News

Shell saves $600m on gas deal with Repsol

Royal Dutch Shell has saved $600m (£362m) on a deal to buy rival Repsol’s liquefied natural gas assets in Trinidad, Peru and Spain. The supermajor had agreed to buy the portfolio for $4.4bn last February, but will now only be spending $3.8bn on Repsol’s LNG work outside of North America.

Business Diary: The Beeb's sly dig at Osborne

Revenge for the miserly licence fee settlement awarded to it by the Government? BBC News 24's live coverage of George Osborne's spending review statement in the Commons yesterday was interrupted by an inadvertent switch ofpictures back to the studio. The feed from Parliament was restored in time for Mr Osborne to formally announce the details of the BBC settlement, but it was hardly a respectful response.

Buffett, Ballmer: US economy to avoid double dip

Business titans line up to challenge gloomy reports on America's prospects

David Prosser: Connaught's catalogue of woe began at home

Outlook The problems of Connaught have prompted warnings that many more companies may be pushed over the edge by public-sector spending cuts. But while the private sector inevitably will take a hit as the Government pares spending, to blame the demise of Connaught on austerity measures would be to let the company off the hook far too easily.

Warren Buffett's 'business gene' built an empire that changed history

As he celebrates his 80th birthday, Warren Buffett shows no sign of slowing down. Stephen Foley looks at the secret behind the philanthropist's global success

Warren Buffett plots bid for RBS's Direct Line division

Warren Buffett, "the Sage of Omaha" who turns 80 today, is one of the bidders seeking to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's Direct Line insurance business at a knock-down price. The European Union is forcing RBS, the state-controlled bank, to sell the division as punishment for taking public money during the financial crisis.

Leading article: Just giving

The United States has proportionately more billionaires than Britain, in part because the income gap there is even wider than it is here. But that is no excuse for not embracing the idea of "The Giving Pledge", pioneered by champion investor Warren Buffett and the Microsoft founder, Bill Gates. It was launched barely two months ago, and there are already almost 40 American billionaires signed up to dispensing at least half of their fortunes, either during their lifetimes or after death. In this age of austerity, there seems to have been something in the Buffett-Gates challenge that appealed to the country's super-rich.

Billionaires to give away half their fortune

More than 30 US billionaires pledged today to give away at least 50 per cent of their wealth to charity as part of a campaign by investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Stephen Foley: Berkshire Hathaway's sensational new guru

US Outlook: So it is "foregone conclusion" that Li Lu, Tiananmen Square student protest leader-turned-millionaire hedge fund manager, will be one of Warren Buffett's successors at Berkshire Hathaway, according to the Oracle of Omaha's right-hand man, Charlie Munger. Mr Li's good-but-not-great investment performance to date is supplemented with an appropriately sensational life story, plus obvious intellectual prowess.

The Sage's Son: What became of the Buffett billions?

When the super-investor, Warren Buffett, gave a chunk of his fortune to his son, Howard, there was one proviso: it had to be spent on charitable projects. Paola Totaro goes on the road with the billionaire philanthropist

Warren Buffett gives away more of his fortune

Warren Buffett, the world's third richest man, has announced a donation of $1.9bn (£1.25bn) worth of shares to charitable foundations.

Buffett to face grilling over investment in ratings agency

Warren Buffett has one of the bigger claims to having predicted the credit crisis, describing credit derivatives as "financial weapons of mass destruction" as long ago as 2002, but when he testifies before the commission investigating the crisis this morning he will not be playing his familiar role of avuncular investment oracle.

David Prosser: It's time for Government to keep its word and get banks lending again

Outlook: The cost of mortgage funding in the current low interest rate environment continuesto squeeze all life out of margins in this business

Sage of Omaha's fans ponder a future without Buffett

The Berkshire Hathaway shareholders' meeting had its funny moments, but a serious question was in the air

Charlie Munger: Savvy investor who makes up Buffett's roaring double act

Charlie Munger, the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has long been billed as the supporting role in an extremely successful double act with Warren Buffett, but he has a huge following in the investor community in his own right. Mr Buffett has said in the past: "He's got a real fan club, but for good reason. I'm a member, too."

I would not want job of tackling British debt, says Buffett

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the Oracle of Omaha, said he doesn't envy the winner of the UK general election, who will be faced with the need to make "politically very unpopular" decisions to cut the deficit. Speaking after his annual shareholder meeting, at which he dispensed nuggets of business wit and wisdom to a crowd of 40,000 faithful, Mr Buffett warned the next occupant of No 10 to fear the bond market, which could turn against the UK if public spending is not brought back into balance over the long term.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn