Saudi crude output to fall to 9.8 million bpd in March — Falih

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 9, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Saudi crude output to fall to 9.8 million bpd in March — Falih

  • The March production figure means Saudi would be voluntarily cutting output by more than 500,000 bpd

LONDON: Saudi Arabia plans to produce around 9.8 million barrels per day of oil in March, over half a million bpd below its pledged production level under a global supply-cutting deal, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told the Financial Times.
Exports would fall in March to 6.9 million bpd, according to the article published on Tuesday.
The March production figure means Saudi would be voluntarily cutting output by more than 500,000 bpd below its pledged production level under a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia.
Under the deal reached in December and which came into effect at the start of the year, Saudi Arabia’s target production is 10.311 million bpd.
The news boosted Brent crude prices by more than 2 percent to nearly $63 a barrel.
Production in March would be 1.2 million bpd lower than Saudi Arabia’s November output, which was an all-time high.
In the interview, Falih addressed a US bill that might expose OPEC to antitrust lawsuits, saying the legislation could be “harmful” to the global economy, and expressed his hope that the United States would “do the right thing.”
He said if Saudi Arabia were unable to balance the market by adjusting production, the world would suffer “irreparably.”
A US House of Representatives committee approved the bill known as No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, last week.


SoftBank to launch Vision Fund 2 mega-venture

Updated 36 min 18 sec ago
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SoftBank to launch Vision Fund 2 mega-venture

  • Vision Fund 2 will aim to pull in existing investors such as the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia and Mubadala in the UAE
  • Vision Fund 2 is expected to at least equal the original fund’s $97 billion fund, and could reach $150 billion

LONDON: The global mega-investor SoftBank Vision Fund is preparing to launch another giant investment venture.
Vision Fund 2 will aim to pull in existing investors such as the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia and Mubadala in the UAE, the biggest investors in the original fund along with SoftBank, the Japanese group run by Masayoshi Son.
Sources told Arab News that Vision Fund 2 is expected to at least equal the original fund’s $97 billion fund, and could reach $150 billion — which would make it the largest private investment fund in history.
A team from SoftBank Investment Advisers led by its chief executive Rajeev Misra and Masayoshi Son have been in preliminary discussions with potential investors for several months.
They have been talking to sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and elsewhere, as well as big global corporates, some of which were also investors in the first fund.

*** Read our full interview with CEO Rajeev Misra here: SoftBank Vision Fund stands shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia — CEO Rajeev Misra ***
Investment is also expected from global banks, insurance companies and pension funds, and SoftBank is expected to put up about $40 billion.
The first phase of the launch is due to end “in the next few months,” with a final close around 12 months later.
The original fund plans to return profits to existing investors over the next few months, including big partners such as PIF, Mubadala and SoftBank. If they see healthy returns they may be more likely to invest heavily in the new fund.
The interests of Saudi Arabia and the Vision Fund align as the Kingdom diversifies away from reliance on oil, Misra told Arab News. “Our commitment is to support the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia, high-tech jobs not blue collar, over the next few years,” he said.