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.

D-Day for bids as RBS sells insurance business

Royal Bank of Scotland will today learn which of seven suitors are throwing their hats into the ring for its insurance business, potentially sparking a £7.5bn bidding war, as the group looks to offload the asset by the end of the summer.

Buffett arrives in Europe for $35bn shopping spree

As shopping trips go, this could be a big one. Warren Buffett, the billionaire US investor who controls Berkshire Hathaway, touched down in Germany yesterday to begin a four-day European tour he hopes will enable him to invest some of the $35bn (£18bn) cash pile on which the investment company is currently sitting.

The man they call the Oracle holds them spellbound again

They came from all corners of the country, from Florida, from Washington state, from New York City and from Houston, Texas. Some had travelled from China, from India, Australia, Germany and, yes, from the UK. And for six hours, in a packed stadium in this Nebraskan city, 31,000 people strained to hear the latest wise words of the man they call the Oracle of Omaha.

Buffett considers bid for RBS insurance companies

Warren Buffett is considering mounting a multi-billion-pound bid for some of the most famous names in British insurance, including Direct Line and Churchill.

Wrigley and Mars: a sweet deal

The $23bn takeover of Wrigley by Mars brings together two historic brands and will make Mars the world's largest confectionery maker, overtaking Cadbury Schweppes. By Stephen Foley

World's richest man to get $700 for soap opera cameo role

Warren Buffett, the feted investment guru and the world's richest man with a fortune of $62bn, is being drawn into an insider trading scandal – but his followers need not worry, since the scandal is only a fictional storyline on the long-running US soap opera All My Children. The show's producers will pay Mr Buffett union rates for his upcoming appearance, about $700.

City Eye: From heroes to zeros – the cult of personality will punish chief executives

It is said that perception is nine-tenths of reality, which causes chief executives an awful lot of grief, according to Phil Rosenzweig. In his new book, The Halo Effect, he derides the way management gurus like Tom Peters compile lists of "the world's best-run companies" in manuals such as In Search of Excellence.

Dominic Lawson: You don't have to invent things or industries to become the richest man in the world

The bad news for Bill Gates is that, after 13 years at the top, he has just lost his ranking as the richest man in the world. The good news is that he has been overtaken by his bridge partner. That man is Warren Buffett, a friend of the Microsoft boss since 1991, when they began to play bridge together – and also to discuss business a little.

Buffett declares American economy to be in recession

There was no sign of an end to the gloom facing the US economy yesterday, as the dollar displayed yet more feebleness, the housing market continued its slump, American manufacturing declined in February to its weakest level in nearly five years, and, to cap it all, the legendary investor and American hero Warren Buffett judged the nation to be in recession.

GSK bucks the trend as Buffett's buying boosts ailing drug giant

When the oracle speaks, stock markets listen, and the latest quarterly filing from Warren Buffett's investment company Berkshire Hathaway proved no exception.

Wild camping on Isle of Skye

Unless you're on the run, camping on your own in remotest Scotland is an acquired taste. But a recent law change is introducing more and more people to the middle of nowhere. Andrew Spooner pitches up

Buffett plan fails to whet appetite of investors

Capital Insurance, the insurance vehicle being backed by the US investment guru Warren Buffett, was forced to abandon its planned flotation on the stock market yesterday after City investors refused to back it.

Arts & Entertainment
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week