Fiat Chrysler’s Marchionne being treated in Zurich’s University Hospital

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne jokes with a tie next to chairman John Elkann during a media conference in Balocco, northern Italy, June 1, 2018. (File Photo: Reuters)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Fiat Chrysler’s Marchionne being treated in Zurich’s University Hospital

  • Fiat Chrysler named its Jeep division boss Mike Manley on Saturday to take over immediately from Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April

ZURICH: Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne was being treated in a Zurich hospital on Sunday with a serious illness after suffering complications following shoulder surgery.
A Fiat Chrysler spokesman confirmed Marchionne was in Zurich’s University Hospital, one of the country’s largest medical centers.
The spokesman did not give the 66-year-old Italian-Canadian executive’s condition and did not reveal in which of the hospital’s 43 divisions he was being treated.
Fiat Chrysler named its Jeep division boss Mike Manley on Saturday to take over immediately from Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April.
SGS, the Swiss logistics services company, also announced on Sunday that it had named a new acting chairman to take over for Marchionne, since his illness prevented him from fulfilling the role’s obligations.
SGS said in a statement it was “deeply saddened” by the news, as did Lausanne, Switzerland-based Philip Morris International, where Marchionne is also on the board.
Marchionne was credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy after taking the Italian carmaker’s wheel in 2004.
Ferrari named FCA Chairman and Agnelli family scion John Elkann as new chairman, while board member Louis Camilleri has been named chief executive.
Meanwhile, Italian media and politicians Sunday saluted Marchionne.
“Marchionne, the end of an era,” was Corriere della Serra’s headline over the weekend.
“This is terrible news,” said Marco Bentivoglio, general secretary of the CISL metalworkers’ union. “We have not seen eye-to-eye on certain things... but together we challenged little lazy Italy which prefers to close plants rather than roll up its sleeves.”
In his 14 years at the helm, Marchionne revamped Fiat, Italy’s premier private enterprise, from top to bottom, turning it into a sector giant, merging it in 2009 with US automaker Chrysler, then hiving off its industrial vehicles to create CNH Industrial in 2011 before a successful spinoff of luxury brand Ferrari in January 2016.
“Marchionne has been a great protagonist of economic life for the past 15 years... he has succeeded in giving Fiat a future when that seemed impossible. He created jobs, not unemployment. I take my hat off to him,” Matteo Renzi said.
Marchionne was close to Renzi for some years before keeping his distance later, though he did not go as far as taking up a suggestion by another former premier, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, to head up a conservative coalition in the March legislative elections.


Oil mixed on tighter US outlook

Updated 21 August 2018
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Oil mixed on tighter US outlook

  • Traders said US markets were lifted by a tightening outlook for fuel markets in the coming months
  • The Iran supply cut may also be more than compensated for by production increases outside OPEC

SINGAPORE: Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, with US fuel markets seen to be tightening while the Sino-US trade dispute dragged on international crude contracts.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for September delivery were up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at 0306 GMT, at $66.70 per barrel. The contract expires on Tuesday.
The more active October futures were up 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $65.49 a barrel.
Traders said US markets were lifted by a tightening outlook for fuel markets in the coming months.
Inventories in the United States for refined products such as diesel and heating oil for this time of year are at their lowest in four years.
This is occurring just ahead of the peak demand period for these fuels, with diesel needed for tractors to harvest crops and the arrival of colder weather during the Northern Hemisphere autumn raising consumption of heating oil.
Outside the United States, Brent crude oil futures were somewhat weaker, trading at $72.18 per barrel, down 3 cents from their last close.
This followed the United States offering on Monday 11 million barrels of crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for delivery from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.
The released oil could offset expected supply shortfalls from US sanctions against Iran, which will target its oil industry from November.
Because of the sanctions, French bank BNP Paribas said it expected oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iran is a member, to fall from an average of 32.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 to 31.7 million bpd in 2019.
Still, traders said overall market sentiment was cautious because of concerns over the demand outlook amid the trade dispute between the United States and China.
A Chinese trade delegation is due in Washington this week to resolve the dispute, but US President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Monday he does not expect much progress, and that resolving the trade dispute with China will “take time.”
The impact of the Iran sanctions is not yet clear.
China has indicated that it will continue to buy Iranian oil despite the US sanctions.
The Iran supply cut may also be more than compensated for by production increases outside OPEC.
BNP Paribas said non-OPEC output would likely grow by 2 million bpd in 2018 and by 1.9 million bpd next year.
“Depending on when pipeline infrastructure constraints are lifted in the US, non-OPEC supply growth by the end of 2019 may prove higher than currently assumed,” the bank said.
The search for new oil has increased globally in the last two years, with the worldwide rig count rising from 1,013 at the end of July 2016 to 1,664 in August 2018, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes.
The biggest increase was in North America, where the rig count shot up from 491 to 1,057 in the last two years.
How prices develop will also depend on demand.
“We see global oil demand growing by 1.4 million barrels per day in both 2018 and 2019,” BNP Paribas said, implying that global markets are likely to remain sufficiently supplied.