Saudi Arabia’s energy minister hopes OPEC, allies will ease output cuts in 2019

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih speaks during a joint press conference. (AFP)
Updated 24 February 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s energy minister hopes OPEC, allies will ease output cuts in 2019

NEW DELHI: Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Saturday that he hopes the production constraints under a deal between major OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers will ease in 2019.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is reducing output by about 1.2 million barrels per day as part of a deal with Russia and other non-OPEC producers. The pact will run until the end of 2018.
He said the OPEC and non-OPEC members were committed to bringing stability and to balancing the market.
“The next step may be easing of the production constraints. My estimation is that it will happen sometime in 2019. But we don’t know when and we don’t know how,” he said.


UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

Updated 44 min 24 sec ago
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UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

  • The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK
  • The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore

SEAN CRONIN DUBAI: Network International, the UAE payments processor, has committed to a London IPO next month in what would be the UK’s first big share sale of the year.
The company intends to have a free float of at least 25 percent and admission to the London Stock Exchange is expected to take place in April, Network International said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK where there is still no clarity around whether Britain will leave the EU or not at the end of the month.
VPS Healthcare, the Abu Dhabi-based hospital operator, is reconsidering plans to list in London due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore.
Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, owns 51 percent of Network International while Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic jointly own the rest.
The share sale will be a key test of investor demand for new listings in London after a subdued 2018 across most European markets.
“Volatility has continued in recent months, driven by the uncertainty around trade between the US and China, the wider geopolitical climate and the potential end of the current bull run,” said Peter Whelan, partner and UK IPO Lead at PwC in a recent report.
“We are seeing a healthy number of companies preparing for an IPO in 2019 despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations which have clearly impacted IPO activity on the London market.”
The payment processor reported earnings of $298 million last year according to its website, up from $262 million a year earlier. It does not disclose net income figures.
The company handles digital payments across the Middle East, which generate three quarters of its total earnings.
Last year it processed some $40 billion in payments for more than 65,000 merchants.
Its key markets in the region include the UAE and Jordan it says that Saudi Arabia offers “significant opportunities.” It also offers services in 40 African countries with Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa being its most important segments on the continent.