DP World first-half profit dips 2.1%

DP World said it posted a net profit attributable to owners of the company of $593 million in the first half of the year. (Reuters)
Updated 16 August 2018

DP World first-half profit dips 2.1%

  • ‘The near-term trade outlook remains uncertain with recent changes in trade policies and geopolitical headwinds in some regions continuing to pose uncertainty to the container market’
  • DP World recently won a 30-year concession for the management and development of a port project at Banana in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

DUBAI: DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, posted a 2.1 percent drop in first-half net profit on Thursday, and cautioned about geopolitical risks and recent changes to trade policies.
US President Donald Trump is taking a more aggressive, protectionist posture on trade than his recent predecessors, sparking retaliatory measures from other countries such as China.
“The near-term trade outlook remains uncertain with recent changes in trade policies and geopolitical headwinds in some regions continuing to pose uncertainty to the container market,” said the company’s chairman and chief executive, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
“However, the robust financial performance of the first six months also leaves us well placed for 2018 and we expect to see increased contributions from our recent investments in the second half of the year,” he said in a statement.
Lower export orders and car sales are likely to slow world trade growth in the third quarter, the World Trade Organization said recently, as a global tariff crusade by Trump to protect American jobs begins to bite.
DP World said it posted a net profit attributable to owners of the company of $593 million in the first half of the year, compared to $606 million during the same period a year earlier.
Cash from operating activities was recorded at $979 million in the first half, slightly lower than $1.0 billion a year earlier.
The port operator said capital expenditure guidance for 2018 remains unchanged at up to $1.4 billion with investments planned in the United Arab Emirates, Posorja (Ecuador), Berbera (Somaliland), Sokhna (Egypt) and London Gateway.
DP World recently won a 30-year concession for the management and development of a port project at Banana in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which currently has no direct deep-sea port despite being Africa’s third-most populous country.


Oil up after drone attack on Saudi field, but OPEC report caps gains

Updated 55 min 4 sec ago

Oil up after drone attack on Saudi field, but OPEC report caps gains

LONDON: Crude oil prices rose on Monday following a weekend attack on a Saudi oil facility by Yemen’s Houthi militia and as traders looked for signs of progress in US-China trade negotiations.
Price gains were, however, capped to some degree by an unusually downbeat OPEC report that stoked concerns about growth in oil demand.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was up 85 cents, or about 1.4%, at $59.49 a barrel at 1225 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.01, or 1.8%, at $55.88 a barrel.
A drone attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militia on an oilfield in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday caused a fire at a gas plant, adding to Middle East tensions, but state-run Saudi Aramco said oil production was not affected.
“The oil market seems to be pricing in again a geopolitical risk premium following the weekend drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, but the premium might not sustain if it does not result in any supply disruptions,” said Giovanni Staunovo, oil analyst for UBS.
Iran-related tensions appeared to ease after Gibraltar released an Iranian tanker it seized in July, though Tehran warned the United States against any new attempt to seize the tanker in open seas.
Concerns about a recession also limited crude price gains.
Meanwhile, China’s announcement of key interest rate reforms over the weekend has fueled expectations of an imminent reduction in corporate borrowing costs in the struggling economy, boosting share prices on Monday.
US energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in seven weeks despite plans by most producers to cut spending on new drilling this year.
“WTI in recent weeks has performed relatively better than Brent... Pipeline start ups in the United States have been supportive for WTI, while the ongoing trade war has had more of an impact on Brent,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at Dutch bank ING.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019 by 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.10 million bpd and indicated the market would be in slight surplus in 2020.
It is rare for OPEC to give a bearish forward view on the market outlook.
“Such a bearish prognosis will heap more pressure on OPEC to take further measures to support the market,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.