Oil stable amid cautious optimism over Trump, Kim summit in Singapore

US output has risen by almost a third in the last two years, to a record of 10.8 million barrels per day. (Reuters)
Updated 12 June 2018
0

Oil stable amid cautious optimism over Trump, Kim summit in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Oil markets were stable on Tuesday amid cautious optimism over the outcome of a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
Movements in crude markets were also limited ahead of a meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some of its allies on June 22 that may determine the crude production policy of several major producers.
Brent crude futures were trading at $76.45 per barrel at 0355 GMT, little changed from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.16 a barrel, up 6 cents from their last settlement.
Crude has been supported by healthy demand and voluntary production cuts led by OPEC, but analysts said oil markets were also currently heavily driven by public policy events and statements.
Trump and Kim on Tuesday met for a one-day summit in Singapore with the goal to narrow differences over how to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula, with Trump stating he had forged a “good relationship” with the North Korean leader.
“And today marks the potentially momentous meeting between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore,” said Shannon Rivkin, investment director at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
Global markets edged up as the highly anticipated summit got underway amid expressions of goodwill.
“Any positive outcome could be good news for markets,” Rivkin added.
Oil market fundamentals, however, point to lower prices, with output from the three biggest producers, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia on the rise.
Russian production has reportedly climbed from below 11 million barrels per day (bpd) to 11.1 million bpd in early June.
In the United States, output has risen by almost a third in the last two years, to a record of 10.8 million bpd.
“The deluge of US crude production continues to hold the top-side in check,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading at futures brokerage OANDA.
Now, top exporter Saudi Arabia — which has so far led OPEC’s efforts to withhold supplies — is also showing signs of raising production.
Saudi Arabia has told OPEC that it increased oil output to a little more than 10 million bpd in May, up from 9.9 million bpd in April.
“This fits with the theory that the Saudis and Russians are subtly moving toward a change to the agreement at this month’s meeting,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.
OPEC, together with some non-OPEC producers including Russia, started withholding output in 2017 to end a global supply overhang and prop up prices.
OPEC and its partners are due to meet at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, to discuss policy.
“Expect more of the same whippy markets driven by rumors and innuendo ahead of the June 22 Vienna OPEC meeting,” Innes said.


SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

Updated 25 September 2018
0

SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

  • The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25
  • SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale

LONDON: Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is preparing to offer its dollar-denominated unsecured bond to the global market with investor meetings due to start this week.
The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25, according to a filing on the Saudi stock exchange on Tuesday.
The Saudi company is likely to be keen to tap into the heightened international interest in the Kingdom’s financial markets following the lifting of some restrictions on foreign investors’ activities at the start of the year.
SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale, alongside HSBC Bank, Mitsubishi UFG Securities EMEA and Standard Chartered Bank acting as joint lead managers, in its Tadawul note.
The proposed issuance has been well-received so far by analysts with ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service assigning an ‘A1’ rating to the proposed senior unsecured notes to be issued by the financial vehicle, referred to as SABIC Capital II, and guaranteed by SABIC itself.
“SABIC’s A1 rating reflects its strong business position in the chemical sector and its ability to weather industry volatility, particularly given its healthy operational cash flows and conservative liquidity profile,” said Rehan Akbar, a senior analyst at Moody’s, in a note on Monday.

 

The bond is anticipated to be used in part to refinance an existing SR11.3 billion ($3 billion) one-year bridge loan raised in January this year to fund the company’s 24.99 percent stake in the Swiss chemical company Clariant, according to the Moody’s note. All regulatory requirements were completed on this acquisition earlier this month.
Cash proceeds from the bond may also be used to repay a $1 billion bond due on Oct. 3, according to Moody’s.
On Tuesday SABIC confirmed that the bond will be used mainly to refinance “outstanding financial obligations” of the company and its subsidiaries.
Analysts at rating agency S&P Global were also upbeat about SABIC’s outlook, with research published on Monday stating that the company has “strong profitability” via its KSA operations and a “strong” liquidity position.
“The debt issuance is helpful for the credit profile in the sense that it extends the company’s debt maturity profile and strengthens its liquidity position,” said Tommy Trask, corporate and infrastructure credit analyst at S&P Global.
The agency currently assigns the petrochemical firm an ‘A Minus’ rating, with a “stable outlook,” which it said reflects its “view on the sovereign as well as its expectations that SABIC will maintain high profitability under current benign industry conditions.”
S&P Global’s report said margins in the global chemical industry will “largely stabilize in 2018 following several years of improvement, attributable to the increase in commodity chemical capacity.”
However, it also warned that a key risk to credit quality is
the trend for mergers and acquisitions within the sector and the “potential negative impact on credit metrics from funding them with debt.”

FACTOID

SABIC operates in more than 50 countries across the world.