Hyundai Heavy discusses joint project with Saudi minister

Updated 02 July 2016
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Hyundai Heavy discusses joint project with Saudi minister

SEOUL: Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is expected to enjoy another boost with its joint construction projects building turbine engine plants and shipyards in Saudi Arabia.
Korea Times reported that HHI Chairman Choi Gil-seon and President Kwon Oh-gap met Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih in Seoul to discuss joint operations between HHI and Saudi Aramco.
Khalid Al-Falih is also chairman of Saudi Aramco.
Experts believe the meeting is expected to help the struggling shipyard’s efforts in normalizing its management if they deliver detailed outcomes over the projects.
Last November, HHI signed a general memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco to jointly collaborate on business development opportunities in Saudi Arabia.
Under the agreement, HHI secured a bid preference over ships ordered by the Saudi government as well as the maintenance contract.
Chung Ki-sun, senior vice president of HHI Corporate Planning and also a grandson of Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung, reportedly played a leading role behind the MoU deal with Saudi Aramco.
Saudi Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih wa appointed as Saudi Energy Minister in May last year.
He also met Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyung-hwan after the meeting with HHI officials.
Al-Falih earlier said Saudi Arabia wants to expand its investments in China’s energy industry as part of efforts to boost cooperation with a top customer.
Al-Falih’s comments were made in an e-mailed statement after discussions with China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and other officials in Beijing during a G20 ministerial meeting.
“Saudi Arabia is very keen to elevate their partnership in the energy sector to the highest level,” he was quoted as saying in the statement, published in Reuters.
He said he hoped Saudi investments could increase to cover all Chinese provinces and that there was room to grow bilateral trade in both energy and other hydrocarbons products such as petrochemicals.
Al-Falih also said he wanted to see new investment projects carried out by Saudi and Chinese sovereign wealth funds, and added that the two countries shared interest in crude oil storage, mining, renewable energy and industrial development.
Both Saudi Aramco and petrochemicals conglomerate Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) have joint venture businesses in China and new projects under development.

In January, Aramco said it was also in advanced talks to invest in refineries in China. SABIC said in May it had agreed to build another petrochemical factory there.


World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

Updated 21 August 2018
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World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

  • The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter
  • Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China

OSLO: The managers of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, expressed concern Tuesday about global trade tensions, which could heavily impact its value.
The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter, helping erase a loss of 171 billion kroner in January-March that was attributed to a volatile stock market.
The Government Pension Fund Global, which saw its total value swell to 8.33 trillion kroner by the end of June, manages the country’s oil revenues in order to finance Norway’s generous welfare state when its oil and gas wells run dry.
But Norway’s central bank, which runs the fund, said geopolitical and trade tensions presented a risk.
“It’s fair to say that increased trade barriers or even trade wars will not be beneficial for the fund as a long-term global investor,” Trond Grande, the deputy chief of Norges Bank Investment Management, told reporters.
Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China. Accusing Beijing of unfair competition, the US administration is considering slapping a new round of levies worth $200 billion on Chinese goods.
Talks between the two slated for Wednesday and Thursday aimed at resolving the dispute have however eased concerns somewhat.
Following US-Turkey tensions that sent the Turkish lira and the Istanbul stock market tumbling, the Norwegian fund said its assets there were worth less than the 23 billion kroner they were at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve seen the market rise for a long time, that there are different political and geopolitical events in the world that can affect the market, and we have to be prepared for the fact that (the value of) the fund can go down a lot,” Grande concluded.
The fund’s strong second quarter was attributed primarily to its share portfolio, which accounts for 66.8 percent of its investments and which rose by 2.7 percent.
Real estate holdings, which account for 2.6 percent of its holdings, rose by 1.9 percent, while bond investments, which represent 30.6 percent, remained flat.
Faced with falling oil revenues in recent years, the Norwegian government has been tapping the fund to finance public spending since 2015. But with oil prices recovering, the fund registered its first inflow in three years in June.