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Business press headlines: Hurrican Energy, Tesco, Glencore

Hurricane Energy(HUR) said it successfully drilled the first exploration well into granite rock beneath the Atlantic waters close to Britain. It said that the gusher at its Lancaster field in the West of Shetlands proved that oil could be produced from “fractured basement reservoirs”, describing it as a “game-changer” for the UK. Robert Trice, the chief executive, said: “It’s a phenomenal flow rate. This is just the tip of the iceberg.” - The Times

Tesco (TSCO), the UK's largest supermarket chain, is hoarding land and buildings covering an area big enough to build 15,000 homes, a Guardian analysis has revealed. The size of the embattled retailer's land bank, theoretically large enough to replicate the government's proposed new garden city at Ebbsfleet, is far greater than previously estimated and remains on its books despite much of it being bought to build out-of-town Extra superstores which are no longer financially attractive as shoppers turn their back on the big weekly grocery shop. The Guardian

The property market is showing further signs of cooling off with price growth halving in the last three months as buyers worried about a housing bubble and a rise in interest rates become more cautious of paying over the odds. House prices rose by 0.3% in June, down from 0.5% in May and half the growth of April, when prices were up by 0.6%, the Hometrack Monthly Housing Survey showed. The Daily Mail

Britain’s population is the fastest growing in the European Union and is expected to increase to more than 74m in a quarter of a century, official figures showed yesterday. High levels of immigration and an increased birthrate will help to drive the population up ten million by 2038, increasing pressure on housing, schools and the NHS. The figure could be even higher if growing numbers of people live longer as a result of better healthcare, a continued decline in smoking and improved health and safety for manual workers. – The Times

US aluminium giant Alcoa is to buy British components maker Firth Rixson for $2.85bn (£1.7bn) from its private equity owners to beef up its aerospace operations. The New York-based firm will pay $2.35bn in cash and $500m in shares for Firth Rixson, which produces jet engine parts such as turbine and compressor cases. Alcoa will add $150m to the deal if the company meets agreed performance targets. – The Daily Telegraph

Glencore (GLEN) has appointed its first woman director, ending its pariah status as the last company in the FTSE 100 to have an all-male board. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, declared a “historic day for the FTSE” as the global mining giant announced the appointment of Patrice Merrin as a non-executive director. Ms Merrin, 65, was formerly chief operating officer of Sherritt, the Canadian mining giant. - The Daily Telegraph

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