Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 30th 2013 Contents A24
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LONDON---UK oil company BP reported a
34 per cent drop in third-quarter net profit,
but said today it will increase its quarterly
dividend and divest another US$10 billion
BP blamed a drop in refining margins for
the decrease in net profit to US$3.5 billion in
the quarter ended September 30 from US$5.28
billion in the same period a year earlier.
But investors were encouraged by the com-
pany s plans to increase its quarterly dividend
by 5.6 per cent, to 9.5 cents a share, payable
Chief Executive Bob Dudley also said the
company plans to sell off US$10 billion in
assets before the end of 2015, with the pro-
ceeds set to go to shareholders, such as in
the form of share buybacks.
Shares in BP were up 4.5 per cent in midday
trading in London.
Total production for the third quarter was
3.17 million barrels of oil equivalents a day,
driven mainly by growth in production from
The company said new major upstream
projects---particularly in Norway and Ango-
la---are showing strong production.
BP, which has already set aside more than
US$42 billion for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico, did not elaborate on its current
estimates for the costs of the Gulf spill, but
said it might revisit its provisions at a later
Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX
capital, said the numbers "look clean" on the
whole. The fact BP s costs related to the Deep
Water Horizon incident have held steady, for
now, is "another welcome relief." (AP)
LONDON---Prime Minister David
Cameron is taking strides to tap the bur-
geoning interest in Islamic finance,
announcing the launch of a new Islamic
Market Index in London and plans for
Britain to be the first non-Muslim country
to issue an Islamic bond.
Describing London as "already the biggest
centre for Islamic finance outside the Islamic
world," Cameron said yesterday that the
UK s ambition is to go further.
"I don t just want London to be a great
capital of Islamic finance in the Western
world," he told an audience of international
political and business leaders in London. "I
want London to stand alongside Dubai as
one of the great capitals of Islamic finance
anywhere in the World."
The market in Islamic investments has
grown quickly since 2006, and its value is
expected to hit £1.3 trillion (US2 trillion)
next year. Malaysia s capital, Kuala Lumpur,
is regarded as its hub, but London has been
courting the industry aggressively.
Cameron made a case for mutual benefits
in his address yesterday at the World Islamic
Economic Forum, which for the first time
is being held in a non-Muslim country.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, Afghan Pres-
ident Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif are among the nearly 1,800
political and business leaders attending the
"Investing in London is good for you and
opening London up to your investment is
good for us," he said, pointing to a British
history of commitment to free trade.
"There are some countries whose instincts
sometimes incline towards pulling up the
drawbridge...Britain will not make that mis-
Islamic finance conforms to Islamic law,
or Shariah, which forbids charging interest
and requires deals to be based on tangible
assets. Speculation is banned, as is dealing
in futures. Although still small compared
with the world of mainstream finance,
Islamic finance is expected to hold growing
appeal for Gulf investors seeking to invest
oil revenue or pious Muslims who want
retail Islamic banking services.
The London index---which would track
the ups-and-downs of Shariah-compliant
investments---is being launched on the Lon-
don Stock Exchange. Cameron also said
plans are underway to make Britain the first
country outside of the Muslim world to
issue an Islamic bond. It is expected to be
worth around £200 million and issued next
"For years people have been talking about
creating an Islamic bond---or sukuk---outside
the Islamic world. But it s never quite hap-
pened," Cameron said. "Changing that is a
question of pragmatism and political will.
And here in Britain we ve got both."
Alex Conroy, a trader at Spreadex, said
that the UK s effort to diversify business
could be seen as a way to stay competitive
in the finance world as Britain faces the
prospect of caps on bankers bonuses.
"By welcoming all foreign investment
this should ensure London remains a leader
in global finance," he said in a note. (AP)
BP sees profit
drop in Q3 UK PM unveils plans
for Islamic Market Index
British Prime Minister David Cameron, left,
talks to President of Afghanistan Hamid
Karzai after he addresses the delegates
during the 9th World Islamic Economic
Forum at the ExCeL exhibition and
convention centre in London, yesterday.
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