President Asks World Bank Envoy to Leave
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has asked the World Bank's representative since November 2005, Eduardo Somensatto, to leave the Andean country.
Correa declared Somensatto "persona non grata" because the World Bank denied Ecuador a $100 million loan in 2005, when Correa was economic minister under former President Alfredo Palacio. The World Bank denied the loan after the country had dissolved a fund used mostly for the country's foreign debt repayments.
This month, Correa said Ecuador had paid off its $9 million debt to the International Monetary Fund and would sever ties with that financial institution.
Hard-Cap Emissions Limit Rejected
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, seeking to keep an oil-driven economic expansion alive, will not impose hard caps on greenhouse-gas emissions from oil companies and other industrial polluters. The new rules abandon the Kyoto pact, which the previous Liberal Party government ratified in 2002.
The Conservative Party government will force emitters to curb emissions by 18 percent by 2010, then by 2 percent annually until 2015. Producers will have a three-year grace period for new facilities, a boost for an oil industry ramping up investments.
Harper resisted pressure from environmentalists and opposition parties to move faster on climate change and said Canada's economy would be undermined as firms such as Suncor Energy prepare to spend at least $109 billion in the next decade on new oil-sands projects. Tar sands in Alberta, Harper's home province, hold the largest pool of oil reserves outside the Middle East.
Baker Hughes Resolves Corruption Claims
Baker Hughes said it reached settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice on investigations into the oilfield-services provider's operations in Angola, Kazakhstan and Nigeria. It has recorded a fourth-quarter reserve to cover $44.1 million in settlement payments, the Houston company said. A subsidiary has pleaded guilty to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act because of payments between 2001 and 2003 to a commercial agent retained in 2000 with a project in Kazakhstan, Baker Hughes said.
Citigroup Sets Record in Acquiring Brokerage
Citigroup won majority control of Nikko Cordial, Japan's third-biggest brokerage, with a $13.4 billion takeover offer, the largest cash purchase by an overseas company in Japan's financial services history. Investors owning 61 percent of Tokyo-based Nikko, including Citigroup, accepted the acquisition. Because the level of acceptances falls short of full control, or two-thirds ownership, the New York-based bank may have to seek compromises over decisions such as mergers or the sale of a unit.
Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.