Airbus ordered to pay $127m to settle Taiwan missile dispute

Airbus is the latest arms company to reach a settlement over disputes arising from one of France’s biggest ever arms sales. (Reuters)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Airbus ordered to pay $127m to settle Taiwan missile dispute

PARIS: Airbus said on Saturday it had been ordered to pay €104 million ($127 million) in fines over a missile sale to Taiwan in 1992, the latest French arms company to reach a settlement over disputes arising from one of France’s biggest ever arms sales.
The scandal around French arms sales to the island in the early 1990s was one of a series of cases that underpinned accusations of widespread corruption during the final years of late French President Francois Mitterrand.
Airbus said in a statement that its subsidiary behind the missile contract, Matra Defense, was “reviewing the award before evaluating the next steps to take.”
The arbitration fine comes three months after Dassault Aviation, radar supplier Thales and engine maker Safran said they had been fined a combined €227 million ($276.80 million) in Taiwan to settle the 25-year-old dispute over the wrongful use of commissions in the sale of 60 Mirage fighters to the island.
“This was a commercial dispute and not a corruption allegation,” said an Airbus spokesman.
In a separate case, Airbus said it was in talks with Munich prosecutors that could lead to the termination of their investigation into alleged corruption in the sale of Eurofighter combat jets to Austria in 2003.
That investigation is one of several corruption cases still facing Europe’s largest aerospace company.
Airbus did not mention the status of a parallel Austrian investigation into the same arms deal.
The company and individuals including CEO Tom Enders are being investigated in Vienna over industrial deals that were built into the Eurofighter sale and have denied any wrongdoing.
Separately, Airbus faces UK and French investigations into the use of middlemen in commercial airliner sales.


‘Get prices down’ Trump tells OPEC

Updated 20 September 2018
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‘Get prices down’ Trump tells OPEC

  • Trump highlights US security role in region
  • Comments come ahead of oil producers meeting in Algeria

LONDON: US president Donald Trump urged OPEC to lower crude prices on Thursday while reminding Mideast oil exporters of US security support.
He made his remarks on Twitter ahead of a keenly awaited meeting of OPEC countries and its allies in Algiers this weekend as pressure mounts on them to prevent a spike in prices caused by the reimposition of oil sanctions on Iran.
“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!” he tweeted.
“We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!”
Despite the threat, the group and its allies are unlikely to agree to an official increase in output, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing OPEC sources.
In June they agreed to increase production by about one million barrels per day (bpd). That decision was was spurred by a recovery in oil prices, in part caused by OPEC and its partners agreeing to lower production since 2017.
Known as OPEC+, the group of oil producers which includes Russia are due to meet on Sunday in Algiers to look at how to allocate the additional one million bpd within its quote a framework.
OPEC sources told Reuters that there was no immediate plan for any official action as such a move would require OPEC to hold what it calls an extraordinary meeting, which is not on the table.
Oil prices slipped after Trumps remarks, with Brent crude shedding 40 cents to $79 a barrel in early afternoon trade in London while US light crude was unchanged at about $71.12.
Brent had been trading at around $80 on expectations that global supplies would come under pressure from the introduction of US sanctions on Iranian crude exports on Nov. 4.
Some countries has already started to halt imports from Tehran ahead of that deadline, leading analysts to speculate about how much spare capacity there is in the Middle East to compensate for the loss of Iranian exports as well as how much of that spare capacity can be easily brought online after years of under-investment in the industry.
Analysts expect oil to trend higher and through the $80 barrier as the deadline for US sanctions approaches.
“Brent is definitely fighting the $80 line, wanting to break above,” said SEB Markets chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop, Reuters reported. “But this is likely going to break very soon.”