KBR receives award for its integral role on Sadara Chemical Project

Updated 10 July 2015
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KBR receives award for its integral role on Sadara Chemical Project

JEDDAH: KBR announced that it received an award from Hydrocarbon Processing for its work on the Sadara Chemical Project in Saudi Arabia.
The award was presented during the recent sixth annual International Refining and Petrochemical Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The Sadara Chemical joint venture won the top petrochemical project by Hydrocarbon Processingreaders through an online survey last year and was selected for its impact on the global petrochemical industry.
KBR has been actively involved with this project since its inception in 2007 and has executed the project feasibility and pre-FEED for the entire complex, as well as the FEED scopes of several major assets.
KBR is also a licensor of its Aniline technology for the project. KBR is currently the project management contractor (PMC) and has about 700 specialized personnel at the Jubail site, where the company has achieved an impressive OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIFR) of 0.03 and zero incidents since 2009.
This is an outstanding result for such a mega-project in the Region.
“KBR is honored to receive this award and commends Sadara for being recognized for its outstanding work in developing the project,” said Jay Ibrahim, KBR president of Engineering & Construction — Middle East North Africa.
“KBR will continue its long-standing partnership with Sadara throughout the upcoming commissioning and operations phases of the project as Sadara’s ‘Engineering Contractor of Choice,” he was quoted as saying in a press release.
The Sadara Chemical Project is currently in the construction phase for what will be the world’s largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase.
With 26 integrated world-scale manufacturing plants that will produce more than three million tons of products every year, it is anticipated that Sadara will become a Fortune 500 company within the first year of full operation.


As worries about populism in Europe rise, investors bet on stock market volatility

Updated 22 March 2019
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As worries about populism in Europe rise, investors bet on stock market volatility

  • More than 350 million EU citizens will head to the polls between May 23 and 26 to elect a new Parliament
  • The vote will shape the future of the bloc amid a backlash against immigration and years of austerity

LONDON: Investors are betting on heightened political uncertainty and greater volatility in European stock markets ahead of European Parliament elections in May amid growing concerns about rising populism.
In one of the first concrete signs in financial markets that investors are bracing for political instability, VSTOXX futures , which reflect investor sentiment and economic uncertainty, have jumped in recent weeks.
While the classic gauge of fear — known as implied volatility, which tracks demand for options in European stocks — is currently at 15.68, futures that bet on the same thing over the coming months show a pronounced jump.
That’s because investors have piled on trades that bet on big swings in stocks as election day nears.
Implied volatility for futures contracts expiring in May show a pronounced jump to 16.8, compared with 15.35 in April. The contracts measure the 30-day implied volatility of the euro zone STOXX 50 index.
“We are seeing a bit of a kink around May when we have European elections and we have this wave of populism,” said Edmund Shing, head of equities and derivatives strategy at BNP Paribas.

Looming elections
More than 350 million EU citizens will head to the polls between May 23 and 26 to elect a new Parliament, a vote that will shape the future of the bloc amid a backlash against immigration and years of austerity.
Mainstream center-left and center-right lawmakers may lose control of the legislature for the first time, as euroskeptic and far-right candidates build support.
Herve Guyon, Societe Generale’s head of European equity derivatives flow strategy and solutions, said the rise of populism had triggered a recent flurry of speculative trades.
“Political uncertainty might be coming from the EU rather than the United States. We’ve seen investors doing very large trades to benefit from an increase in volatility around these events,” he said.
“We as a bank don’t expect the elections to be a massive game-changer. The populists won’t get enough to disrupt the political system, but we do note some investors did take some positions on this event.”
The implied volatility is still well below levels seen in late 2018 when global stock markets were routed amid worries about rising interest rates, slowing economic growth and the trade war between Beijing and Washington.
In late December, it shot to above 26, its highest since February.
But the flurry of activity suggests investors are seeking out new opportunities after a slide in implied volatility across major asset classes.
Edward Park, deputy chief investment officer at asset manager Brooks MacDonald, said some of the activity may also be due to persistent uncertainty about Britain’s exit from the European Union as the Brexit date of March 29 nears.
This year, volatility across currency, fixed income and stocks markets has plunged as the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank have taken dovish policy stances.
The Deutsche Bank currency volatility indicator hit multi-year lows this week, while the proxy for fixed income volatility is languishing at all-time lows.
In stocks, the Cboe volatility index, Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge,” fell to its weakest in six months this week.
“There’s been a cross-asset volatility crash — in euro-dollar, US rates and equities — in the aftermath of (ECB President Mario) Draghi’s and (Fed Chairman Jerome) Powell’s comments and the expectation of lower rates for longer,” said Guyon.