Vaccine hope sends oil price soaring

Vaccine hope sends oil price soaring
Wall Street’s main indexes hit record highs on Monday as the first successful data from a COVID-19 vaccine trial spurred hopes of the economy recovering quickly from a year of pandemic-driven crisis. (AP)
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Updated 10 November 2020

Vaccine hope sends oil price soaring

Vaccine hope sends oil price soaring
  • Crude up 9 percent and global shares surge over new drug to combat COVID-19
  • Saudi energy minister boosts market with hint of extended deal to curb oil supply

DUBAI: Crude oil prices soared on Monday on the twin hopes of a vaccine against COVID-19 and concerted action by the OPEC+ alliance to keep a tight grip on oil supply.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, jumped 9 percent to more than $43 a barrel and stock markets around the world leapt amid hopes of an end to global economic lockdowns.
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said tests on more than 40,000 people indicated a 90 percent effectiveness rate of their new drug. They will pass the final hurdles for a US rollout this month, and could supply up to 50 million doses globally this year and 1.3 billion next year.
“We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help end this global health crisis,” Pfizer chief Albert Bourla said.
Speaking at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman said: “We’re hopeful that a solution to mitigate the virus in the form of a vaccine, and the spread of the vaccine availability, would be the most meaningful mitigator of the situation.”
He also held out the prospect of further action to control oil supply, which has risen recently and forced prices lower.
He gave the first official indication that Saudi Arabia and Russia, the two leading exporters in OPEC+, may alter the current supply deal.
OPEC+ is due to restore 2 million barrels of oil per day to global markets from January, but there has been speculation that it might “tweak” the timing.
“In consultation with our friends, it might be a tweak beyond what the so-called analysts are talking about,” Prince Abdul Aziz said. Some energy experts have predicted that the current level of cuts, 7.7 million barrels per day, could be maintained for a further three months.
“We are keeping flexibility in our heads and looking at the market. I will not predict, but some of those throwing predictions around may be surprised,” the minister said. Oil traders took his statement to mean that the current level of OPEC+ supply could be maintained well into next year.
Prince Abdul Aziz said that without the OPEC+ deal the oil price would be even lower, with new European lockdowns and more Libyan crude than expected coming back on the market.
He said OPEC+ could deal with extra supplies “with resilience” even if Iran were allowed to export oil again with a relaxation of sanctions by Joe Biden, who he congratulated on winning the US presidential election.
There was a need for international collaboration on climate change, the minister said, one of the priorities of the new US administration. “A lot of people see eye to eye with us on the circular carbon economy.”


Deutsche Bank appoints new manager to Riyadh branch

Thamer Saleh Al-Sedais has been appointed general manager of the Riyadh branch of Deutsche Bank. (Supplied)
Thamer Saleh Al-Sedais has been appointed general manager of the Riyadh branch of Deutsche Bank. (Supplied)
Updated 21 January 2021

Deutsche Bank appoints new manager to Riyadh branch

Thamer Saleh Al-Sedais has been appointed general manager of the Riyadh branch of Deutsche Bank. (Supplied)
  • Thamer Saleh Al-Sedais will oversee business activities regulated by the Saudi Central Bank
  • Deutsche Bank is aiming to return to profitability after more than €15 billion ($18.2 billion) in losses over the past five years

JEDDAH: Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, has appointed Thamer Saleh Al-Sedais as general manager of its Riyadh branch.

He will oversee its business activities regulated by the Saudi Central Bank, and will facilitate the ongoing delivery of Deutsche Bank’s products and services to its clients based in the Kingdom. The German lender has operated a branch in the Saudi capital since 2006.

Al-Sedais joined Deutsche Bank Group in Saudi Arabia in 2020 as a director in the wealth management division.

Before joining the bank, he held several senior treasury and wealth management sales positions at the Saudi British Bank and NCB Capital.

He holds a master’s degree in financial economics from California State University in the US.

Deutsche Bank is aiming to return to profitability after more than €15 billion ($18.2 billion) in losses over the past five years.

It announced in December that it plans to cut more costs in order to meet its profitability target for 2022, in addition to leaving some businesses and reducing staff by 18,000, Reuters reported. Deutsche Bank forecasts revenues of €24.4 billion by 2022.

In November 2020, Moody’s removed a negative outlook on the bank’s credit rating, saying it had progressed to a firmer strategic footing.

The improved performance in 2020 was mainly driven by increased sales and trading revenues, which climbed 47 percent in the third quarter, the Financial Times reported. Analysts expect the bank to return to profit in 2021, Reuters reported.