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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Harvest Operations Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial and Operating Results

Category : Stocks, World News

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – May 14, 2013) - Harvest Operations Corp. (TSX:HTE.DB.G) announces its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. The unaudited financial statements, notes and MD&A pertaining to the period are available on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”) at www.sedar.com and are available on the Harvest website www.harvestenergy.ca. All figures reported herein are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.

Link: Harvest Operations Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial and Operating Results

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TAG Oil Ltd. (TAOIF: OTCQX International) | TAG Oil’s Ngapaeruru-1 Well Intersects Oil and Gas Shows in Source Rock

Category : Stocks

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TAG Oil’s Ngapaeruru-1 Well Intersects Oil and Gas Shows in Source Rock

PR Newswire

VANCOUVER, May 14, 2013

VANCOUVER, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – TAG Oil Ltd. (TSX: TAO) and (OTCQX:
TAOIF), reports that TAG’s 100%-controlled Ngapaeruru-1 exploration
well has reached a total depth of 1417 meters after successfully
drilling through the Waipawa and Whangai source rock formations, the
main objective of the well.

Excellent mud gas shows – which indicate the presence of gas zones or
soluble gas in oil – were recorded between the intervals of 1140 -
1295m (155m gross hydrocarbon column). Preliminary gas ratio analysis
interprets a predominantly wet gas / oil signature. All data has now
been forwarded to independent laboratories for expert analysis.

In addition, TAG Oil cut and recovered sidewall cores over 14 separate
intervals within the 155 meters of potential unconventional oil and gas
pay, sampled total organic content (TOC) and acquired in-situ gas analysis at depth. Detailed petrophysical evaluation is now
underway with a full suite of unconventional logs to ascertain source
rock quality, fracture identification, geochemistry, and rock moduli
data. This data is critical to determining the most suitable completion
method and production testing of the Ngapaeruru-1 well, as well as to
better understanding the long term feasibility of TAG’s East Coast
Basin opportunity.

“Our team did an excellent job drilling this first ever unconventional
target in the East Coast Basin,” commented Drew Cadenhead, TAG’s Chief
Operating Officer. “Diligence and communication made certain that the
occasionally tricky drilling conditions in this Basin were handled as
planned: safely, efficiently, and with no environmental incidents. The
fact that early mud-log analysis has returned wet gas and oil
indications is both encouraging and very exciting. We’re looking
forward to more detailed results once analysis of the data acquired
from the Ngapaeruru-1 well is complete.”

Ngapaeruru-1 is located in TAG’s 100%-controlled Petroleum Exploration
Permit 38349 in the East Coast Basin of New Zealand. The Ngapaeruru-1
well represents New Zealand’s first test directly targeting the
naturally fractured Waipawa and Whangai formation source rocks which is
believed to contain a significant oil and gas resource.

For further information on the Ngapaeruru-1 exploration well and TAG
Oil’s unconventional prospects please visit:
http://www.tagoil.com/20130422-TAG-Oil-First-Oil-And-Gas-Exploration-Well-East-Coast-Basin.asp

TAG Oil Ltd.

TAG Oil Ltd. (http://www.tagoil.com/) is a Canadian-based production and exploration company with operations
focused exclusively in New Zealand. With 100% ownership over all its
core assets, including extensive oil and gas production infrastructure,
TAG is enjoying substantial oil and gas production and reserve growth
through development of several light oil and gas discoveries. TAG is
also actively drilling high-impact exploration prospects identified
across more than 2,984,171 net acres of land in New Zealand.

In the East Coast Basin, TAG is exploring the major unconventional
resource potential believed to exist in the source-rock formations that
are widespread over the Company’s acreage. These oil-rich and naturally
fractured formations have many similarities to North America’s Bakken
source-rock formation in the successful Williston Basin.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts
are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and
uncertainty affecting the business of TAG. Such statements can be
generally, but not always, identified by words such as “expects”,
“plans”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “estimates”, “forecasts”,
“schedules”, “prepares”, “potential” and similar expressions, or that
events or conditions “will”, “would”, “may”, “could” or “should” occur.
All estimates and statements that describe the Company’s objectives,
mudlog gas readings, oil indicators, drilling, goals and or future
plans with respect to the drilling in the East Coast Basin
forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws and
necessarily involve risks and uncertainties including, without
limitation: risks associated with oil and gas exploration, development,
exploitation and production, geological risks, marketing and
transportation, the risk associated with estimating undiscovered
original initially-in-place, availability of adequate funding,
volatility of commodity prices, environmental risks, competition from
others, and changes in the regulatory and taxation environment. Actual
results may vary materially from the information provided in this
release, and there is no representation by TAG Oil that the actual
results realized in the future will be the same in whole or in part as
those presented herein.

