$1*/ mo hosting! Everything you need to succeed online with us!

Бізнес

новини економіки та співробітництва

Saudi Energy Minister Concerned About Oil Price Volatility

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said Sunday that major oil producers need to do better to narrow swings in prices that dip below $60 a barrel and rise above $86.

“I think what we need to do is narrow the range… of volatility,” Khalid al-Falih said.

 

“We need to do better and the more producers that work with us, the better we’re able” to do so, he told the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.

 

Cautious not to set a price target or range, he explained there are consequences when oil prices dip too low or rise too high.

 

Last month, OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia, and other major oil producers agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day to reduce oversupply and boost prices for the first six months of 2019.

 

Oil producers are under pressure to reduce production following a sharp fall in oil prices in recent months because major producers — including the United States — are pumping oil at high rates.

 

Brent crude, the international standard, traded at $60.48 a barrel in London on Friday. Benchmark U.S. crude stood at $51.59 a barrel in New York.

 

Analysts say the kingdom needs oil between $75 and $80 a barrel to balance its budget, with spending for this year to reach a record high of $295 billion.

 

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the forum, al-Falih said that despite continued concerns over the volatility in price seen in the fourth quarter of 2018, he is hopeful it can be brought under control.

 

“I think early signs this year are positive,” he said.

 

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced it has 268.5 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, a figure 2.2 billion barrels higher than previously known. The kingdom’s Energy Ministry also revised upward the country’s gas reserves by around 10 percent, to 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet as of the end of 2017.

 

The kingdom’s oil reserves are among the cheapest in the world to recover at around $4 per barrel.

 

Al-Falih said the revision, conducted as an independent audit by consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton, points to why the kingdom believes state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco “is indeed the world’s most valuable company.”

 

He said plans for an initial public offering of shares in Aramco in 2021 remain on track.

 

 

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

Zimbabwe Promises New Currency as Dollar Shortage Bites

Zimbabwe will introduce a new currency in the next 12 months, the finance minister said, as a shortage of U.S. dollars has plunged the financial system into disarray and forced businesses to close.

In the past two months, the southern African nation has suffered acute shortages of imported goods, including fuel whose price was increased by 150 percent Saturday.

Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 after it was wrecked by hyperinflation and adopted the greenback and other currencies, such as sterling and the South African rand.

But there is not enough hard currency in the country to back up the $10 billion of electronic funds trapped in local bank accounts, prompting demands from businesses and civil servants for cash that can be deposited and used to make payments.

​Two weeks of reserves

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told a townhall meeting Friday a new local currency would be introduced in less than 12 months.

“On the issue of raising enough foreign currency to introduce the new currency, we are on our way already, give us months, not years,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s foreign reserves now provide less than two weeks cover for imports, central bank data show. The government has previously said it would only consider launching a new currency if it had at least six months of reserves.

Bad memories of Zimbabwean dollar

Locals are haunted by memories of the Zimbabwean dollar, which became worthless as inflation spiraled to reach 500 billion percent in 2008, the highest rate in the world for a country not at war, wiping out pensions and savings.

A surrogate bond note currency introduced in 2016 to stem dollar shortages has also collapsed in value.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is under pressure to revive the economy but dollar shortages are undermining efforts to win back foreign investors sidelined under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa told reporters Saturday that the price of petrol had increased to $3.31 per liter from $1.32 since midnight but there would be no increase for foreign embassies and tourists paying in cash U.S. dollars.

Locals can pay via local debit cards, mobile phone payments and a surrogate bond note currency.

With less than $400 million in actual cash in Zimbabwe, according to central bank figures, fuel shortages have worsened and companies are struggling to import raw materials and equipment, forcing them to buy greenback notes on the black market at a premium of up to 370 percent.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has warned some of its members could stop operating at the end of the month because of the dollar crunch.

Cooking oil and soap maker Olivine Industries said Saturday it had suspended production and put workers on indefinite leave because it owed foreign suppliers $11 million.

A local associate of global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev said this week it would invest more than $120 million of dividends and fees trapped in Zimbabwe into the central bank’s savings bonds.

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

SpaceX Reportedly to Lay Off About 10 Percent of Workforce 

Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX will reduce its workforce by about 10 percent of the company’s more than 6,000 employees, it said on Friday.

