Oil prices fell on Friday after the United States reported its crude output hit a record 12 million barrels per day (bpd), undermining efforts by Middle East-dominated producer club OPEC to withhold supply and tighten global markets.
 
International Brent crude futures were at 66.87 dollars per barrel at 0326 GMT, down 20 cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last close.
 
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at 56.84 dollars per barrel, down 12 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their last settlement.
 
U.S. crude oil production reached 12 million bpd for the first time last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday in a weekly report.
 
That means U.S. crude output has soared by almost 2.5 million bpd since the start of 2018, and by a whopping 5 million bpd since 2013.
 
America is the only country to ever reach 12 million bpd of production.
 
As output surges, U.S. oil stocks are also rising.
 
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose by 3.7 million barrels to 454.5 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 15, the EIA said.
 
Analysts say U.S. output will rise further and that oil firms will export more oil to sell off surplus stocks.
 
“We see total U.S. crude production hitting 13 million bpd by year-end, with 2019 averaging 12.5 million bpd,” U.S. bank Citi said following the release of the EIA report.
 
Of that, the bank said, “we could be seeing some weeks with 4.6 million bpd of gross crude exports by end-year, adding to this week’s new record” of 3.6 million bpd.
 
Friday’s dips at least temporarily halted a rally that pushed crude prices this week to their highest for 2019 so far amid the supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
 
OPEC and some non-affiliated producers such as Russia agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to prevent a large supply overhang from growing.
 
Another recent price driver has been U.S. sanctions against oil exporters Iran and Venezuela. 
 
Oil prices fell on Friday after the United States reported its crude output hit a record 12 million barrels per day (bpd), undermining efforts by Middle East-dominated producer club OPEC to withhold supply and tighten global markets.
 
International Brent crude futures were at 66.87 dollars per barrel at 0326 GMT, down 20 cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last close.
 
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at 56.84 dollars per barrel, down 12 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their last settlement.
 
U.S. crude oil production reached 12 million bpd for the first time last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday in a weekly report.
 
That means U.S. crude output has soared by almost 2.5 million bpd since the start of 2018, and by a whopping 5 million bpd since 2013.
 
America is the only country to ever reach 12 million bpd of production.
 
As output surges, U.S. oil stocks are also rising.
 
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose by 3.7 million barrels to 454.5 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 15, the EIA said.
 
Analysts say U.S. output will rise further and that oil firms will export more oil to sell off surplus stocks.
 
“We see total U.S. crude production hitting 13 million bpd by year-end, with 2019 averaging 12.5 million bpd,” U.S. bank Citi said following the release of the EIA report.
 
Of that, the bank said, “we could be seeing some weeks with 4.6 million bpd of gross crude exports by end-year, adding to this week’s new record” of 3.6 million bpd.
 
Friday’s dips at least temporarily halted a rally that pushed crude prices this week to their highest for 2019 so far amid the supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
 
OPEC and some non-affiliated producers such as Russia agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to prevent a large supply overhang from growing.
 
Another recent price driver has been U.S. sanctions against oil exporters Iran and Venezuela. 
 
Oil prices fell on Friday after the United States reported its crude output hit a record 12 million barrels per day (bpd), undermining efforts by Middle East-dominated producer club OPEC to withhold supply and tighten global markets.
 
International Brent crude futures were at 66.87 dollars per barrel at 0326 GMT, down 20 cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last close.
 
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at 56.84 dollars per barrel, down 12 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their last settlement.
 
U.S. crude oil production reached 12 million bpd for the first time last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday in a weekly report.
 
That means U.S. crude output has soared by almost 2.5 million bpd since the start of 2018, and by a whopping 5 million bpd since 2013.
 
America is the only country to ever reach 12 million bpd of production.
 
As output surges, U.S. oil stocks are also rising.
 
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose by 3.7 million barrels to 454.5 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 15, the EIA said.
 
Analysts say U.S. output will rise further and that oil firms will export more oil to sell off surplus stocks.
 
“We see total U.S. crude production hitting 13 million bpd by year-end, with 2019 averaging 12.5 million bpd,” U.S. bank Citi said following the release of the EIA report.
 
