Ex-Nissan chief Ghosn denies allegations

Nissan board members have sacked disgraced Carlos Ghosn as chairman, local media reported on Nov. 22. (AFP)
Updated 25 November 2018
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Ex-Nissan chief Ghosn denies allegations

  • Prosecutors accuse Ghosn and fellow executive Greg Kelly of under-reporting the former chairman’s income by around five billion yen ($44 million)
  • Ghosn is being held custody in a Tokyo detention center

TOKYO: Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn has denied allegations of financial misconduct, claiming he had no intention of making false reports, Japanese media said Sunday.
The Brazil-born tycoon, who has not spoken publicly since he was arrested last Monday, told prosecutors he did not intend to understate his income on financial reports, public broadcaster NHK said.
Without exercising his right to remain silent, Ghosn advocated his view to prosecutors, NHK said, quoting unnamed sources.
Ghosn was sacked as Nissan chairman Thursday, a spectacular fall from grace for the once-revered boss whose arrest and ouster have stunned the business world.
Prosecutors accuse Ghosn and fellow executive Greg Kelly of under-reporting the former chairman’s income by around five billion yen ($44 million).
Kelly also denied the allegations, saying Ghosn’s salaries were paid appropriately, news reports said.
Local media reported Sunday that Nissan had formed a “secret” team earlier this year to probe the alleged financial misconduct.
A small team involving Nissan’s board members carried out its internal probe confidentially on concerns about possible destruction of evidence by Ghosn, Japan’s Kyodo News reported, quoting unnamed sources.
Ghosn is being held custody in a Tokyo detention center.
On Wednesday, prosecutors successfully applied to extend his custody for an additional 10 days as they stepped up their questioning.


Oil firms as China’s slowdown not as steep as some expected

Updated 17 min 34 sec ago
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Oil firms as China’s slowdown not as steep as some expected

  • In an expected cooling, China’s economy grew by 6.6 percent in 2018, its slowest expansion in 28 years
  • ‘Brent can remain above $60 per barrel on OPEC+ compliance, expiry of Iran waivers and slower US output growth’

SINGAPORE: Oil prices firmed on Monday after data showed China’s economic slowdown was not as big as some analysts had expected, with supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also offering support.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.83 per barrel at 0259, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.92 a barrel, up 12 cents, or 0.2 percent.
Both oil price benchmarks had dipped into the red earlier in the session on fears that China’s 2018 economic growth figures would be weaker.
In an expected cooling, China’s economy grew by 6.6 percent in 2018, its slowest expansion in 28 years and down from a revised 6.8 percent in 2017, official data showed on Monday. China’s September-December 2018 growth was at 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent in the previous quarter.
Although the slowdown was in line with expectations and not as sharp as some analysts had expected, the cooling of the world’s number two economy casts a shadow over global growth.
“The global outlook remains murky, despite emerging positives from a dovish Fed (now boosting US mortgage applications), faster China easing (China credit growth stabilizing) and a more durable US-China truce,” US bank JP Morgan said in a note.
Despite this, analysts said supply cuts led by OPEC would likely support crude oil prices.
“Brent can remain above $60 per barrel on OPEC+ compliance, expiry of Iran waivers and slower US output growth,” JP Morgan said.
It recommended investors should “stay long” crude oil.
Researchers at Bernstein Energy said the supply cuts led by OPEC “will move the market back into supply deficit” for most of 2019 and that “this should allow oil prices to rise to $70 per barrel before year-end from current levels of $60 per barrel.”
In the US, energy firms cut 21 oil rigs in the week to Jan. 18, taking the total count down to 852, the lowest since May 2018, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in a weekly report on Friday.
It was biggest decline since February 2016, as drillers reacted to the 40 percent plunge in US crude prices late last year.
However, US crude oil production still rose by more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, to a record 11.9 million bpd.
With the rig count stalling, last year’s growth rate is unlikely to be repeated in 2019, although most analysts expect annual production to average well over 12 million bpd, making the US the world’s biggest oil producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.