COMPANY NEWS: Shell optimizing portfolio while spurning merger talk

Royal Dutch Shell and several international subsidiaries have announced projects designed to optimize the company's worldwide portfolio. These include the acquisition of New Zealand's biggest petroleum company, stalling a mandated initial public offering in the Philippines, and decreasing holdings in Kazakhstan. The current company plans do not include a major merger with European or US companies, however, according to the company's chairman. "A merger in Europe or the USA is difficult for us," said Royal Dutch/Shell Group Chairman Mark Moody-Stuart in a recent interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "The competition watchdogs would have a number of objections."But we...

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