Saipem CEO says Saudi contracts part of natural gas shift

Saipem shares rose 2.9 percent in Milan on Wednesday, outperforming a 0.8 percent rise in Italy’s blue-chip index. (AFP)
Updated 11 July 2019
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Saipem CEO says Saudi contracts part of natural gas shift

  • Saipem shares rose 2.9 percent in Milan on Wednesday, outperforming a 0.8 percent rise in Italy’s blue-chip index

ROME: Two contracts signed in Saudi Arabia for $3.5 billion by Italy’s oil contractor Saipem are part of a shift in the company’s strategy to focus more on natural gas, Chief Executive Stefano Cao said on Wednesday. Saipem said on Tuesday it won two new contracts from Saudi Aramco for the development of land facilities of the Berri and Marjan gas fields, which are both located in the Arabian Gulf. The gas contracts announced on Tuesday “confirm that this is the fundamental strategy for our company,” Cao said.
Saipem shares rose 2.9 percent in Milan on Wednesday, outperforming a 0.8 percent rise in Italy’s blue-chip index.
“The news is very positive and improves the visibility of our estimates on 2020-2022, in particular for the E&C (Exploration and Construction) onshore division,” broker Equita said.
Stefano Cao met in Milan on Wednesday with Filipe Nyusi, the president of the Republic of Mozambique, where Saipem last month won a $6 billion exploration, procurement and construction contract for the Anadarko Mozambique liquefied natural gas project.
The Saipem CEO said Mozambique, a gas producer, would become one of the most important countries in the company’s portfolio. “In the energy transition (toward renewables) the gas chain will play a fundamental role,” Cao said.


Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by US sanctions

Updated 19 September 2019

Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by US sanctions

  • Jammal Trust Bank is accused of helping to fund the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon
  • The bank has 25 branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Britain

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank has been forced to wind itself down after being hit last month by US sanctions for allegedly helping to fund the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, the bank said on Thursday.
The central bank said the value of the bank’s assets, and its share of the national deposit guarantee body, were “in principle enough to pay all deposits and commitments.”
Jammal Trust Bank denied the US allegations in August after the bank and its subsidiaries were hit with sanctions, accused of helping to fund the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.
“Despite its sound financial situation ... and its full compliance with banking regulations, the (bank) was forced to take the decision to liquidate itself in full coordination with the central bank,” Jammal Trust said in a statement.
The bank has 25 branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Britain, its website says.
It is a relatively small lender, with net assets of 1,600 billion Lebanese pounds ($1 billion) at the end of 2017, according to the annual report on the latest year for which data is available.
Washington has sought to choke off Hezbollah’s funding worldwide, with sanctions among a slew of steps against Tehran since US President Donald Trump withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.