British Petroleum (NYSE:BP): The U.K. government is apparently in talks with the U.S. and EU over a possible exemption to Iranian sanctions that would allow BP to restart a North Sea natural gas field partially owned by an Iranian-controlled company, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Rhum field is 50 percent owned by an affiliate of Iran’s state oil company and was producing roughly 5.4 million cubic meters per day of gas (about 5 percent of current U.K. output.)
Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS): Chief Information Officer Steven Scopellite is retiring, according to internal memos cited by Reuters. R. Martin Chavez, who is currently co-chief operating officer of equities, will step into Scopellite’s position. Another company memo indicates Don Duet and Paul Walker are being promoted to co-heads of technology, where they will report to Chavez.
Saks Inc (NYSE:SKS): Saks has reported that its CEO, Stephen Sadove, and President Ronald Frasch will step down after the company’s completion of its merger with Hudson’s Bay is finished. Their replacements have not yet been revealed.
AVG Technologies (NYSE:AVG): The merger of e-mail and imaging app developer Perion with Conduit’s Web toolbar unit seems to be pushing shares of AVG up as it has struck a search toolbar deal with Yahoo earlier this year, bumping out a prior deal with Google. Seeking Alpha notes that AVG could also become the target of some M&A activity and investors seem to agree.
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): Wal-Mart appears to be making the trade of profits for traffic as the retailer is dropping its prices on beer to near-cost for U.S. labels from Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, according to Bloomberg. Wal-Mart’s push into beer is part of a plan to double alcohol sales by 2016, Bloomberg says, and is hoping to become the biggest beer retailer in America.