Of that, the bank said, “we could be seeing some weeks with 4.6 million bpd of gross crude exports by end-year, adding to this week’s new record” of 3.6 million bpd.
 
Friday’s dips at least temporarily halted a rally that pushed crude prices this week to their highest for 2019 so far amid the supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
 
OPEC and some non-affiliated producers such as Russia agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to prevent a large supply overhang from growing.
 
Another recent price driver has been U.S. sanctions against oil exporters Iran and Venezuela. 
 
The fourth quarter 2018 report just released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has shown that currency in circulation as at the end of December, 2818 rose 20.9 percent to stand at N2.32 trillion ($6.4 Billion).
 
According to the CBN report, the development relative to the preceding quarter reflected mainly 19.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent increase in its currency outside banks and demand deposit components respectively.
 
Also, the report puts the total deposits at the CBN at N15.7tn at the end of December 2018, indicating a 6.5 per cent increase above the level at the end of September 2018.
 
The increase, the CBN said is attributable to 13.0 per cent and 9.5 per cent rise in the other deposits of the private sector and the Federal Government respectively.
 
Of the total deposits at the CBN, the shares of the Federal Government, banks and private sector deposits were 49.6 per cent, 30.6 per cent and 19.8 per cent respectively.
 
Furthermore, the report showed that reserve money rose by 4.9 per cent to N7.135tn at the end of December 2018, compared with the increase of 7.0 per cent at the end of September 2018. The development reflected the increase in total bank reserves.
 
On money market development, the CBN disclosed that it was generally stable in the fourth quarter of 2018, as liquidity was buoyed by inflow from fiscal injections, Federal Government bonds, Nigerian treasury bills and maturing CBN bills, while outflow, such as the sale of CBN bills, FGN securities and provisioning and settlement for foreign exchange purchases, impacted on market liquidity.
 
Overall, the report indicated that banks continued to access the intra- day and standing facilities window to meet their short-term liquidity needs during the review quarter, while showing that total value of money market assets outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018 was N11.897tn, showing an increase of 0.4 per cent, compared with 1.4 per cent increase, at the end of the third quarter of 2018.
 
The increase, the report said was as a result of the 12.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent increase in bankers’ acceptances and FGN bonds outstanding, respectively, during the quarter under review.
 
 
The dollar fell versus a basket of its peers on Monday as rising expectations of a U.S.-Sino trade deal led investors to shift away from the safety of the greenback into riskier assets.
 
Both the U.S. and China reported progress in five days of negotiations in Beijing last week, although the White House said much work remains to be done to force changes in Chinese trade behaviour.
 
Negotiations will continue next week in Washington as investors hope for an end to the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
 
“Trade is the big focus for the markets…with talks shifting from Beijing to Washington, we could get more news flow,” said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets.
 
“I expect the euro to remain under pressure this week while dollar and yen could also fall if we see risk-aversion based on negative trade news flow.”
 
The Aussie gained 0.2 per cent to 0.7154 dollar, after firming 0.48 per cent on Friday on hopes of a U.S.-China trade breakthrough. The kiwi dollar gained around 0.3 per cent on the dollar to 0.6886 dollar.
 
In Asia, the yen was steady versus the greenback at 110.53.
 
The escalating trade dispute between the world’s largest economies have kept markets highly volatile since last year.
 
U.S. duties on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports are set to rise from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.
 
This happens if no deal is reached by March 1 to address U.S. demands that China curb forced technology transfers and better enforce intellectual property rights.
 
The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, was down by 0.16 per cent at 96.74.
 
The index has gained 1.2 per cent so far this month in spite of weaker-than-expected U.S. data as well as a more cautious Federal Reserve, which is widely expected to keep rates steady this year due to a slowdown in growth and muted inflation.
 
The dollar index has gained mainly because of the euro, which has around 58 per cent weightage in the index.
 
The single currency was up 0.2 per cent at 1.1317 dollar in early Asian trade, after two straight weeks of losses.
 
Notwithstanding Monday’s gains, traders are betting on a weaker euro in the coming months as they expect the European Central Bank to keep its monetary policy accommodative due to low growth in the common area, tepid inflation and political uncertainties.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is not seeking to buy English Premier League (EPL) clubside Manchester United, the kingdom’s media minister said on Monday, News reports.

