Middle East

Oman's Sultan Qaboos dies, successor vows to pursue peace

With his death, the region loses a trusted and seasoned leader, seen as the father of modern Oman, who balanced ties between two neighbours locked in a regional struggle, Saudi Arabia to the west and Iran to the north, as well as the United States

Finance and Shipping

Moody's upgrades long-term rating of NordLB

Moody's has today upgraded by two notches the long-term ratings of Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ, NordLB, and its rated subsidiaries. NordLB's long-term senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings were upgraded to A3 from Baa2 

Gas and diplomacy

Turkey, Russia launch TurkStream pipeline carrying gas to Europe

The presidents of Turkey and Russia on Wednesday formally launched the TurkStream pipeline which will carry Russian natural gas to southern Europe through Turkey, part of Moscow’s efforts to reduce shipments via Ukraine

Markets and shipping

China won't hike grain import quotas for U.S. trade deal

China will not increase its annual low-tariff import quotas for corn, wheat and rice to accommodate stepped-up purchases of farm goods from the United States, senior agriculture official Han Jun said on Tuesday

Trade

Turkey, hazelnut exports up over 43% in 4 months

The Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters' Union reported that Turkey earned $1.09 billion from hazelnut exports during the first four months of the season, which starts in September and ends in August

markets

Fuel market calm ahead of IMO changeover

London - Fears about a shortage of diesel and other middle distillates stemming from new marine pollution regulations have receded, with distillate premiums falling to some of the lowest levels for two years

markets

GE brings in shipper Maersk’s CFO as finance chief

Boston - General Electric on Monday named finance head at shipper AP Moller-Maersk as its new chief financial officer in the latest top-level change aimed at turning around the U.S. industrial conglomerate

oil and energy

Saudi Arabia approves listing of Aramco

Riyadh - Saudi regulators on Sunday approved state energy giant Aramco’s request to make its stock market debut, firing the starting gun on the highly anticipated offering which could be the world’s largest. The announcement paves the way for a domestic stock listing of Aramco

finance and politics

EU deadlocked over Albania membership

Brussels - Bitterly divided EU leaders failed Friday to reach agreement on allowing Albania and North Macedonia to start talks to join the bloc, dealing a fresh blow to their membership hopes. Summit talks ended without a decision despite seven hours of backroom haggling

finance and politics

For Russian business, big dreams in Africa / FOCUS

Moscow - From diamonds and arms to nuclear power and oil, Russia has major business ambitions in Africa, even if it is coming late to the party. Western countries like France and the United States are deeply entrenched in African economies and in recent years China has emerged

finance and politics

Lebanese government faces calls to resign

Beirut - The Lebanese government faced calls to resign Thursday after thousands of furious demonstrators took to the streets across the country to protest dire economic conditions. Public anger has simmered since parliament passed an austerity budget in July to help trim a ballooning deficit

commodities

“Made in Italy loses 20% in US market as result of tariffs”

Coldiretti reports. The benefit from the situation is for the lobby linked to the US dairy industry (CCFN) which has explicitly asked with a letter to impose taxes on imports of European cheeses to favor the fake Made in Italy industry and force the Union European to open the borders to the fake Italian food made in US

regulation

Trump takes victory lap on China trade deal / FOCUS

Washington - Engulfed in an impeachment inquiry and other political turmoil, US President Donald Trump on Friday trumpeted the success of his hard-line stance with China, claiming to have scored a major win in the grinding trade war between the economic powers

markets

BP CEO draws up plan to step down

London - BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley is drawing up plans to step down next year, ending a tumultuous decade at the helm of the oil and gas company that swung from near collapse in 2010 to rapid growth

finance and politics

Who loses and who gains from the demise of Thomas Cook?

London - The world’s oldest travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday, stranding more than half a million holidaymakers around the globe and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history.

markets

Hyundai Heavy fined in the U.S.

