a leading investment bank has joined forces with a private equity group to work on an LBO of the retailer.