Johnson Says U.K. Can Use Tax to Drive Investment Outside EU

India Seeks Expressions of Interest for Stake in State-Run BEML

India is inviting expressions of interest in a 26% stake in state-owned defense and engineering company BEML Ltd., the company said in an exchange filing on Saturday.

The government is looking to cut its 54% holding in the firm as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s privatization drive, which will also see management control shift to the successful bidder. The sale will be done through open competitive bidding, and interested bidders must submit an expression of interest by March 1, according to the filing.

SBI Capital Markets Ltd. is the transaction adviser.Shares of BEML slipped 1.5% last year, underperforming the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which jumped 16%.

Iranian Firms to Sign $1.2 Billion in Deals to Boost Oil Output

Iranian companies plan to sign agreements worth $1.2 billion to maintain and raise the nation’s crude output, state-run National Iranian Oil Co. said.

The signings are to take place Monday in the presence of Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in Tehran, NIOC said in a statement, without providing further details.

Two NIOC subsidiaries signed$1.8 billion of similar domestic contracts in August to boost production at more than a dozen onshore and offshore crude deposits.

Zanganeh said in mid-December that Iran planned to roughly double oil production in the next year to 4.5 million barrels daily, as the country anticipates a loosening of U.S. sanctions after Joe Biden becomes president.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, including Iran, are to meet Monday to assess production. While the 13-nation group has slashed output since April to buoy prices in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Iran is exempt from a quota due to the sanctions.

— With assistance by James Amott

Lockdown tiers 'about to get tougher' amid fears of Tier 5

Boris Johnson has warned that stricter measures to combat coronavirus may be needed in ‘many parts of the country’.

The prime minister appeared on Andrew Marr this morning when he said that these new restrictions may be coming in the ‘weeks ahead’.

He was asked about the prospect of a Tier 5 lockdown, and said he wouldn’t comment on that but that new measures may be needed.

More follows.

Norway Landslide Death Toll Climbs as Searchers Push On

Norwegian rescuers have now recovered five bodies at a village not far from the nation’s capital hit by a landslide on Wednesday, with 5 people still missing.

The latest discovery was made at little before 6 a.m. local time by search and rescue specialist from the fire brigade, the police said in astatement. Rescuers worked through the night and are still searching for survivors, Kenneth Wangen, head of the fire operation, told reporters.

The quick-clay slide happened about 20 kilometers north of Oslo and follows a month of record rainfall. About 1,000 people were evacuated from the area after the landslide devastated large parts of the village.

Such landslides are known to occur in Norway and neighboring Sweden when the quick clay common to some parts of Scandinavia fills with rainwater and turns to liquid, according to the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute. Several houses were carried out into the sea due to a similar slide in June. No one was injured in that event.

Egypt's Suez Canal revenues dip to $5.61 bln in 2020- canal authority

CAIRO, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Egypt earned $5.61 billion in revenues from the Suez Canal in 2020, the canal authority said in a statement on Sunday, down from $5.8 billion in 2019.

The head of the canal’s authority said transit fees for all types of ships passing through the canal would remain unchanged in 2021.

UK PM Johnson says he will carry on as British leader after Brexit

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Boris Johnson said on Sunday he intended to carry on as prime minister after Brexit.

Asked in a BBC interview if he intended to continue in the role, Johnson said: “Yes.”

Johnson Says U.K. Can Use Tax to Drive Investment Outside EU

Leaving the European Union is an opportunity for the U.K. to use taxes and subsidies to encourage companies to step up spending, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

In addition to regulatory change, “you can use tax systems and subsidies to drive investment,” he said in an interview with BBC television.

The question of state aid rules was a major hurdle for the Brexit trade negotiations. Under the terms of the deal, either side can impose tariffs on the other if it is clear that businesses are being unfairly undercut.

The U.K. is now operating outside of the bloc for the first time after the end of the transition period. Johnson has said he wants to use the U.K.’s new autonomy to boost science and “level up” the struggling economies of deprived parts of the country.

Many economists expect that more paperwork and barriers to trade will hurt economic growth just as the coronavirus pandemic hammers output.

Despite a raft of new rules for trading with the EU, Brexit is still a boon for exporters, Johnson said. “There is some bureaucracy and we’re trying to remove it,” Johnson said when asked about the red tape that took effect on Jan. 1. “We have a massive opportunity to expand our horizons, and to think globally, and to think big.”