World oil market ‘adequately supplied for now’ — IEA

The price of global benchmark Brent crude has risen from around $45 a barrel in June 2017 and peaked at over $85 this month. (Reuters)
Updated 12 October 2018
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World oil market ‘adequately supplied for now’ — IEA

  • OPEC and other exporters such as Russia agreed in June to raise output as the market appeared increasingly tight
  • The outlook for world oil consumption is faltering, the IEA said

LONDON: Oil markets look “adequately supplied for now” after a big production increase in the last six months, but the industry is coming under strain, the West’s energy watchdog said on Friday.
The International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that the world’s spare oil production capacity was down to 2 percent of global demand, with further falls likely.
“This strain could be with us for some time and it will likely be accompanied by higher prices, however much we regret them and their potential negative impact on the global economy,” the Paris-based organization said.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other exporters such as Russia agreed in June to raise output as the market appeared increasingly tight.
The price of global benchmark Brent crude has risen from around $45 a barrel in June 2017 and peaked at over $85 this month on bullish bets by speculators.
OPEC, Russia and others such as US shale companies had increased production sharply since May, the IEA said, raising global output by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd).
Overall, OPEC had boosted production by 735,000 bpd since May as Middle East Gulf producers such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE more than compensated for declining output in Venezuela and Iran, which is facing US sanctions from next month.
Supply from Iran during September dropped to a two-and-a-half year low, the IEA said, as customers continued to cut back in the run-up to new sanctions, which start on Nov 4.
Iranian output fell to 3.45 million bpd, it said, down 180,000 bpd month-on-month. Iranian oil exports in September fell to 1.63 million bpd, down 800,000 bpd from recent 2Q18 peaks, the agency estimated.
“The decline may deepen significantly ahead of US sanctions — and subsequently as final cargoes are delivered,” said the IEA, which advises major oil consumers on energy policy.
But, the outlook for world oil consumption is faltering, the IEA said as it cut its forecast of global oil demand growth by 0.11 million bpd for both this year and next to 1.28 million bpd and 1.36 million bpd respectively.
“This is due to a weaker economic outlook, trade concerns, higher oil prices,” it said.
OECD commercial stocks rose by 15.7 million barrels in August to 2.854 billion barrels, their highest level since February, on strong refinery output and liquefied petroleum gas restocking, the IEA said.
It added that OECD inventories were likely to have risen by 43 million barrels in the third quarter, the largest quarterly increase in stocks since the first quarter of 2016.
“The increase in net production from key suppliers since May of approximately 1.4 million bpd, led by Saudi Arabia, and the fact that oil stocks built by 0.5 million bpd in 2Q18 and look likely to have done the same in 3Q18, lends weight to the argument that the oil market is adequately supplied for now,” the IEA said.


Non-Saudi Gulf companies get ready to joint list on Tadawul

Updated 34 min 46 sec ago
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Non-Saudi Gulf companies get ready to joint list on Tadawul

  • Two companies, from UAE and Bahrain, about to submit documentation, bourse CEO tells Arab News
  • Joint listings for other Gulf stocks would be an important step in Tadawul’s ambition to be the dominant stock market in the region

RIYADH: Tadawul, the Saudi Arabian stock exchange, is on the verge of announcing the first ever joint-listings of companies from other Gulf countries in a move that further illustrates the growing regional power of the market.

Khalid Al-Hussan, the exchange’s chief executive, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh that two companies — one from the UAE and one from Bahrain — are about to submit the necessary documentation to enable their listing in Riyadh. He declined to identify them.

“Two companies are in advanced discussions and are about to submit their files,” he said. The final decision on their listing rests with the regulator Capital Markets Authority, but Al-Hussan has made no secret of his desire to get non-Saudi companies from the Gulf Cooperation Council listed on the Riyadh market.

“We are an important regional platform and we can complement secure access to capital and the liquidity they lack in their home markets,” Al-Hussan said, adding that Tadawul was speaking to several other corporates in the region to gauge their interest.

Joint listings for other Gulf stocks would be an important step in Tadawul’s ambition to be the dominant stock market in the region. Al-Hussan is also planning Gulf-wide initiatives in other areas of securities trading, like settlement and clearing.

“Tadawul can play an important role in post-trade business, because of its size and liquidity. Running a clearing house is very expensive,” he said. Tadawul is already in talks with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Bahrain Bourse about the possibility of them using Tadawul for clearance and settlement activities.

“They are assessing whether Saudi infrastructure is right for them,” Al-Hussan said. There have been no talks yet with Dubai.

We are an important regional platform and we can complement secure access to capital and the liquidity they lack in their home markets.

Khalid Al-Hussan

News of Tadawul’s growing regional ambitions comes as the Riyadh market continues to reap benefit from the ongoing upgrades to emerging markets status and inclusion in the main indices.

The next tranche of Saudi stocks get included in the FTSE-Russell index next week, while the first tranche under the MSCI upgrade takes place at the end of next month.

“We’re up 18 percent since the beginning of the year, and I don’t think you’ll find many emerging markets performing better than that,” Al-Hussan said of the Tadawul index’s performance.

He said that an influx of foreign investors was a very important reason for the strength of Saudi markets. “It is not just my feeling, it is the facts. Foreign investment is positive every day. Cash inflows are positive and increasing each week,” Al-Hussan said.

The market is also finessing preparations for the introduction of derivatives trading, which is likely to happen in the second half of the year. Al-Hussan said that all the necessary regulations were in place to allow trading in derivatives — securities based on future values of stocks — and that it was awaiting final regulatory approval.

 

 “We are still waiting on the readiness of market traders to actually trade derivatives, and on the readiness of local investors for them. They have to be well informed,” he said.

The Nasdaq Dubai exchange in the UAE already has a platform for derivatives trading in Saudi equities, but Al-Hussan said: “It is very hard for a regional exchange to compete with the domestic one, especially if it does not have much liquidity.”

In the course of the Financial Sector Conference, tech firm Al Moammar Information Systems Company began trading on Tadawul, and marketing is well underway for the forthcoming initial public offering of Arabian Centers by the Fawaz Alhokair Group.

Tadawul also announced a number of “enhancements” to the fee structure of the bond markets, including reducing commissions and waving others, to enhance the competitiveness of debt instruments on the exchange.

FACTOID

18.5%

Rise in the Tadawul All Share Index so far this year