While denying reports to that effect, the minister, Turki al-Shabanah, added that there had only been a meeting with the Saudi wealth fund regarding sponsorship.

Reports that Mohammed Bin Salman intends to buy the club are “completely false”, Shabanah, wrote on social network Twitter.

He was reacting to reports that the crown prince had sought to tempt the Glazer family to cede control of the club.

“Manchester United held a meeting with PIF Saudi to discuss (a) sponsorship opportunity,” Shabanah said, adding that no deal materialised.

On Sunday, the British newspaper, the Sun, said the crown prince was in a £3.8-billion ($4.9-billion) take-over bid for one of football’s most popular clubs.

The paper said a bid was first submitted in October.

It added that the fallout from the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s embassy in Istanbul however put the “skids” on a potential offer.

 


Source: The Routers

Twenty two stocks witnessed an increase in their prices on Thursday on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, leading to a rebound in the market, with investors gaining N14.83 billion.
 
Prices of 13 stocks however witnessed a decline at the end of trading.
 
The rebound is coming after the market witnessed a decline on Wednesday, with market capitalisation shedding a total of N18 billion.
 
At the end of trading on Thursday, market capitalisation rose from N12.087tn to N12.102tn, with the All Share Index increasing by 0.12 per cent from 32,413.92 basis points on Wednesday to 32,453.69bps on Thursday. Thereby improving the year-to-date return to 3.4 per cent.
 
Activity level however weakened as 423.379 million shares worth N3.729bn exchanged hands in 4,417 deals, representing a 10.1 per cent and 12.1 per cent decline in volume and value traded, respectively.
 
The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank Plc (97.6 million units), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (41.1 million units) and Zenith Bank Plc (40.3 million units), while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N997.1m), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N992.6m) and Access Bank Plc (N263.7m).
 
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as three of five indices closed in the positive territory.
 
The insurance index was the biggest gainer, recording a 1.2 per cent increase, while the industrial and consumer goods indices gained 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively due to buying interest in Dangote Cement Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc.
 
The oil and gas and banking indices however declined by 0.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively on the back of profit-taking in Oando Plc, Eterna Plc, Zenith Bank and Access Bank.
 
Investors’ sentiment strengthened to 1.7x from the 0.7x recorded on Wednesday.
 
Associated Bus Company Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Unilever and Wema Bank Plc, topped the price gainers, as their share prices gain 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.62 per cent, 6.82 per cent and 6.74 per cent, respectively.
 
On the other side, Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Oando, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc and Eterna topped the losers table as their share prices declined by 8.03 per cent, 5.17 per cent, 4.57 per cent, 3.23 per cent and 3.09 per cent.
 
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has adjourned for further hearing of the N6,441,369,617.73 suit instituted against Zenith Bank Plc, by a Lagos businessman, Olusola Adejugbe and his company Tonique Oil Services limited over alleged excess and illegal charges.
 
By a further amended statement of claim accompanied by written statement on Oath sworn to by Adejugbe and filed before the court by Lanre Ogunlesi SAN, the businessman averred that in the course of his business engagements, his company Tonique Oil Services Limited obtained several credit facilities from Zenith Bank PLC while he pledged three of his properties as securities for the loan facilities.
 
The plaintiffs averred that three different transactions leading to this litigation occurred in the company’s current account whereby excess interest and charges were discovered. The company demanded for a reversal but the bank refused.
 
A forensic accounting firm was commissioned to scrutinize and analyse the Company’s account. It was then discovered that between August 2006 and December 2013, excess interest and charges on the Company’s account by Zenith Bank Plc amounted to N1,842,471,801.99.
 
By a letter dated 19th February 2008, the bank granted Tonique Oil Services Company commercial paper facility of N2,568,644,276.09 to finance the purchase of 30,000MT of Petroleum products, but N2,501,270,000 was credited into the account of the company.
 
However, it was alleged further that instead of Zenith Bank financing the purchase of 30,000 metric tons of Petroleum products for the company as per letter of offer, the entire sum of N2,501,270,000 was diverted by the bank for the purchase of its own shares during the bank’s initial public offer, a conduct that is unethical, unprofessional and reprehensive.
 