The company said it will “part ways” with some of its manpower, citing “extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead.”

“To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space based

Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations,” a spokesman said in an email.

In June, Elon Musk fired at least seven people in the senior management team leading a SpaceX satellite launch project, Reuters reported in November. The firings were related to disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites.

SpaceX’s Starlink program is competing with OneWeb and Canada’s Telesat to be the first to market with a new satellite-based internet service.

The management shakeup involved Musk bringing in new managers from SpaceX headquarters in California to replace a number of the managers he fired in Seattle.

Last month, SpaceX launched its first U.S. national security space mission, when a SpaceX rocket carrying a U.S. military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral.

In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX was raising $500 million, taking its valuation to $30.5 billion.

The Hawthorne, California-based company had earlier outlined plans for a trip to Mars in 2022, to be followed by a manned mission to the red planet by 2024.

Another Elon Musk company, electric car maker Tesla Inc , said in June it was cutting 9 percent of its workforce by removing several thousand jobs across the company in cost reduction measures.

 

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

U.S. to Seek Comprehensive Agriculture Access in EU Trade Talks

The United States on Friday signaled it would not bow to the European Union’s request to keep agriculture out of planned U.S.-EU trade talks, publishing negotiating objectives that seek comprehensive EU access for American farm products.

The objectives, required by Congress under the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority law, seek to reduce or eliminate EU tariffs on U.S. farm products and break down non-tariff barriers, including on products developed through biotechnology, the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office said.

Agricultural issues were among the major sticking points in past negotiations for a major U.S.-EU trade deal, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), before talks were shelved after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington on Wednesday that the 28-country bloc could not negotiate on agriculture in a new, more limited set of negotiations expected to start this year.

“We have made very clear agriculture will not be included,” Malmstrom told reporters after meeting Lighthizer, adding that the two sides had not yet agreed on the scope of the talks.

Trump and EU president Jean-Claude Juncker agreed last July to re-launch negotiations to cut tariffs on industrial goods, including autos, and also discuss ways for Europe to buy more U.S. soybeans.

Trump told Juncker that he would refrain from levying threatened 25-percent tariffs on EU-produced cars and auto parts, which he is considering imposing worldwide on national security grounds.

Trump has long complained about Europe’s 10-percent import tariff on autos. The U.S. passenger car tariff is only 2.5 percent, although U.S. tariffs on pickup trucks and other commercial trucks are 25 percent.

The U.S. negotiating wish list does not specifically mention autos, but pledges to seek duty-free market access for U.S. industrial goods that eliminate non-tariff barriers such as “unnecessary differences in regulation.”

USTR’s decision to push for a full-fledged trade negotiation on agricultural goods follows a hearing in December at which U.S. farm, food and beverage groups argued for their products to be included.

Influential lawmakers such as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa farmer, have warned they might not support an EU deal that did not include agriculture. Now that the U.S. objectives have been published, the USTR may be ready to formally launch negotiations in as little as 30 days.

But the EU’s own negotiating mandates on industrial goods and regulatory cooperation need to be cleared by the European Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, and approved by member states, and it is unclear how long that process will take.

The United States had a $151 billion goods deficit with the EU in 2017, despite two-way annual trade of about $1.1 billion. USTR also said it will seek commitments by Europe not to impose duties on any digital downloads of U.S. software, movies, music and other products nor any rules that restrict cross-border data flows or require data localization, USTR said.

In an objective aimed at Europe’s efforts to tax products and services from U.S.-based internet giants, including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook and Amazon.com, USTR said it would seek a “guarantee that these products will  not face government-sanctioned discrimination based on the nationality or territory in which the product is produced.”

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

Uganda Not Worried China Will Seize Assets Over Rising Debt

Uganda’s growing debt is sustainable, and the country is not at risk of losing state assets to China, the country’s finance minister, Matia Kasaija, said this week.

Uganda’s auditor-general warned in a report released this month that public debt from June 2017 to 2018 had increased from $9.1 billion to $11.1 billion.

The report — without naming China — warned that conditions placed on major loans were a threat to Uganda’s sovereign assets. 