Other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those
contained in the forward-looking statements are also set forth in
filings that TAG and its independent evaluator have made, including
TAG’s most recently filed reports in Canada under National Instrument
51-101, which can be found under TAG’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

TAG undertakes no obligation, except as otherwise required by law, to
update these forward-looking statements in the event that management’s
beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors change.

SOURCE TAG Oil Ltd.

See the article here: TAG Oil Ltd. (TAOIF: OTCQX International) | TAG Oil’s Ngapaeruru-1 Well Intersects Oil and Gas Shows in Source Rock

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IMF team needs to see UK economy’s clouds, not the sunbeam

Category : Business

Christine Lagarde’s inspectors should see that Britain is crying out for investment, not more austerity

Dear IMF officials,

Don’t be blinded by a single ray of sunshine. Britain may have avoided a triple-dip recession, but all the other economic news is weak at best.

At the heart of the problem are the country’s ultra-conservative banks and building societies. Either they are short of funds or reluctant to lend to all but the most financially secure borrower. As Vince Cable put it yesterday, they are working on a “pawnbroker business model” demanding “heaps of collateral” that he likened to a gold watch.

The result is that few small and medium-sized businesses can access the cheap credit on offer from the Bank of England.

Homebuyers are in a similar fix. Some estate agents report that cash buyers make up almost 50% of the house purchases in recent months. Housebuilding remains at levels not seen since the 1920s.

As you pointed out on your visit last year, the Treasury has room for manoeuvre should it want to promote growth. The trouble is that all the fiscal loosening this year will just go to overstressed hospitals, a bigger pension bill and a school system coping with a baby boom. There was little extra in the last budget for investment.

Among the voices over here calling for a more cautious approach to austerity are the former City regulator Lord Turner, who warned yesterday that the slowdown caused by aggressive cuts could trigger a cycle of debt.

“I think the difficulty is that when the public debt levels go up in the crisis you feel you’ve got to get that under control

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Canadian Oilfield Solutions Corp. Announces Intention to Restate 2012 Interim Financial Reports and Delayed Filing of 2012 Annual Financial Report

Category : World News

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – April 24, 2013) - Canadian Oilfield Solutions Corp. (TSX VENTURE:OTS) (the “Company“) announces that it intends to restate and re-file its interim financial reports and management’s discussion and analysis as at and for the interim periods ended March 31, 2012, June 30, 2012 and September 30, 2012 (the “2012 Interim Filings“). As a result of the re-statement, the Company anticipates that the filing of the Company’s audited annual financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis as at and for the year ended December 31, 2012 (the “2012 Annual Filings“) will be delayed beyond the April 30, 2013 filing deadline.

Go here to see the original: Canadian Oilfield Solutions Corp. Announces Intention to Restate 2012 Interim Financial Reports and Delayed Filing of 2012 Annual Financial Report

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Treasury queries Scots currency pact

Category : Business, World News

The case for an independent Scotland retaining the pound in a currency pact with the rest of the UK is not clear, according to Treasury analysis.

More: Treasury queries Scots currency pact

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Intergraph(R) CAU2013 Express in Singapore on May 2nd to Cover CADWorx(R) 3D and 2D, CAESAR II(R) and PV Elite(R)

Category : World News

HOUSTON, TX–(Marketwired – Apr 20, 2013) – Intergraph is hosting a CADWorx & Analysis University (CAU) Express event on May 2, 2013 in Singapore that will include educational tracks on Intergraph CADWorx for AutoCAD-based plant design and CAESAR II and PV Elite for piping and vessel analysis and design.

See the article here: Intergraph(R) CAU2013 Express in Singapore on May 2nd to Cover CADWorx(R) 3D and 2D, CAESAR II(R) and PV Elite(R)

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Eurozone crisis live: Cyprus rescue bill swells to €23bn

Category : Business

Debt sustainability analysis which leaked last night shows that Cyprus’s contribution to its own bailout has risen from €7bn to €13bn

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US immigration reform could improve economy, says conservative thinktank

Category : Business

Analysis ahead of new legislation cites greater birth rate and labour force participation to upend anti-immigration arguments

An overhaul of immigration laws could boost economic growth and cut the federal budget deficit, according to new analysis by a conservative thinktank.

