Saudi oil minister calls for more work to cut global oil inventory

Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said that ‘Russia, Saudi Arabia and 24 other states that have been working on stabilizing the oil market.’ (AFP)
Updated 30 November 2017
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Saudi oil minister calls for more work to cut global oil inventory

TASHKENT, Kazakhstan: Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Saturday that more work was needed to reduce global oil inventories.
“There is a general satisfaction with the strategy of 24 countries that signed a declaration of cooperation,” he said after a meeting attended by his Russian, Uzbek and Kazakh counterparts.
Russia and Saudi Arabia are leading a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut global oil production, with the aim of propping up oil prices.
“Everybody recognizes that (the) job is not done yet by any means, we still have significant amount of work to do to bring inventories down. Mission is not yet complete, more needs to be done,” he added.
He said members of the global pact he had spoken with have expressed the same views.
“This is the same sentiment I’ve heard yesterday from (Kazakh) President (Nursultan) Nazarbayev, this is the same sentiment I’ve heard from all the oil producing members of the Asia energy ministers’ round table,” he said.
Officials from Malaysia, Ecuador, Nigeria and Libya have had also given him similar feedback, Falih said.
“All committed to working with other producers and supporting the agreement,” the Saudi oil minister added.


BMW plans massive cost cuts to keep profits from sputtering

Updated 20 March 2019
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BMW plans massive cost cuts to keep profits from sputtering

  • ‘Our business model must remain a profitable one in the digital era,’ chief executive Harald Krueger said
  • Total number of employees is set to remain flat at around 135,000 worldwide

MUNICH: German high-end carmaker BMW warned Wednesday it expects pre-tax profits “well below” 2018 levels this year as it announced a massive cost-cutting scheme aimed at saving $13.6 billion (€12 billion) in total by 2022.
A spokesman said that “well below” could indicate a tumble of more than 10 percent.
The Munich-based group’s 2019 result will be burdened with massive investments needed for the transition to electric cars, exchange rate headwinds and rising raw materials prices, it said in a statement.
Meanwhile it must pump more cash into measures to meet strict European carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions limits set to bite from next year.
And a one-off windfall in 2018’s results will create a negative comparison, even though pre-tax profits already fell 8.1 percent last year.
Bosses expect a “slight increase” in sales of BMW and Mini cars, with a slightly fatter operating margin that will nevertheless fall short of their 8.0-percent target.
“We will continue to implement forcefully the necessary measures for growth, continuing performance increases and efficiency,” finance director Nicolas Peter said at the group’s annual press conference.
BMW aims to achieve €12 billion of savings in the coming years through “efficiency improvements” including reducing the complexity of its range.
“Our business model must remain a profitable one in the digital era,” chief executive Harald Krueger said.
This year, most new recruits at the group will be IT specialists, while the total number of employees is set to remain flat at around 135,000 worldwide.
Departures from the sizeable fraction of the workforce born during the post-World War II baby boom and now reaching retirement age “will allow us to adapt the business even more to future topics,” BMW said.
All the firm’s forecasts are based on London and Brussels reaching a deal for an orderly Brexit and the United States foregoing new import taxes on European cars.
“Developments in tariffs” remain “a significant factor of uncertainty” in looking to the future, finance chief Peter said, adding that “the preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU will weigh on 2019’s results as well.”
In annual results released ahead of schedule last Friday, BMW blamed trade headwinds and new EU emissions tests for net profits tumbling 16.9 percent in 2018, to €7.2 billion.