It said that in some loans, Uganda had agreed to waive sovereignty over properties if it defaults on the debt — a possibility that Kasaija rejected.

“China taking over assets? … in Uganda, I have told you, as long as some of us are still in charge, unless there is really a catastrophe, and which I don’t see at all, that will make this economy going behind. So, … I’m not worried about China taking assets. They can do it elsewhere, I don’t know. But here, I don’t think it will come,” he said.

China is one of Uganda’s biggest country-lenders, with about $3 billion in development projects through state-owned banks.

China’s Exim Bank has funded about 85 percent of two major Ugandan power projects — Karuma and Isimba dams. It also financed and built Kampala’s $476 million Entebbe Express Highway to the airport, which cuts driving time by more than half. China’s National Offshore Oil Corporation, France’s Total, and Britain’s Tullow Oil co-own Uganda’s western oil fields, set to be tapped by 2021.

Economist Fred Muhumuza says China’s foot in Uganda’s oil could be one way it decides to take back what is owed. 

“They might determine the price, as part of recovering their loan,” he said. “By having a foot in there they will say fine, we are going to pay you for oil. But instead of giving you $60 a barrel, you owe us. We’ll give you $55. The $5 you are paying the old debt. But we are reaching a level where you don’t see this oil being an answer to the current debt problem.”

China’s reach

Uganda’s worries about China seizing national assets are not the first in Africa.

A leaked December report in Kenya showed China was promised parts of Mombasa Port as collateral for financing a $3 billion railway it built from the port to Nairobi. Both Chinese and Kenyan officials have denied that the port’s ownership is at risk.

Reports in September that China was taking over Zambia’s state power company over unpaid debt rippled across Africa, despite government denials.

But the fear of a Chinese takeover of a sovereign state’s assets over debt is not completely without merit. Struggling to pay back loans to state-owned Chinese firms, Sri Lanka in 2017 handed over a strategic port.

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

Despite Volatility in Retail Stocks, US Officials Predict Continued Growth

Despite the U.S. stock market recovery, Macy’s and American Airlines’ revised revenue forecasts for 2018 have sent their stock prices spiraling. Other retail stocks fell, too, including J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Kohl’s. The reports come amid news of another iconic department store, Sears, fighting for survival. But U.S. trade and financial officials say the U.S. economy is on solid ground and will continue to grow for years to come. VOA’s Zlatica Hoke reports.

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

Government Shutdown Hurts Small Businesses

The 800,000 federal workers who are not being paid or are working without pay during the partial government shutdown were the first to feel its impact. But as Anna Kook reports, other segments of the economy are also being hurt, especially in Washington, home to the largest number of federal workers in the country.

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

US: China’s Top Trade Negotiator to Visit Soon

U.S. officials expect a visit from China’s top trade negotiator this month in Washington, signaling that higher-level discussions are likely to follow this week’s talks with midlevel officials in Beijing as the world’s two largest economies try to reach a deal to end a tit-for-tat tariff war.

“The current intent is that the Vice Premier Liu He will most likely come and visit us later in the month and I would expect the government shutdown would have no impact,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Thursday in Washington. “We will continue with those meetings just as we sent a delegation to China.”

The U.S. government is in the 20th day of a partial shutdown with President Donald Trump, a Republican, and congressional Democrats feuding over funding and Trump’s desire for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

People familiar with the talks in Beijing said Thursday that hopes were mounting that Liu would continue talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mnuchin.

Higher level, key decisions

Talks at that level are viewed as important for making the key decisions to ease a festering trade war, which has disrupted trade flows for hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and roiled global markets.

Trump has demanded better terms of trade with China, with the United States pressing Beijing to address issues that would require structural change such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and other non-tariff barriers.

On Thursday Trump said the United States was having “tremendous success” in its trade negotiations with China. A spokeswoman for Lighthizer’s office declined to comment.

​Few details on progress

More than halfway through a 90-day truce in the U.S.-China trade war agreed on Dec. 1 when Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Argentina, there have been few details provided of any progress made.

Trump has vowed to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports March 2 if China fails to take steps to protect U.S. intellectual property, end policies that force American companies to turn over technology to a Chinese partner, allow more market access for U.S. businesses and reduce other non-tariff barriers to American products.