The report by the American Action Forum, published on Tuesday, is part of growing strategy by high-profile conservative groups to deploy economic arguments in the battle for immigration reform.

It challenges the view put forward by some conservatives that immigrants would take jobs from US citizens, drive down wages and would add to the deficit by the need for government assistance.

Legislation on comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, by the bipartisan “gang of eight” senators could be available as early as this week, according to senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York.

Research published on Tuesday by the AAF, cites the greater birth rate, labour force participation and entrepreneurial bent among immigrants compared to native-born Americans as key factors that could raise gross domestic product growth by a percentage point every year over the next decade. In what it acknowledges are “ballpark” estimates, it said: “A benchmark immigration reform would raise the pace of economic growth by nearly a percentage point over the near term, raise GDP per capita by over $1,500 and reduce the cumulative federal deficit by over $2.5tn.”

The analysis, by Douglas Holtz Eakin, an economist and president of the AAF, argues that in the absence of immigration, the population and overall economy would decline as a result of low US birth rates. It argues that immigration reform should be evaluated in economic terms and compares the US unfavourably with the UK, Canada and Australia, countries which focused their immigration reforms on economic growth.

Groups such as Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and the Hispanic Leadership Forum, which aired ads in March promoting an immigration overhaul, have been gearing up for the next critical phase of the immigration debate, and some are using similar messages to that of the AAF.

Norquist, in an interview with Politico last week, said: “We’re doing it to make sure … that Republican congressman and senators feel comfortable.”

“They look out and hear the guys on talk radio, and they go: ‘Oh my goodness, everybody out there thinks this. That’s not necessarily where I was, but I guess if everybody thinks that way, I’ll either be quiet or go along, or I’ll listen to them so they can convince me.’ They’re now hearing the other side of the issue.”

In addition to the proposals for immigration reform to be put forward by the “gang of eight” senators, a bipartisan group from the House is working on its own version.

If the Senate and House bills pass their respective chambers, they would have to be reconciled and a final version voted on, before being sent to President Barack Obama for signing into law.

Every business should be efficient, but how do you pin down your strategy?

Category : Business

Business efficiency can often be achieved by implementing a number of small changes. Matt Levington shares his suggestions

Many company owners might think that greater efficiency derives from applying some sort of overarching process change to a business, perhaps tied to a new IT system that gets the company’s employees accounting for their time in crushing detail all day long. I take a different view.

Efficiency comes from doing more of what’s most profitable in your business, and less of what’s least profitable.

How? Try this: nearly all companies are selling a range of products or services, but not many smaller companies have ever found the time to analyse the profitability of the different parts of their proposition. Usually, they have an array of customers and markets that they serve, but no clear vision of which ones are worth more and which are worth less.

An analysis of the situation – of each customer, potentially, and certainly each product line or service – will get you closer to the truth of your business. What you find might be surprising, but the effort will pay off.

Because the reality for many companies is that some customers will have become unprofitable. The cost base can change, what’s being delivered can incrementally increase in an effort to please – and suddenly that trophy customer is now losing you money.

It can be a painful process to go through, there’s no escaping that. Pricing may need to change, and there may be a cleansing process to reset the client mix or move existing clients onto a different footing. Those aren’t easy steps to take but they are necessary to run an efficient business.

The other side of the efficiency equation is getting staff working really effectively, which usually comes down to having greater clarity around everyone’s respective roles. To get the ball rolling, a staff engagement day can help, followed up by analysis of which staff to retain and in some cases re-train, and which roles need to be recruited for or phased out.

Companies grow organically – but not always logically, because needs change all the time. One question to ask, with efficiency foremost in your mind, is what structure today’s company would have if you took a blank sheet of paper and started again. What you come up with is not necessarily something you’d look to apply in practice, but you can learn a great deal.

Remember, the end goal is getting people working more smartly, more accountably and more efficiently as individuals – and aligned to and motivated by a shared goal that they can believe in.

And this last point is crucial. If you clearly define the contribution of every individual it becomes straightforward to reward excellence simply because the company now knows what it looks like.

Profit-sharing and other kinds of rewards can be fantastic tools when properly applied. If you can give individuals confidence about the role they are performing and its importance, and clarity about the benefits to be had if they deliver, then you’ll often see productivity soar.

