Commodities giant BHP Billiton has submitted to shareholder pressure, announcing plans to offload its US shale business amid floundering global energy prices. The company said it was "actively pursuing options to exit" the operations, but said it would work to increase their value "in the meantime." It comes just days after activist investor Elliott Advisors hiked its stake in BHP to 5%, ramping up pressure on the firm to pull-out of its less profitable operations and increase shareholder returns. BHP made the announcement along side its full-year results, which showed the firm swinging to an operating profit of 11.8 billion US dollars (£9.2 billion), from a 6.2 billion loss a year earlier (£4.8 billion).
Car giant Ford is one step closer to bringing a new line of electric cars to China after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with China's Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. The companies will now explore the potential for a joint venture that would see them collaborate on the development, production, marketing and servicing of a new indigenous brand of vehicles for Chinese consumers. Ford said the move will help it tap into the "fastest- growing market in the world for new energy vehicles", which is expected to grow to six million units per year by 2025. It will also strengthen Ford's foothold in China, having already launched joint ventures including Changan Ford and Jiangling Motors Corporation.