Iraqi oil minister expects prices to rise over time

Iraq’s Energy Minister of Oil Thamer Abbas Al Ghadhban (C) speaks to journalists as he attends the 175th OPEC Conference of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria on December 06, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Iraqi oil minister expects prices to rise over time

  • Ghadhban said the recent fall in Iraqi exports was due to weather conditions
  • “Our goal is to reach an export capacity of 6.5 million barrels per day but over several stages,” he said

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Monday he expected the fall in oil prices to stop and for prices to rise over time, adding that if OPEC had not cut production, prices would have dropped to $45-50 per barrel.
Speaking at a ministry event in Baghdad, Ghadhban said the recent fall in Iraqi exports was not due to technical reasons, as Iraqi oil fields have high capacity, but rather because of weather conditions.
“Our goal is to reach an export capacity of 6.5 million barrels per day but over several stages,” he said.
Speaking about the recent Kirkuk oil deal with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Ghadhban said state oil marketer SOMO had received preferential prices, albeit for low quantities.
Iraq last month restarted exports of Kirkuk oil, halted a year ago due to a standoff between the central government and the KRG, after a new government in Baghdad agreed a tentative deal with Irbil.


Banks boost Saudi stock market, Qatar hit by sell-off

Updated 27 sec ago
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Banks boost Saudi stock market, Qatar hit by sell-off

BENGALURU: Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose sharply on Tuesday, leading gains in most major Gulf bourses amid a global rally after Washington temporarily eased trade restrictions imposed last week on China’s Huawei. Qatar dropped due to a wide sell-off.
The Saudi index increased 1.66 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank adding 2.2 percent and Saudi Basic Industries up 3.3 percent.
The “Middle East today is following the positive lead from global markets. Local sentiment is also better as evidenced by the strong moves in small cap stocks,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital.
“We expect Saudi Arabia to continue its upward trend until at least the MSCI effective date May 28,” added Vrajesh. “Thereafter, investors need to be selective and follow a bottom up-approach. Overall, we find better value in UAE and Egypt.”
MSCI last week said it would include MSCI Saudi Arabia in its emerging-markets index, effective May 28, a move that could draw billions of dollars into the market.
Saudi International Petrochemical closed 3.4 percent higher. The firm completed the merger of equals with Sahara Petrochemical, which delisted on May 20.
Qatar’s index was down 2 percent, with 17 of its 20 stocks sliding.
The Middle East’s largest lender, Qatar National Bank, dropped 2.4 percent, while Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding plunged 10 percent, snapping a six-day winning streak triggered by the stock inclusion in MSCI’s index.
Egypt’s blue-chip index gained 1.7 percent as most of its stocks rose, with Market heavyweight Commercial International Bank gaining 0.9 percent.
El Sewedy Electric jumped 5.9 percent after it partnered with General Authority For Suez Canal Economic Zone to establish a new company with issued capital of 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($58.82 million), in which the firm will own 49 percent.
Abu Dhabi’s index closed 1.1 percent higher, led by a 1.3 percent increase in the country’s largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Dana Gas jumped 4.1 percent after the energy firm said it had started drilling operations at Merak-1 well, offshore Egypt.
National Marine Dredging soared 13.9 percent after last week reporting a higher first-quarter earnings.
The Dubai index rose 1 percent as all but one of its real estate stocks rose.
Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest listed-developer, increased 2.9 percent while its units Emaar Malls and Emaar Development were up 2.3 percent and 3 percent respectively.
The UAE said on Tuesday that it will grant 6,800 foreign investors permanent residency under a new “Golden Card” system after they invested a combined 100 billion dirhams ($27.23 billion) in the Gulf state.
National Cement Company was up 1.7 percent after news it had bought ARM Cement’s Kenyan assets for $50 million.
Arabtec Holding rebounded 2.1 percent, snapping four straight sessions of losses on weak first-quarter earnings.