In addition, out of the sum of N104,363,212.03 assessed as dividends payable on the bank’s shares only N42,173,498.43 was credited into the company’s account leaving outstanding balance of N62,169,713.60.
 
The bank’s shares purportedly bought by the Tonique Oil Company with the facilities granted by Zenith bank were managed by the bank so much that the bank eventually liquidated the shares after the value has nose-dived and depreciated.
 
Another activity on the Tonique Oil Company current account with the bank was the sale and purchase of a property in Port Harcourt that belonged to one of the shareholders /customers of the bank who needed to clean up some of his obligations to the bank. It was the bank who introduce Tonique Oil company to the shareholders 50,000 square meters of land out of which the company bought 20,000 square metres for the purpose of expanding its business earnings.
 
To facilitate the purchase of the land, the bank offered the company a term loan of N500,000 and it was part of understanding of the company and the bank that after the purchase of the land, the bank will finance the company’s Tank forms to be built thereon.
 
After the purchase of the land, the bank took possession of the title documents of the land as collateral but reneged on the promise and understanding to finance the Company’s tank farm on the land and since 2008 the land had been under the management of the bank and the same had been lying fallow.
 
In this circumstance, the plaintiffs contended that Tonique Oil Company was not indebted to the bank and any alleged indebtedness could only have been arisen as a result of the unconscionable and illegal acts of the bank’s officials in debiting the company’s account with astronomical spurious interest charged, consequently the plaintiffs also contended that such interest charges are illegal in that they contravene the Central Bank of Nigeria Monetary Credit and Foreign Exchange/Trade guidelines.
 
The plaintiffs financial consultant computed other charges that were passed into the account of the company, base on relevant policy circulars, guide to bank charges of Central bank of Nigeria and discovered that the bank excessively overcharged the company on interest on overdraft, COT, and VAT on COT, Management Fees, upcountry transfer fees, interest on commercial paper, foreign exchange purchases and letter of credits.
 
Consequently, the plaintiffs are contending that they are not indebted to the bank rather the bank has overcharged the plaintiffs to several billions of Naira.
 
The plaintiffs are urging the court to declare that Zenith Bank being a bank within the supervisions and control of CBN cannot charge interest on any facilities granted to them beyond the official approved policy rate of the Central bank of Nigeria.
 
The plaintiffs are also urging the court not only to restrain the bank from selling their property pledged as securities for the loan but to also compel Zenith Bank to pay Tonique Oil services company the sum of ₦6,441,369,617.73 being the total excess charges debited into the company’s account by the bank and interest on the same amount at the rate of 21% per annum from the date of judgement of the court until final liquidation.
 
However, by its further statement of defence accompanied with statement on oath sworn to by Senior Assistant Manager, Internal Control and Audit Department of Zenith bank, Vincent Ohanugo and filed before the court, the bank denied almost all the company’s claim and stated that the company was granted the following loans: ₦2.5 billion regular commercial paper , $36 million united state Dollars import finance facility, $6,648,000 commercial paper /usance facility $9 million Dollars import finance facility via usance facility $11 million Dollars short term import facility of ₦500 million.
 
 
Source: PmNews
India’s central bank, on Thursday, unexpectedly lowered interest rates and, as anticipated, shifted its stance to “neutral” from “calibrated tightening” to boost a slowing economy after a sharp fall in the inflation rate. 
 
The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent, as predicted by only 21 of 65 analysts polled by Reuters. Most polled respondents expected the central bank to only change the stance to neutral. Four of six members of the MPC voted to cut the rates, while all six voted for a change in the stance. “Investment activity is recovering but supported mainly by public spending on infrastructure. 
 
The need is to strengthen private investment activity and buttress private consumption,” the MPC said in a statement. Indian shares pared gains while 10-year bond yields slid 5 basis points after the surprise rate cut. The Indian rupee weakened to 71.69 to the dollar immediately after the announcement but strengthened soon after to 71.42. India’s last rate cut, to 6.00 per cent, was in August 2017. 
 
Thursday’s cut is welcome news for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which wants to boost lending and lift growth as it faces elections by May. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is already in an election mode. In its budget on Feb. 1, the government doled out cash to farmers and tax cuts to middle-class families, at the cost of a wider fiscal deficit and larger borrowing. Economic growth fell to a worse-than-expected 7.1 per cent in the July-September quarter from 8.2 per cent, dragged down by slower consumer spending and farm growth, below analysts forecast for a 7.4 per cent increase.   
 
