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Slash And Burn

British Petroleum has some major cost-cutting to do. Thanks to a plunging crude price, oil and gas companies such as Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Statoil have seen a slump in earnings, forcing them to cut down on expenditure and the story is no different for BP. After already cutting hundreds of jobs in Aberdeen and at many more locations around the world, BP is expected to slash billions off its capital expenditure program. These measures have come on the heels of the company’s upstream operations showing a fall in earnings by 73% as compared with last year and its full-year profit crashing to $9.3 billion from $23.4 billion a year earlier. Looks like the upstream industry is not so upbeat anymore.

Up For Sale

Many a power plant in Germany has lost power and are set to be sold off. Thanks to Germany’s shift to renewable energy, which expected to provide 45% of power to Germans by 2025, electricity prices have fallen drastically, resulting in Germany’s largest power producers RWE AG and EON SE selling off their gas-fired plants. RWE has more than six gas-fired generators mothballed in Germany and the Netherlands, which may never be needed in their home market again. With falling gas prices and either the plant or its parts such as the turbines being put on the block in most cases, opportunities are rife for buyers across the world to snap up facilities at a bargain.

Shaking It Up

Shake Shack and its investors are not the only ones gaining from its debut on the stock market. While investors gobbled up the stock valuing it at $2 billion, hundreds of New Yorkers feasted on free burgers outside NYSE after its stock, priced at $21, jumped to almost $50 and closed at around $46. Most content of all, however, seems to be founder Danny Meyer. Having raised $105 million through its IPO, his stake was last valued at $342 million. Not bad for something that started out from a food cart.

Korean Knot

That marriages promote an entire ancillary industry is known but who knew that an economy could slow down because people aren’t getting married? Turns out that the South Korean economy expanded only 0.4% in the fourth quarter. The Bank of Korea has blamed it on the decline in marriages. The reason? Couples are rescheduling their weddings because of the leap month, which is considered inauspicious for couples. Some leap of faith, this.

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