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2014-06-09 21:00:00



A majority of votes cast by shareholders of Nabors Industries Ltd. NBR +0.93% rejected all three members of the board's compensation committee, but the drilling company chose to disregard the rebuke.

Nabors said Thursday when it disclosed the vote that the company has made strides to overhaul executive pay and improve governance. The board, in a unanimous vote, refused to fire the three directors, who offered their resignations as required by a company bylaw. Those directors weren't involved in the decision.

Instead, the Bermuda-based firm praised the directors, while opting to move two of them off the compensation committee.

The company's board defended its decision to retain the directors, saying "the shareholder vote reflects concerns that relate primarily to the CEO's prior years' compensation."

Nabors last year awarded Chief Executive Anthony Petrello a one-time payment of $45 million in exchange for replacing his employment contract, which it said should lead to lower pay.

Nabors didn't respond to requests for comment.

This wasn't the first time the board has rejected a shareholder vote. The two directors who will be reassigned from the compensation committee, John Lombardi and John Yearwood, each received 46.4% of votes cast this year and received less than a majority of support last year. The third member of the compensation committee, Michael Linn, received 49.6% support this year.

As in 2013, the company this year said that a proposal to give some big shareholders the right to nominate multiple directors narrowly failed.

Nabors, which drills oil and natural-gas wells for clients, is streamlining its operations and cutting costs, helping boost its shares 57% this year, giving it a stock-market value of about $8 billion.

The company, long dogged by pay controversies, has moved to address shareholder concerns. It adopted a policy, known as proxy access, which allows investors owning more than 5% of its shares to nominate a single candidate to the board.

Still, shareholder-advisory firms objected to Mr. Petrello's overall compensation package for 2013, valued at $68.2 million, which included the $45 million payment. Institutional Shareholder Services recommended shareholders vote against six board members up for election, while Glass, Lewis & Co. called for voting against the three members of the compensation committee.

On Wednesday, before disclosing the voting results, Nabors expanded its board to eight members and appointed a new director recommended by its largest shareholder, London-based Pamplona Capital Management LLP. The new director, Dag Skattum, is managing director of an investment firm focused in Africa.

Some stakeholders said Nabors must do more. "Shareowners weren't fooled by the proxy access bait-and-switch of an unaccountable board comprised of a growing number of zombie directors," said Scott Stringer, New York City's comptroller.

Mr. Stringer, who manages pension funds invested in Nabors, had proposed that investors with stakes of 3% or more be allowed to nominate a quarter of the board. The proposal received 48.3% of support by the company's calculations, not enough to pass.

Nabors's method of counting votes also has been controversial. For Mr. Stringer's proposal, the company counted shares whose votes weren't exercised. Had it only counted votes cast, the proposal would have won a majority of support for a third straight year.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System proposed this year that the company only count votes cast, along with abstentions, to determine support. That proposal, which isn't binding, received 57.7% support even after taking into account shares that weren't voted.

Nabors had opposed the proposal, saying it "requests an unnecessary change that provides little benefit to shareholders."




November, 20, 09:05:00


REUTERS - India’s natural gas consumption is expected to rise to 70 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2022 and 100 bcm by 2030, according to a government think tank and the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, up from 50 bcm now. India burns just 7 percent of what top user the United States consumes in a year with about a quarter of India’s population.

November, 20, 09:00:00


Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its coal stocks.

November, 20, 08:55:00


WSJ - Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose $1.41, or 2.6%, to $56.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, snapping a three-session losing streak. Brent, the global benchmark, advanced $1.36, or 2.2%, to $62.72 a barrel.

November, 20, 08:50:00

U.S. RIGS UP 8 TO 915

U.S. Rig Count is up 327 rigs from last year's count of 588, with oil rigs up 267, gas rigs up 61, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 24 rigs from last year's count of 184, with oil rigs up 9 and gas rigs up 15.

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