Saudi Arabia raises Oct crude prices to Europe, cuts Asia

Saudi Aramco has raised the official selling price (OSP) to Northwest Europe by $1.45 a barrel for October. Above, an Aramco exploration team in the Empty Quarter. (Reuters)
Updated 05 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia raises Oct crude prices to Europe, cuts Asia

  • Russian Urals crude prices have rallied in recent weeks as European refineries’ appetite for crudes similar to Iran’s has pushed up prices
  • Iran’s oil exports are already dropping fast as refiners scurry to find alternatives ahead of a reimposition of US sanctions

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has raised the European price for its Arab Light crude grade for October, the state oil producer said on Wednesday, as Russian Urals prices rally and European refiners seek to replace Iranian oil supplies ahead of the November US sanctions deadline.
Aramco has raised the official selling price (OSP) to Northwest Europe by $1.45 a barrel from the previous month, putting it at a discount of $1.80 per barrel to ICE Brent.
Russian Urals crude prices have rallied in recent weeks as European refineries’ appetite for crudes similar to Iran’s has pushed up prices.
Urals prices in NorthWest Europe are currently at the strongest this year, and are not far off a five year high.
Iran’s oil exports are already dropping fast as refiners scurry to find alternatives ahead of a reimposition of US sanctions in early November.
Aramco also cut its October OSP for Arab Light to Asia by $0.10 a barrel versus September, putting it a premium of $1.10 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.
Saudi Arabia was expected to keep prices for the light crude grades it sells to Asia largely unchanged in October from the previous month to keep its oil competitive against other suppliers, according to a Reuters survey.
The Arab Light OSP to the United States was set at a premium of $1.00 a barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) for October, up $0.10 a barrel from the previous month.


Uber agrees to pay VAT in Egypt

Updated 44 min 45 sec ago
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Uber agrees to pay VAT in Egypt

  • Egypt introduced a law last May regulating ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem
  • Uber has said that Egypt is its largest market in the Middle East
CAIRO: Uber has agreed to pay value-added tax on its services in Egypt, Egyptian officials said on Monday, a move that may help resolve a long-simmering feud with traditional taxi drivers.
The agreement would also apply to other ride-hailing companies, the head of the Egyptian Tax Authority, Abdel Azeem Hussein, said. Egypt’s value-added tax (VAT) rate is 14 percent.
“Reaching an agreement and determining the tax treatment that will be applied to the company Uber and other companies operating in the same area will enhance confidence and cooperation between the authority and the tax community,” state news agency MENA quoted Hussein as saying.
Uber Egypt was not immediately available for comment.
Egypt introduced a law last May regulating ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem, after Egyptian taxi drivers filed a lawsuit arguing that the two companies were illegally using private cars as taxis and were registered as a call center and an Internet company, respectively.
An Egyptian court suspended Uber and Careem’s services in March last year after the taxi drivers’ suit but another court stayed the suspension ruling in April, allowing the companies to operate while the case was appealed to a higher court. A verdict is expected on Saturday.
Careem could not immediately be reached for comment on whether it will pay the VAT.
Uber riders and drivers in Egypt have said they faced various technical difficulties with the Uber app in recent weeks, which two security sources said was linked to data-sharing disputes with Egyptian authorities.
Uber has faced regulatory and legal setbacks around the world amid opposition from traditional taxi services. It has been forced to quit several countries, including Denmark and Hungary.
Uber has said that Egypt is its largest market in the Middle East, with 157,000 drivers in 2017 and 4 million users since its launch there in 2014.