UK regulator investigating Carillion statements

Carillion shares have lost 90 percent of their value since the profit warning on July 10. The building and services company’s market capitalization stands at about £70 million, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Reuters)
Updated 03 January 2018

UK regulator investigating Carillion statements

BENGALURU: Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating statements made by Carillion over seven months up to and including a profit warning last July, the struggling building and services company said on Wednesday.
Carillion, which is involved in major infrastructure projects for the British and other governments, has been fighting for its survival after costly contract delays and a downturn in new business. In November it issued its third profit warning in five months.
The investigation by the markets watchdog concerns “the timeliness and content of announcements made by Carillion between December 7, 2016 and July 10, 2017,” the company said in a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange.
Carillion said it was cooperating fully with the FCA.
In the period under review, Carillion released a full-year trading update, its 2016 results, an annual general meeting statement and a 2017 first-half trading update. Its shares fell more than 54 percent over the seven months.
The company announced on July 10 it would undertake a review of its business, suspended its dividend, announced divestments and said it expected overall performance to be below management’s previous expectations.
Carillion also said then that Richard Howson would step down as chief executive and named Keith Cochrane as interim CEO.
Analysts estimate the company is also grappling with debt including provisions, pensions and accounts payable of about £1.5 billion (SR7.55 billion).
Carillion shares have lost 90 percent of their value since the profit warning on July 10. Carillion’s market capitalization stands at about £70 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Carillion and FCA declined to provide any additional details on the investigation.
Carillion last month moved forward the start date for new chief executive Andrew Davies forward to January 22 from April 2.
Davies, head of family-owned builder Wates Group and formerly with defense company BAE Systems, will replace interim CEO Cochrane.


Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

Updated 21 November 2019

Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

  • Moscow not aiming to be world’s No.1 crude producer, Putin tells annual investment forum

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have “a common goal” of keeping the oil market balanced and predictable, and Moscow will continue cooperation under the global supply curbs deal.

OPEC meets on Dec. 5 in Vienna, followed by talks with a group of other exporters, including Russia, known as OPEC+.

“Our (common with OPEC) goal is for the market to be balanced, acceptable for producers and consumers and the most important — and I want to underline this — predictable,” Putin told a forum on Wednesday.

In October, Russia cut its oil output to 11.23 million barrels per day (bpd) from 11.25 million bpd in September but it was still higher than a 11.17-11.18 million bpd cap set for Moscow under the existing global deal. Putin told the forum that Russia’s oil production was growing slightly despite the supply curbs deal but Moscow was not aiming to be the world’s No. 1 crude producer. Currently, the US is the world’s top oil producer.

“Russia has a serious impact on the global energy market but the most impact we achieve (is) when working along with other key producers,” he said. “There was a moment not that long ago when Russia was the world’s top oil producer — this is not our goal.”

Russia plans to produce between 556 million and 560 million tons of oil this year (11.17-11.25 million bpd), Energy Minister Alexander Novak said separately on Wednesday, depending on the volume of gas condensate produced during cold months.

Russia will aim to stick to its commitments under the deal in November, Novak told reporters.

Russia includes gas condensate — a side product also known as a “light oil” produced when companies extract natural gas — into its overall oil production statistics, which some other oil producing countries do not do.

As Russia is gradually increasing liquefied natural gas production (LNG), the share of gas condensate it is producing is also growing. Gas condensate now accounts for around 6 percent of Russian oil production.

Novak told reporters that in winter, Russia traditionally produces more gas condensate as it is launching new gas fields in the freezing temperatures.

“We believe that gas condensate should not be taken into account (of overall oil production statistics), as this is an absolutely different area related to gas production and gas supplies,” he said.

Three sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Russia is unlikely to agree to deepen cuts in oil output at a meeting with fellow exporters next month, but could commit to extend existing curbs to support Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, Novak declined to say that Russia’s position would be at upcoming OPEC+ meeting. Reuters uses a conversion rate of 7.33 barrels per ton of oil.