Seoul - Hyundai Heavy has agreed to pay a 47 million dollars fine to the U.S. authorities for selling engines that violated environmental rules in the country

markets

Blackstone, “Next wave of U.S. LNG export to be tougher”

Houston - The next wave of U.S. LNG export projects will be “tougher” to bring online, as companies with existing facilities take advantage of lower costs to expand capacity in coming years, said the chief executive of Blackstone Group

markets

Qatar Petroleum and Shell in LNG venture

Dubai - Qatar Petroleum and Shell agreed to establish a partnership to accelerate the development of liquified natural gas (LNG) fuelling infrastructure around the world

commodities

SGM celebrates 10 years of change

Genoa - From wholesale food market to a centre for advanced logistics services: 10 years after its move from the city centre to the area of Bolzaneto, the fruit and vegetable market of Genoa, managed by SGM (Società Gestione Mercato), opens its doors to the public. The opening will be on Saturday, 14 September Genoa

markets

Gazprom studies consequences of EU court Opal ruling

Moscow - Russian natural gas producer Gazprom’s export arm Gazprom Export said it was studying the legal and commercial consequences of a court ruling which reinstated curbs on gas flows via the Opal pipeline

finance and politics

French minister hopes for closer ties with new Italy government

Cernobbio - With the arrival of a new government in Rome, France and Italy have a unique chance to strengthen their ties through joint projects and closer cooperation on European matters, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday.

finance and politics

Greek PM set to outline tax cuts, structural reforms

Athens - Greece’s prime minister is expected on Saturday to detail tax cuts for companies strained by years of austerity, while also promising pro-business reforms aimed at convincing lenders to ease the nation’s fiscal target from 2021.

oil and energy

Saras starts bunkering in two Italian ports

Cagliari - Italian refiner Saras is introducing bunkering services at the Italian ports of Sarroch and Cagliari. Starting from September 1, bunkering operations would take place at specific dedicated areas of the ports with the refiner offering a complete range of marine fuels

markets

Trump heaps another 5% tariff on Chinese goods

Washington / Beijing - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday lashed back at a new round of Chinese tariffs by heaping an additional 5% duty on some $550 billion in targeted Chinese goods in the latest tit-for-tat trade war escalation by the world’s two largest economies

markets

Britain and South Korea sign post-Brexit treaty

Seoul - South Korea signed a free trade agreement with Britain on Thursday, a step to help maintain the continuity of their trade and economic ties even after London’s departure from the European Union

regulation

Hong Kong protesters throng streets in heat and heavy rain

Hong Kong - Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters joined a mass rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, filling major thoroughfares in heavy rain in the eleventh week of what have been often violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.

insurance

UnipolSai bets on renewables

Bologna - Italian insurance group Unipol increases its commitment on the renewable energy sector and creates Unipolsai Energia, it is announced from company’s headquarter. Up to 2018, Unipol has invested 326 million euros in funds and investments to implement the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development

insurance

ANIA insurers hold 15% of Italian public debt

Rome - The insurance industry gives a “still significant support” for Italian public debt, noted the president of ANIA (the National Association of Italian Insurers) Maria Bianca Farina, specifying in the report to the annual meeting that government Italian bonds touch around 40% of total insurance companies investments

finance and politics

US tradedeficit rises to five-month high

Washington - The U.S. trade deficit rose to a five-month high in Mayas the politically sensitive imbalances with China and Mexico widened. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the gap between the goods and services the U.S. sells and what it buys from foreign countries rose 8.4% to $55.5 billion in May

finance and politics

UN wants urgent end to migrant returns to Libya

Benghazi - The U.N. refugee agency is calling for an immediate end to bringing migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean back to Libya after an airstrike hit a detention center, killing at least 40 people. UNHCR had warned less than two months ago that anyone inside the Tajoura detention center was at risk

finance and politics

China to ease limits on foreign investment

Beijing - China is reforming key industries to allow for greater foreign investment, according to state media. Xinhua reported the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China said Sunday sectors including oil exploration and mining are to be deregulated for more foreign capital inflows

commodities

Merkel’s Bavarian allies snub her coal exit plan

Berlin - Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies have called for Germany to phase out coal by 2030 but the government has insisted on keeping its 2038 target, in the latest sign of strain within her coalition.