Cameroon state oil refinery declares force majeure

Cameroon state oil refinery declares force majeure
An explosion hit Cameroon’s lone refinery on Friday night, causing serious damage. (Reuters)
Updated 01 June 2019

Cameroon state oil refinery declares force majeure

Cameroon state oil refinery declares force majeure
  • A storage tank exploded overnight, causing a fire that shut down output at its main refinery in Limbe but caused no deaths
  • Cameroon’s Sonara refinery, which is almost entirely state owned apart from a 4 percent stake held by Total, has a capacity of 2.1 million tons of crude a year

DOUALA: Cameroon’s state oil refinery declared force majeure on Saturday, after a storage tank exploded overnight, causing a fire that shut down output at its main refinery in Limbe but caused no deaths.
A letter to its partners seen by Reuters said the fire had “caused a production stoppage at all of our units for a period to be determined.”
Cameroon’s Sonara refinery, which is almost entirely state owned apart from a 4 percent stake held by Total, has a capacity of 2.1 million tons of crude a year. It serves the whole country, so any delay in getting it back up and running has the potential to cause severe fuel shortages.
It is also a major supplier to the region, including Nigeria, Togo and Ghana, with some products also being exported to the US and Europe, according to its website.
A Sonara spokesman declined to comment. On Twitter, the company wrote that “there were no deaths nor injured,” in the blast.
A project has been under way for nearly a decade to try to boost its capacity to 3.5 million tons, but Sonara has struggled to raise the needed finance.


IMF secures pledges worth $1.42bn for Sudan debt relief

IMF secures pledges worth $1.42bn for Sudan debt relief
Updated 11 min 30 sec ago

IMF secures pledges worth $1.42bn for Sudan debt relief

IMF secures pledges worth $1.42bn for Sudan debt relief
  • The pledges will clear Sudan's debts with the IMF
  • Sudan received debt relief from the Paris Club group of creditors in May

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has secured sufficient pledges to clear Sudan’s debt with the lender after 101 member countries promised 992 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR), equivalent to $1.42 billion.

“Today’s financing milestone marks a historic opportunity for Sudan to move toward comprehensive debt relief from the IMF and the international community,” Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement on Tuesday. “The Fund will continue to support Sudan in its recovery from a long period of instability and economic hardship.”

Sudan’s total external debt amounted to $50 billion at the end of 2019, according to the IMF. The country is still working with its creditors to reconcile its debt up to the end of last year, and officials say the final total could be as high as $60 billion, Reuters reported last month.

Sudan owes the Paris Club creditors group about $19 billion, mainly to France, Austria and the US.

In May, several countries agreed to write off Sudan’s debts during the Paris Conference to support Sudan, including $5 billion from France, which also approved a loan of $1.5 billion.


Oil hits more than two-year high on US inventories

Oil hits more than two-year high on US inventories
Updated 17 min 36 sec ago

Oil hits more than two-year high on US inventories

Oil hits more than two-year high on US inventories
  • “The uptrend is regaining momentum,” said Stephen Brennock at oil broker PVM

LONDON: Oil rose above $75 a barrel on Wednesday, reaching its highest since late 2018, after an industry report on US crude inventories reinforced views of a tightening market as travel picks up in Europe and North America.
The American Petroleum Institute reported that crude stocks fell by a bigger than expected 7.2 million barrels, two market sources said. Official inventory figures from the Energy Information Administration are due at 1430 GMT.
Brent crude rose 81 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $75.62 by 0824, having touched its highest since October 2018 at $75.64. US West Texas Intermediate added 49 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $73.34 and is close to its highest since October 2018.
“The uptrend is regaining momentum,” said Stephen Brennock at oil broker PVM. “Overnight, the API set a bullish backdrop.”
Brent has gained more than 45 percent this year, supported by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and as easing coronavirus restrictions boost demand. Some oil industry executives are even talking of crude returning to $100.
“Underlying demand in the physical market means that any corrections lower will remain shallow and short,” said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at brokerage OANDA.
OPEC and allies, collectively known as OPEC+, meet on July 1. They have been discussing a further unwinding of last year’s record output cuts from August but no decision has been made on exact volumes, two OPEC+ sources said on Tuesday.
Global demand is set to rise further in the second half of the year, though OPEC+ also faces the prospect of rising Iranian supply.
A retreat in the US dollar has also helped to prop up oil, making crude less expensive for holders of other currencies.


