BATTLE OVER BHP GROWS AS ACTIVIST TARGETS BOARDROOM
An activist investor at BHP Billiton Ltd, the world’s largest non-state-owned miner, is pushing for a shake-up of the energy firm’s board following lackluster results in recent years, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Robb. M. Stewart.
Tribeca Investment Partners contends a majority of BHP’s board oversaw some of BHP’s mistakes in recent years without being held accountable, said Craig Evans, a portfolio manager at the Sydney-based hedge fund.
The fund is holding private talks with a number of people as possible nominees for the 11-person board.
Mr. Evans said the names of the potential candidates wouldn’t be disclosed until after BHP had decided whether or not to meet with Tribeca.
BHP has been besieged lately by activist investors who fault it for making missteps during the downturn in commodities such as oil which hurt the firm’s finances.
Tribeca’s push to overhaul the board follows attempts by another hedge fund, Elliott Management Corp., to force BHP to partially divest from it oil and gas portfolio, which produces about 660,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.
Overall, BHP’s makes most of its money from its massive mining operations in especially iron ore, a key steel-making ingredient that is in demand in China.
HONDA PLANS TO TAKE ON TESLA FOR THE ELECTRIC CAR MARKET
Honda Motor Co.’s plans to go head to head with Tesla Inc. to produce electrical cars, reports Sean Mclain.
The Japanese auto maker is banking on distinguishing itself in an increasingly crowded market for clean energy vehicles by building electrical cars with a sporty feel in the hopes of gaining customers that are interested in features beyond making an environmental statement.
“I want our R&D to establish how we can compete against and distinguish ourselves from Tesla,” said Katsuya Hishiki, Honda’s head of electric vehicle development.
The company said a new electric vehicle is being designed by Mr. Hishiki’s team, and it plans to show off the results at an auto show this fall. It is the first stage of Honda’s plan to make two-thirds of the cars it sells electric-powered by 2030.
Several other automakers also have Tesla in their cross hairs.
“General Motors Co. late last year introduced its Chevrolet Bolt electric hatchback, which sells for about $30,000 after tax incentives— less than half a Tesla Model S. Tesla is expected to roll out its own mass-market model later this year,” the Journal reports.
Oil futures edged up on Friday, but were still heading for a weekly loss after rising U.S. stocks raised doubts that production cuts are achieving their goal of draining global inventory.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.3% to $48.00 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 0.4% at $45.80 a barrel.