Nissan files $90m suit against Ghosn

Ghosn spent more than 100 days in detention in Japan after his sudden November 2018 arrest. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 February 2020

Nissan files $90m suit against Ghosn

  • Ghosn faces multiple charges of financial misconduct in Japan
  • Nissan said the damages had been calculated on the basis of the cost to the firm

TOKYO: Japanese car giant Nissan on Wednesday filed a civil lawsuit to reclaim some $90 million from former chairman Carlos Ghosn for what it called “years of his misconduct and fraudulent activity.”
The 65-year-old faces multiple charges of financial misconduct in Japan but fled to Lebanon before he could face trial. He denies any wrongdoing.
Nissan said the damages had been calculated on the basis of the cost to the firm of Ghosn’s “corrupt practices.”
It accused Ghosn of “the use of overseas residential property without paying rent, private use of corporate jets, payments to his sister, payments to his personal lawyer in Lebanon.”
It said the amount was likely to rise and added that the company would also seek to sue Ghosn for “groundless and defamatory remarks” he made when he briefed the media in Lebanon.
Once hailed as a corporate savior for rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy, Ghosn was facing a trial in Japan over a series of alleged crimes, including under-reporting his compensation to the tune of around $85 million.
Ghosn spent more than 100 days in detention in Japan after his sudden November 2018 arrest, but launched an audacious escape plan while out on bail in Tokyo and managed to travel to Lebanon apparently undetected.
He believes Nissan turned on him because executives there were concerned he was moving the firm closer to French partner Renault, part of a three-way alliance with Mitsubishi Motors.
A source close to the executive scoffed at the firm’s latest move.
“Nissan’s games continue. This suit was announced the day before the financial results of the group are published,” said this source, who asked not to be identified.
“We note that after calling for months for damages of 35 billion yen, today Nissan is demanding a lower sum (10 billion yen),” added this source.


OPEC, allied nations extend nearly 10M barrel cut by a month

Updated 46 min 24 sec ago

OPEC, allied nations extend nearly 10M barrel cut by a month

  • The meeting, originally scheduled for next week, was brought forward to Saturday

VIENNA: OPEC and allied nations agreed on Saturday to extend a production cut of nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day through the end of July, hoping to boost energy prices hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ministers of the group and outside nations like Russia met via video conference to adopt the measure, aimed at cutting out the excess production depressing prices as global aviation remains largely grounded due to the pandemic. It represents some 10% of the world's overall supply.
However, danger still lurks for the market. Algerian Oil Minister Mohamed Arkab, the current OPEC president, warned attendees that the global oil inventory would soar to 1.5 billion barrels by the mid-point of this year.
“Despite the progress to date, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels,” Arkab said. “The challenges we face remain daunting.”
That was a message echoed by Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Abdul Aziz bin Salman, who acknowledged “we all have made sacrifices to make it where we are today.” He said he remained shocked by the day in April when US oil futures plunged below zero.


“There are encouraging signs we are over the worst,” he said.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak similarly called April “the worst month in history” for the global oil market.
The decision came in a unanimous vote, Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei of the United Arab Emirates wrote on Twitter. He called it “a courageous decision and a collective effort deserving praise from all participating producing countries.”
OPEC has 13 member states, including Saudi Arabia. The additional countries part of the plus-accord have been led by Russia, with Mexico under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador playing a considerable role at the last minute in the initial agreement.
Crude oil prices have been gaining in recent days, in part on hopes OPEC would continue the cut. International benchmark Brent crude traded Saturday at over $42 a barrel. Brent had crashed below $20 a barrel in April.
The oil market was already oversupplied when Russia and OPEC failed to agree on output cuts in early March. Analysts say Russia refused to back even a moderate cut because it would have only served to help US energy companies that were pumping at full capacity. Stalling would hurt American shale-oil producers and protect market share.
Prices collapsed as the coronavirus and the COVID-19 illness it causes largely halted global travel. That also hurt US shale production, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump. But Trump welcomed the earlier deal, as US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette did on Saturday with the extension.
“I applaud OPEC-plus for reaching an important agreement today which comes at a pivotal time as oil demand continues to recover and economies reopen around the world,” Brouillette wrote on Twitter.
Under a deal reached in April, OPEC and allied countries were to cut nearly 10 million barrels per day until July, then 8 million barrels per day through the end of the year, and 6 million a day for 16 months beginning in 2021.
However, some countries produced beyond their quotas set by the deal. One of them was Iraq, which remains decimated after the yearslong war against the Islamic State group.
On Saturday, Iraq Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in statement that Baghdad had “renewed its full commitment” to the OPEC+ deal.
“Despite the economic and financial circumstances that Iraq is facing, the country remains committed to the agreement," Jihad said.
Analysts had expected OPEC and the other nations to extend the cuts of 10 million barrels per day by one more month, but not longer, since the level of demand is still fluctuating.
“If the demand is great, countries like Russia will want to produce more oil, so they probably won’t want to get locked into a longer-term deal that may not help them,” said Jacques Rousseau, managing director at Clearview Energy Partners.