Saudi to launch Future Investment Initiative event

Riyadh where the two-day event will be taking place (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 October 2017
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Saudi to launch Future Investment Initiative event

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF) announced Monday the launch of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) under the patronage of King Salman.
Hosted and organized by PIF, the Kingdom’s main investment arm and one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds, the FII will take place from Oct. 24 to 26, 2017, in Riyadh.
The event has been billed as a game-changing platform exploring the new trends, opportunities, challenges and emerging industries that will shape the world economy and investment environment over the coming decades.

This inaugural FII will be held under the leadership Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is also the chairman of the PIF.

The invitation-only event will bring together internationally-renowned business and investment leaders. There will also be a number of high profile speakers, covering major investors, global financial institutions and established and emerging businesses, including: Larry Fink, BlackRock chairman and CEO; Stuart Gulliver, HSBC group chief executive; Joe Kaeser, Siemens president and CEO; Tong Li, Bank of China CEO; Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group chairman and CEO; George Whitesides, Virgin Galatic CEO.

Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, managing director of the PIF said: “The Future Investment Initiative will provide an unprecedented opportunity for many leaders and influencers around the world to better understand the future of the global investment landscape.
“It will also act as a platform to showcase the PIF’s redefined investment mandate and strategy, as it progresses toward becoming the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.”
Through a highly collaborative and interactive program, over 2,000 attendees will discuss long-term investment and global trends across a broad range of topics. The event is designed around three key pillars: Shifting centers of power; the new investment paradigm and innovation for a better world.

The FII is being organized in the context of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a blueprint that is already charting the path for the Kingdom to harness its strategic location and strong investment capabilities.
The core principles of the event are aligned with the strategic objectives and targets of the Kingdom’s National Transformation Plan, which is key to achieving the targets set for Vision 2030.


Asia’s refining profits slump as Mideast exports surge

Updated 23 February 2019
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Asia’s refining profits slump as Mideast exports surge

  • Since 2006, the Asia-Pacific has been the world’s biggest oil-consuming region, led by industrial users South Korea and Japan along with rising powerhouses China and India
  • However, overbuilding of refineries and sluggish demand growth have caused a jump in fuel exports from these demand hubs

SINGAPORE: Asia’s biggest oil consumers are flooding the region with fuel as refining output is exceeding consumption amid a slowdown in demand growth, pressuring industry profits.
Since 2006, the Asia-Pacific has been the world’s biggest oil-consuming region, led by industrial users South Korea and Japan along with rising powerhouses China and India.
Yet overbuilding of refineries and sluggish demand growth have caused a jump in fuel exports from these demand hubs.
Compounding the supply overhang, fuel exports from the Middle East, which BP data shows added more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity from 2013 to 2017, have doubled since 2014 to around 55 million tons, according to Refinitiv.
Car sales in China, the world’s second-biggest oil user, fell for the first time on record last year, and early 2019 sales also remain weak, suggesting a slowdown in gasoline demand.
For diesel, China National Petroleum Corp. in January said that it expected demand to fall by 1.1 percent in 2019. That would be China’s first annual demand decline for a major fuel since its industrial ascent started in 1990.
The surge in fuel exports combined with a 25 percent jump in crude oil prices so far this year has collapsed Singapore refinery margins, the Asian benchmark, from more than $11 per barrel in mid-2017 to just over $2.
Combine the slumping margins with labor costs and taxes and many Asian refineries now struggle to make money.
The squeezed margins have pummelled the stocks of most major Asian petroleum companies, such as Japan’s refiners JXTG Holdings Inc. or Idemitsu Kosan, South Korea’s top oil processor SK Innovation, Asia’s top oil refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and Indian Oil Corp., with some companies dropping by about 40 percent over the past year. Jeff Brown, president of energy consultancy FGE, said the surge in exports and resulting oversupply were a “big problem” for the industry.
“The pressure on refinery margins is a case of death by a thousand cuts ... Refinery upgrades throughout the region are bumping up against softening demand growth,” he said.
The profit slump follows a surge in fuel exports from China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Refinitiv shipping data shows fuel exports from those countries have risen threefold since 2014, to a record of around 15 million tons in January.
The biggest jump in exports has come from China, where refiners are selling off record amounts of excess fuel into Asia.
“There is a risk for Asian market turmoil if (China’s fuel) export capacity remains at the current level or grows further,” said Noriaki Sakai, chief executive officer at Idemitsu Kosan during a news conference last week.
But Japanese and South Korean fuel exports have also risen as demand at home falls amid mature industry and a shrinking population. Japan’s 2019 oil demand will drop by 0.1 percent from 2018, while South Korea’s will remain flat, according to forecasts from Energy Aspects.
In Japan, oil imports have been falling steadily for years, yet its refiners produce more fuel than its industry can absorb. The situation is similar in South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest refiner by capacity, according to data from BP.
Cho Sang-bum, an official at the Korea Petroleum Association, which represents South Korean refiners, said the surging exports had “triggered a gasoline glut.”
That glut caused negative gasoline margins in January.