News in Brief: Green energy, Facebook, chief exec transfer, FTSE 100, BG takeover

News in Brief

UN calls on investors to double green energy finance by 2020

The United Nations (UN) urged global business leaders to double investment in wind and solar energy to £400bn ($600bn) a year by 2020.

One month after the Paris climate agreement (January 2016), UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon told business leaders they needed to act decisively to hasten the transition away from the fossil fuel economy – or they would put the historic accord in jeopardy – reported The Guardian.

In a UN investors’ meeting Ki-moon said: “I call on the investor community to build on the strong momentum from Paris and seize the opportunities for clean energy growth. I challenge investors to double – at a minimum – their clean energy investments by 2020.”

Global clean energy investment attracted a record £230bn ($329bn) last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Facebook doubles fourth quarter profits to £1bn

Facebook has said that the company’s profits more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Net profit for the three months to December 2015 rose to £1.09bn ($1.56bn), up from £490m ($701m), reported the BBC.

The social media giant also said that 80% of its advertising revenue in that period came from mobile advertising, up from 69% in 2014.

Shares jumped 8.7% in after-hours trading in New York, US on the better-than-expected results.

Revenue for the full year jumped 44% to £12.5BN ($17.9bn), with net profit rising about £559 ($800m) to £2.5bn ($3.7bn).

The results mean that Facebook has now beaten analysts' expectations for 10 consecutive quarters.

Dixons Carphone deputy CEO to join Ocado

Ocado has appointed Dixons Carphone's deputy chief executive officer, Andrew Harrison, as an independent non-executive director, reported City A.M.

Harrison will join the retail group on 1 March, 2016. His appointment comes at an interesting time for the business, which is rumoured to be in talks about a tie-up with Amazon rather than go head-to-head with the US giant on its grocery delivery service.

Ocado chairman Lord Rose said: "We are delighted that Andrew is joining Ocado, as we continue to grow the business and develop our technology solution. Andrew brings significant retail and technology experience and we will benefit from his new insight."

Harrison said: "I am excited to join Ocado's board at a time when it leads the shift of the grocery retail market towards online. I look forward to becoming part of the team."

FTSE 100 posts best day for three weeks

The London market closed yesterday (27 January, 2016) at its highest level for three weeks as oil prices ended above $32 a barrel.

The FTSE 100 index closed up 1.3%, or 78.9 points, at 5,990.3, reported the BBC.

Royal Bank of Scotland was among the biggest fallers, down 2% to 255.7p, after announcing a series of write-offs that see it post a loss for 2015.

Luxury goods firm Burberry was also down as investors remained nervous about the Chinese economy.

Burberry, which makes almost a third of its profits in China, fell 1,7% to £11.90.

ARM Holdings, which makes chips for the iPhone, slipped 1.9% to 995.5p following disappointing results from Apple.

The top riser was software firm Sage which rose 7.5%.

Shell shareholders approve £35bn BG takeover

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) shareholders have approved its £35bn ($50bn) takeover of BG Group, clearing the last main hurdle to creating the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader in the world.

BG shareholders are also expected to approve one of the biggest deals in the energy sector in the past decade, a vote that would allow the two oil and gas companies to merge on 15 February, 2016.

Few investors have openly challenged the deal's strategic benefits for Shell. But with oil languishing near £21 ($30) a barrel and only a slow recovery forecast, some had questioned the viability of a deal that would increase Shell's debt burden, reported Reuters.

Shares in BG were up 1.3% at, while RDS ‘B’ shares traded 0.5% lower, both outperforming a 0.9% fall in the European oil and gas index and valuing Shell's cash and share offer at about £35bn ($50bn).