Oil set for biggest weekly loss since March on Iran nuclear talks

Oil set for biggest weekly loss since March on Iran nuclear talks
Iran could add 1 million barrels per day to global supply in H2. (file/Reuters)
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Updated 21 May 2021

Oil set for biggest weekly loss since March on Iran nuclear talks

Oil set for biggest weekly loss since March on Iran nuclear talks
  • Iran's Rouhani says US will lift sanctions

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Friday after three days of losses, but were on track for a weekly fall as investors braced for the return of Iranian crude supplies after officials said Iran and world powers made progress a nuclear deal.
Brent crude futures rose 87 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $65.98 a barrel by 12.35 pm GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate was at $62.90 a barrel, up 96 cents, or 1.6 percent.
The two contracts are on track to fall about 4 percent on the week — their biggest loss since March — after Iran’s president said the United States was ready to lift sanctions on his country’s oil, banking and shipping sectors.
Iran and world powers have been in talks since April on reviving the 2015 deal and the European Union official leading the discussions said on Wednesday he was confident a deal would be reached.
Still, investors remain upbeat about fuel demand recovery this summer as vaccination programs in Europe and the United States would allow more people to travel, although rising cases across parts of Asia are raising concerns.
Option bets on oil prices rising above $100 for the December 2021 Brent contract have jumped after last week’s surprisingly strong US inflation data, with open interest on calls nearly tripling in May, JPMorgan analysts said. The bank’s forecast is for Brent to end 2021 at $74.
To reach $100, demand would need to average above 102.6 million bpd in the third quarter and grow to 103.6 million bpd in the fourth quarter, JPMorgan said, in the absence of any additional OPEC+ supply response.
It expects Iranian crude and condensate production to rise to 3.2 million barrels per day in December, from around 2.8 million bpd in the first quarter.
Barclays expects Brent and WTI oil prices to average $66 a barrel and $62 a barrel, respectively, this year.
It cut demand estimates for the Emerging Markets Asia (ex-China) region, flagging the risk of further downside if the recent surge in infections persisted.
“Extended mobility restrictions in the region might slow the demand recovery somewhat, but seem unlikely to stall it for a sustained period, given largely positive results of vaccination programs worldwide,” it said.


Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009

Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009
Dubai skyline
Updated 16 January 2022

Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009

Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009

Dubai real estate deals were worth approximately 151 billion dirhams ($41.1 billion) in 2021, their highest value since 2009.

The total number of deals last year reached 61,241, the largest number since 2013, according to Al Arabiya.

This value jumped by 110 percent compared to 2020, while the total number of deals increased over the course of 2021 by 74 percent compared to 2020.

Of these deals, ready made properties accounted for 60 percent of total real estate transactions in Dubai in 2021, while the rest was made up of off-plan properties.


Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 

Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 
Updated 16 January 2022

Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 

Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 

A Norwegian clean energy company Is working on what wiuld be the first private issuance of green bonds in Egypt. 

Norway's Scatec plans to issue around $340 million in green bonds, secured by its six solar energy plants in Benban complex that has a production capacity of 390 megawatts, Alarabiya reported citing banking sources. 

This comes amid Egypt’s boom in clean infrastructure projects during the last decade.  

 


China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 

China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 
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Updated 16 January 2022

China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 

China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 
  • German gross domestic product rose by 2.7 percent in 2021 compared to 2020

Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases, China is planning to uplift consumption during the holiday season, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission said.

China will still maintain pandemic control, yet its effect would be mitigated through the fine-tuning of those regulations to each area, Bloomberg reported.

The commission also called on e-commerce vendors and online entertainment channels to introduce more sales promotions during the season.

South Korea Interest Rates

In a bid to combat inflation, the Bank of Korea decided to raise its interest by 0.25 percent to the pre-pandemic level of 1.25 percent.

The bank also signaled that further hikes would take place in the remainder of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The country’s annual inflation rate reached 3.7 percent in December, noticeably above the central bank’s target of 2 percent.

Inflation is set to remain above the 3 percent mark for a while and would average more than 2.5 percent for the full year, the bank’s governor, Lee Ju-yeol, said.

German GDP growth

German gross domestic product rose by 2.7 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, according to first calculations by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).


“Economic development has been largely dependent on the infection rates of Covid-19 and associated preventive measures also in 2021,” said Dr. Georg Thiel, head of the Federal Statistical Office, at the press conference on the 2021 GDP in Wiesbaden. 

“Despite the continuing pandemic situation, more delivery bottlenecks and material shortages, the German economy has managed to recover from the sharp decline last year, even though the economic performance has not yet reached the pre-crisis level agai,” Thiel continued.

Moreover, GDP in 2021 was still 2.0 percent lower than it was in 2019 the year before COVID-19 started.

UK economy

Britain's economy grew 0.9 percent faster than expected in November, before the latest wave of coronavirus infections and restrictions on many businesses, and was 0.7 percent larger than it was in February 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.


“It's amazing to see the size of the economy back to pre-pandemic levels in November – a testament to the grit and determination of the British people,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said.


Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  

Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  
Updated 16 January 2022

Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  

Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  
  • Compared to December 2020, SAMA's net foreign assets fell 2.4 percent

The government’s deposits with the Saudi Central Bank fell by SR74.7 billion ($19.9 billion) during December to reach SR538, preliminary data posted by SAMA revealed.

This change represents the biggest monthly drawdown of government deposits with SAMA since November 2016 when they fell by SR90.3 billion.

At the same time during December 2021, net foreign assets held by the Saudi Central Bank dropped by 2 percent from November to SR1.64 trillion, according to preliminary data.

Compared to December 2020, SAMA's net foreign assets fell 2.4 percent.

In addition, the Kingdom’s monetary base – which is the sum of currency outside banks, cash in vaults and bank deposits with SAMA – edged up by 0.5 percent in December on a month-on-month basis to reach SR356 billion.


Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources

Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources
Updated 16 January 2022

Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources

Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources
  • The companies all declined to comment

US investment firm Sixth Street Partners has emerged as the leading bidder for the power generation unit of Italian energy group Eni and is in advanced talks to buy a minority stake in the business, three sources told Reuters on Friday.

Eni, advised by JPMorgan, is looking to sell a stake of up to 49 percent in Enipower in a deal that could value the business at up to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion), one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

The sale is expected to be wrapped up by the end of the first quarter, the source said.

BlackRock also studied a bid for the asset but a source close to the discussions said the fund's interest had cooled.

The companies all declined to comment.

Enipower, one of Italy's biggest power producers, runs five gas-fired plants and one co-generation plant in Italy with an overall capacity of more than 5 gigawatts.

As concerns about climate change push economies toward a lower carbon future, investing in fossil fuel assets is seen by some as a riskier bet than it used to be.

Eni, which has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, is selling the stake to help fund its shift away from oil and gas into cleaner businesses.

The group has merged its retail and renewable businesses and is planning to list part of the unit this year in what could be one of Italy's biggest IPOs of the year.