Ambitious timeline and hope

The timeline is seen as ambitious, but the resumption of face-to-face negotiations has bolstered hopes of a deal.

“We have the two sides back at the table. That’s encouraging,” said Myron Brilliant, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s head of international affairs, while speaking to reporters at an event Thursday.

China’s commerce ministry said Thursday that additional consultations with the United States were being arranged after the Beijing talks addressed structural issues and helped establish a foundation to resolve U.S. and Chinese concerns.

Commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters the two sides were “serious” and “honest.”

Asked about China’s stance on issues such as forced technology transfers, intellectual property rights, non-tariff barriers and cyber attacks, and whether China was confident it could reach agreement with the United States, Gao said these issues were “an important part” of the Beijing talks.

“There has been progress in these areas,” he said without elaborating.

China has repeatedly played down complaints about intellectual property abuses, and has rejected accusations that foreign companies face forced technology transfers.

‘Cordial standoff’

Discussions on those issues were an extensive part of the talks, said people in Washington familiar with the discussions.

Chinese officials listened “politely” to U.S. grievances, they said, but responded by saying that the Americans had some issues wrong and misunderstood others, but that some other issues could be addressed.

“It was a cordial standoff,” said one person familiar with the discussions. China has said it will not give ground on issues that it perceives as core.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said officials from the two sides discussed “ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity and balance in trade relations,” and focused on China’s pledge to buy a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured, and other products and services from the United States.”

The U.S. trade agency said the talks also focused on ways to ensure enforcement and verification of Chinese follow-through on any commitments it makes to the United States.

Steps taken

U.S. and Chinese officials made more progress on straightforward issues such as working out the details of Chinese pledges to buy a “substantial amount” of U.S. agricultural, energy and manufactured goods and services, sources said.

Since the Trump-Xi meeting, China has resumed purchases of U.S. soybeans. Buying had slumped after China imposed a 25 percent import duty on U.S. shipments of the oilseed on July 6 in response to U.S. tariffs.

China has also cut tariffs on U.S. cars, dialed back on an industrial development plan known as “Made in China 2025” and told its state refiners to buy more U.S. oil.

Earlier this week, China approved five genetically modified crops for import, the first in about 18 months, which could boost its overseas grains purchases and ease U.S. pressure to open its markets to more farm goods.

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!

Protectionism, Dysfunction Could Hurt US Businesses, Warns Chamber of Commerce

Rising global authoritarianism, trade protectionism and the weakening of global institutions threaten U.S. businesses, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned Thursday.

In his annual address, Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said for now the U.S. economy is strong and business owners are consistently optimistic, crediting “deregulation and tax reform.”

But Donohue also defended the system of alliances and multilateral institutions set up by the United States after World War II – an implicit criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies.

“The U.S. and our allies spent the last 70 years working to expand democracy and freedom,” Donohue said. “Today, we face the task of rebuilding domestic consensus for supporting democracy abroad.”

Donohue also warned against domestic political dysfunction, including the inability of U.S. lawmakers to pass immigration reform.

The comments come amid a prolonged partial government shutdown related to President Donald Trump’s demand for Congress to provide funds to build a wall on the southern U.S. border.

Building the wall would fulfill a key campaign promise for Trump, who regularly portrays immigrants as a threat. Though he didn’t criticize Trump directly, Donohue said immigrants are crucial to the U.S. economy.

“Employers don’t have the workers they need at every skill level in key industries such as health, agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation,” Donohue said. “Our nation must continue to attract and welcome industrious and innovative people from all over the world.”

U.S. lawmakers, he said, should reach a compromise that would provide legal protection for the so-called Dreamers, who came to the U.S. illegally as children. He also called for Congress to approve the “resources necessary to secure the border.”

Donohue also slammed Trump’s trade policies, saying tariffs on China and other countries are “taxes paid by American families and American businesses, not by foreigners.”

“Instead of undermining our own economy, let’s work with our allies to apply pressure on China and use the tools provided by the U.S. trade and international laws that we helped create,” he said.

$.99* .COM Domain! You be you with us!


Copyright © 2019 Український Канал  |  допомога: dmnsa  •  правда україни  •  wстудія  •  sellines  •  купуй!