Is Shell really ‘leaving’ NZ?
I can’t find any press releases of Shell’s reported departure from the NZ market on either their NZ or International web site, so all we are left with is some carefully crafted stories from the MSM. It doesn’t appear that Shell have actually uttered the words “we are looking at selling 200 petrol stations in New Zealand”, but why let the fact get in the way of a good headline.
Shell itself say the current review of all operations is something it does all the time and I note that it hasn’t actually said anything about getting out of any of it’s businesses. Any company who is operating responsibly reviews it’s operations on a regular basis, so quite possibly there is ‘nothing to see here folks’.
If, on the other hand, Shell are about to pull out of some businesses, then this might not be surprising in view of the big picture internationally. Something the MSM might have missed is that this could well be the first signs that the financial crisis occurring overseas is about to hit NZ.
Up until now we’ve had a few dodgy finance companies fall over and a few local corporates engage in a bit of belt tightening possibly using the ‘crisis’ to try out some off shoring without meeting too much public opposition. What we haven’t suffered is the GM type 20,000 worker lay offs, but if Shell is really looking at rationalising it’s business in New Zealand then maybe this is going to be a sign that the financial crisis is finally hitting us?