 
Source: Vanguard
Mining has always been an industry that enables human progress.
 
Whether it is through the precious metals and minerals that make modern life possible, or mining’s direct economic contribution through royalties, taxes and employment, mining plays a part in all our lives.
 
Like every economic sector, mining is evolving.
 
Technological innovation is fundamentally changing the nature of the industry.
 
With technology that is available today and others that we are developing, we can now imagine mines with smaller physical footprints, using more precise extraction techniques that enable us to mine only the most valuable ore, thereby reducing waste, using a fraction of the energy and drawing almost no fresh water.
 
These will be mines where people will be out of harm’s way, so everyone goes home safely at the end of each day.
 
In a world of diminishing ore grades, constraints on water and energy, and the resulting increasing costs, the changes are not just an opportunity, they are a necessity if mining is to be truly sustainable – in every sense.
 
These changes are a non-negotiable for a mineral-rich country like South Africa to compete for capital and grow its mining industry.
 
While these changes are exciting and aligned with society’s rightly increasing expectations of us as an industry, some may feel unsettled about what role they will play and what it may mean for jobs.
 
The reality is that no one knows exactly. What we do know is that mining is not alone – what some refer to as the fourth industrial revolution is upon us.
 
So, in considering the implications, we will need to work in partnership with governments, labour, other industrial players and civil society to capture and responsibly manage the enormous opportunities that we see.
 
At its most basic level, think of a truck driver. They won’t necessarily need a driving licence and be physically in a truck to drive it.
 
As autonomous trucks become the norm, the driver will instead control the truck from cutting edge operation centres, utilising digital skills and technology to optimise efficiency.
 
These shifts are well under way across the global industry including in South Africa, opening up employment opportunities to a far greater diversity of people.
 
The nature of work is changing, the type of employment may change and the relationship between mines, their host communities, and governments is likely to change.
 
We must all be ready and repositioned for a future that embraces, and manages, this change responsibly. Together we must build our “social licence to innovate”.
 
This may mean a new social contract for mining in South Africa, one where innovation is seen as an enabler for mining’s sustainability as a business activity and one where economic opportunities in mining communities are not so reliant on mining.
 
To thrive in this new world, we must focus on education and training that is targeted to the skills required for mining’s (and other industries’) future, reskilling our employees for broader opportunities and higher paying jobs.
 
We must also collaborate with government on sustainable job creation programmes and creating a modern and agile regulatory framework that fosters innovation and supports mining’s contribution to society.
 
Forging this new approach will require a concerted effort by mining companies, governments, labour and communities to imagine a different future for the mining industry.
 
Ultimately, mining’s contribution to regional economies will continue and grow, but it will inevitably look different.
 
While Anglo American doesn’t have all the answers, we recognise that we must act. One of the ways that we are doing this is by turning the traditional model of socioeconomic development on its head.
 
This innovative approach – or collaborative regional development as we call it – starts by identifying socioeconomic development opportunities that offer the greatest potential in a region, using spatial planning and analysis.
 
Imagine a mining community that embraces innovation and benefits from the rich mineral endowment beneath its feet, while new economic activities such as 3D printing, agri-business opportunities like biofuels or game ranching begin to develop to build on mining’s contribution.
 
In essence, long-term economic prosperity is achieved on the back of mining, but not entirely reliant on mining. This is a safer and more sustainable model and one that we encourage everyone to embrace.
 
The substance of the model is important, but the process is critical to its success.
 
We can only do this in collaboration with regional and municipal governments, other mining companies and industries, non-governmental organisations and our communities – each bringing their own expertise, commitment and resources.
 
It requires deep partnership and trust to help us map out a developmental path for mining communities to navigate this evolution in a sustainable way.
 
At Anglo American, we see the transition to modern, sustainable mining both as a necessity and as an opportunity to realise.
 
South Africa cannot afford to be left behind. To thrive, we must all embrace innovation. Doing so will unlock long-term opportunities for this great nation and all her people.
 
 
Source: NAN
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