Being in business is about teamwork. So look to make individual efficiency, targets and rewards part of the mix, but also work hard to develop a sense of shared ownership among staff to get the best out of them. Team targets and rewards could well be part of that, but at the very least you should be engaging with everyone about the vision for the company.

You can’t expect the best from your people if any of them feel like passengers – they have to be involved at every step of a company’s journey if you want them efficient and motivated. Once they are on board, though, the sky’s the limit.

Matt Levington is the founder of Business Doctors

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. To receive more like this you can become a member of the Small Business Network here.

Executive pay: the likely flashpoints

Category : Business

After last year’s shareholder spring, the mood of rebellion against directors’ rewards may bubble up again this month – and is likely to be at its strongest at these annual meetings

BP

Pay campaigners have in the past confined their criticism to companies gifting bonuses to executives who have manifestly failed. Latterly, however, many have grown increasingly uneasy at the size of potential payouts on offer, which have ballooned at many large companies. Tougher laws requiring shareholder approval for large individual bonus payouts have been passed in Switzerland, adding to calls in the UK and elsewhere for payouts to be kept in check. Campaigners calculate BP chief executive Bob Dudley could receive performance-related payouts of up to 923% of his $1.75m (£1.15m) salary. Last year, 13.5% of votes cast at the oil group’s annual meeting were in protest – that is, “no” votes or abstentions – over pay deals for Dudley and his fellow directors.

RSA

The insurance group is expected to see investors register a protest at its decision to replace long-standing auditor Deloitte with rival KPMG.

This is not because they are keen for Deloitte to stay on – quite the contrary, after the firm received £10m for additional services sold to RSA on top of £6m for audit work. The proposed move from Deloitte has prompted concern because RSA’s audit committee chairman, Alastair Barbour, only stepped down as a senior KPMG partner in March 2011. Too close a relationship for some. Meanwhile, big bonuses for chief executive Simon Lee after a 20% fall in pre-tax profits and a dividend cut also sticks in the craw for many. Last year 9% of votes at the AGM were cast in protest over RSA boardroom pay deals.

WPP

Most chief executives facing a pay controversy try to absent themselves from the debate, or defer irate questions to the chairman or head of the remuneration committee. Not so Sir Martin Sorrell. In the runup to what he knew would be certain defeat at WPP’s meeting last year, he railed against those who suggested he was excessively remunerated. “WPP is not a public utility,” he said. His role, he argued, was “to behave like an owner and entrepreneur and not a bureaucrat”, and that meant paying him accordingly. Last year some 60% of votes were cast in protest at pay deals for Sorrell and his fellow directors.

Centrica

Chief executive Sam Laidlaw and four boardroom colleagues shared payouts totalling £16.4m last year. Such rewards have already sparked outrage from unions and fuel poverty campaigners who insist they are unmerited after Centrica subsidiary British Gas raised consumer gas prices by 6%. Coincidentally, the rise in payouts for executive directors was also 6% – gains the company insisted were based “squarely on performance”. That was not an argument that convinced all shareholders last year. Some 16.2% of votes cast at the 2012 annual shareholder meeting were in protest at the pay arrangements for Laidlaw and his fellow directors.

National Express

A delegation of American trade unionists is expected to return to National Express’s shareholder meeting this year, determined to highlight what they see as the company’s moves to block Teamster union recruitment efforts at school bus depots in America.

US union leaders said they had held talks with institutional investors and members of parliament about their concerns. The group is unlikely to face pressure this year from activist investor Elliott Advisors, which has in the past agitated for strategic changes. Elliott sold half of its near-20% holding last month and described itself as a “strong believer in National Express’s management team and its strategy”.

Prudential

Chief executive Tidjane Thiam surprised some by retaining the support of shareholders following the group’s ill-fated takeover bid for Asian competitor AIA three years ago. Last month, however, that sorry episode came back to haunt the FTSE 100 boss when he became the highest-profile figure to be personally censured by the Financial Services Authority. The regulator suggested he had not behaved “openly and cooperatively” towards it over the proposed deal, and went on to fine the group £30m.

Despite the huge fine and the censure, Thiam has received a £2m bonus. Last year the group faced a protest vote of 33.6% over its boardroom pay arrangements. Thiam, however, enjoyed near-unanimous support, with 99.1% of votes in favour of his re-election to the board.