Dubai’s Meydan to hold talks on $2.6bn debt restructure plan

Dubai’s Meydan to hold talks on $2.6bn debt restructure plan
Updated 54 min 26 sec ago

Dubai’s Meydan to hold talks on $2.6bn debt restructure plan

Dubai’s Meydan to hold talks on $2.6bn debt restructure plan
  • PwC has been appointed to work on a proposal
  • Meydan's total debts amount to about $4 billion

RIYADH: Dubai developer Meydan will meet its creditors next week to discuss a $2.6 billion debt restructuring plan, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been working with the company to put together a proposal, the people said, asking not to be identified for information confidentiality.

Meydan’s total debt amounts to about $4 billion, of which $2.6 billion needs to be restructured, the people said.

Under the plan, the company will ask creditors to extend repayments on that amount for an expected period of 8 to 10 years, they said.

The company also intends to sell assets to raise fresh funds, they added.

Spokespeople for PwC and Meydan declined to comment.


European banks should start merging, says Deutsche Bank’s top Qatari investor

European banks should start merging, says Deutsche Bank’s top Qatari investor
Updated 23 June 2021

European banks should start merging, says Deutsche Bank’s top Qatari investor

European banks should start merging, says Deutsche Bank’s top Qatari investor
  • European banks need the scale to compete with US, Chinese rivals

DOHA: Deutsche Bank AG’s biggest Qatari shareholder urged consolidation in Europe’s financial services industry, so the continent’s lenders can achieve the scale to compete globally, Bloomberg reported.

European lenders should start merging now to confront the growing strength of US and Chinese lenders, the former Qatari prime minister and influential investor Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani said in an interview.

“They have to decide,” he said about Deutsche Bank, “but I’m saying what I think and I believe that mergers are inevitable.”

“Everybody’s waiting to have a better valuation to think about merging, but I believe to merge now is better because the market is being taken by the big banks,” Sheikh Hamad said in an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg.

“If we compare the European banks with the American banks or with the Chinese banks, we would find that they are too small to survive by themselves,” he said.

Sheikh Hamad is one of the German lender’s largest shareholders through an entity called Paramount Services Holdings.

In 2015, he transferred about half his shareholding to Supreme Universal Holdings, controlled by former emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and each entity owns a stake of just over 3 percent in Deutsche Bank.


Dubai repays $500m bond certificates

Dubai repays $500m bond certificates
Updated 23 June 2021

Dubai repays $500m bond certificates

Dubai repays $500m bond certificates
  • Notes matured on June 22

RIYADH: The Government of Dubai, acting through the Department of Finance (DOF), announced that the $500 million Fixed Rate Note issued on 22 June 2011 under its Euro Medium Term Note Programme, reached maturity on 22 June 2021.

Upon maturity, all the notes have been redeemed in full, according to the Dubai Media office statement on Tuesday.

“The Government of Dubai’s ability to fulfill its financial obligations reflects its deep fiscal stability amidst the circumstances imposed by the current global crisis,” said Director General of DOF Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh. “The government’s solvency has allowed it to fulfill its past and current obligations and will continue to enable it to meet all future obligations on time.”

“We have been successful in overcoming the most challenging repercussions of the global pandemic, and have now entered a solid phase of recovery, thanks to the measures taken by the government to ensure rational prioritized spending, under the directives of our leadership,” Al Saleh added.