Plunge in oil prices threatens Iraq’s postwar recovery

The latest plunge in oil prices has dealt a heavy blow to Iraq’s stagnating economy, threatening the new government’s ability to rebuild after the devastating war with Daesh and provide basic services to areas roiled by recent protests. (AP/Felipe Dana/ File)
Updated 01 January 2019
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Plunge in oil prices threatens Iraq’s postwar recovery

  • The new government’s ability to rebuild after the war with Daesh and provide basic services to areas roiled by recent protests is under threat
  • Brent crude oil, used to price international purchases, briefly rose above $85 a barrel in October but has since plummeted to less than $55

BAGHDAD: The latest plunge in oil prices has dealt a heavy blow to Iraq’s stagnating economy, threatening the new government’s ability to rebuild after the war with Daesh and provide basic services to areas roiled by recent protests.
Brent crude oil, used to price international purchases, briefly rose above $85 a barrel in October but has since plummeted to less than $55 — a nightmare for a country like Iraq that derives 95 percent of its revenue from oil exports.
A $111.9 billion draft budget sent to parliament in October projects crude exports of 3.8 million barrels per day to be sold at $56 per barrel. The bill, which includes a 23 percent increase in spending, would leave a deficit of $22.8 billion.


Moody’s downgrades Nissan’s credit rating, citing weak sales in US

Updated 15 min 27 sec ago
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Moody’s downgrades Nissan’s credit rating, citing weak sales in US

  • Nissan reported a 45 percent plunge in annual operating profit in the year ending March
  • Moody’s cut its rating of Nissan’s credit to ‘A3’ from ‘A2’

TOKYO: Moody’s cut its rating on Nissan by one notch on Friday, citing weak sales in the United States and casting a shadow on the Japanese automaker’s move to improve its business following a decline in its annual profit.
Nissan — hit by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest last year and troubles at its North American business — reported a 45 percent plunge in annual operating profit in the year ending March, and forecast a 28 percent drop in profit this fiscal year.
Moody’s cut its rating of Nissan’s credit to “A3” from “A2,” adding that the outlook was negative.
“The downgrade reflects the continuing slide in Nissan’s profitability, driven by weak sales in the US, its largest market,” Moody’s Vice President Motoki Yanase said in a statement.
While Nissan’s new strategy focuses on margin over unit sales growth and refreshing old models to improve its brand value, the ratings agency expects the overhaul will take “several years.”
“The negative outlook on Nissan reflects execution risk as Nissan implements its business strategies globally, reforms its corporate governance and stabilizes its alliance with Renault,” it said.
France’s Renault is the top shareholder in Nissan.