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Gazprom’s gas exports up 8.3%
MOSCOW: Russian gas exports outside former Soviet countries increased 8.3 per cent year-on-year between Jan.1 and Dec.15 to 184.2 billion cubic metres (bcm), Gazprom said on Saturday. Gazprom Group’s gas production increased 13.4 per cent to 447.9 bcm over the same period, the company said in a statement. The Bosnian gas distributor gas-Res and Russian oil and gas company Gazprom SPG agreed on Saturday to form a joint venture
 
 
GM offers sneak peek at new Chevy truck
DETROIT: General Motors Co offered a sneak peek on Saturday of the next generation Chevrolet Silverado pickup, designed to haul big payloads of profits for the automaker when it launches next year. The current Silverado is GM’s best selling vehicle in North America, with sales of more than 500,000 vehicles last year. Analysts and company executives said it was also one of the manufacturer’s highest-profit model lines. GM has
   
Oxford University’s $1b bond success is good news for UK’s top academic institutions
LONDON: The success of Oxford University’s $1 billion bond, the first in its 1,000-year history, is good news for Britain’s top academic institutions at a time of anxiety over Brexit-related funding shortfalls and calls to scrap student tuition fees. The 100-year bond, launched on Dec. 1 with a 2.5 per cent coupon, has taken the market for deals for UK universities and colleges to a new level on a par with such big US names as
 
 
Bitcoin futures debut could lure volume to wild market
NEW YORK: Bitcoin investors expect futures volumes to perk up when CME Group Inc, the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator, launches its own contract to wager on the cryptocurrency on Sunday. The second US bitcoin futures launch is seen as another step towards big institutional investors warming up to a volatile asset that had until recently been accessible only via largely unregulated markets. Like the futures
   
United States renewable fuel industry relieved
WASHINGTON: The US renewable energy industry expressed relief after a compromise Republican tax bill released late on Friday preserved key tax credits that had been at risk of being removed, but it raised concerns about a provision that may threaten investment in the sector. The final tax bill retains the production and investment tax credits for wind and solar energy that have spurred investment in the fast-growth industries.
 
 
German logistics firm Zeitfracht looking at Niki’s books
FRANKFURT: Family-owned German logistics firm Zeitfracht is studying the books of Austrian airline Niki with view to buying some of its assets, a spokesman for Zeitfracht said. Niki, a unit of Air Berlin, filed for insolvency on Wednesday. Zeitfracht and maintenance group Nayak are jointly interested in some assets, including Niki crews, in order to expand Zeitfracht’s newly-bought subsidiary WDL Aviation, the spokesman said.
   
Hulu could play a key role in Disney’s plan on Netflix
In the burgeoning business of streaming television shows, Hulu has long been viewed as the distant runner-up to Netflix. But with Walt Disney Co. poised to take a controlling stake in Hulu, the little 10-year-old streaming service once known solely for airing reruns of broadcast shows online could eventually become a credible threat to Netflix’s dominance. Disney would own 60 per cent of Hulu if its proposed $52.4 billion purchas
 
 
Economic development cranking up in Lower Valley
WASHINGTON: Sunnyside and Grandview are small cities, but they’re generating big buzz for recent economic development success. Case in point: This year’s biggest recruitment success for the Yakima Valley arguably came in Sunnyside, population 15,858. In September, Olympia-based Ostrom’s Mushrooms Farms announced plans to build a $25 million plant that would bring 200 new jobs to town when it opens in 2019. Just 8 miles down
   
Finally, a midsize truck that isn’t built too big
From the Ford F-150 to the Ram 1500 to the Nissan Titan, the 2017 pickups are massive. Climbing into the driver’s seat requires a stepladder or a running leap. Getting back down requires a knotted sheet. Lower the lifeboats! Women and children first! This is even true with some trucks that are marketed and sold as “midsize.” The Toyota Tacoma and the Honda Ridgeline aren’t as big as the Toyota Tundra or the Chevrolet Silverado,
 
 
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