EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap

EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap
The the body of a car is seen at the assembly line for the VW ID 3 electric car of German carmaker Volkswagen in Dresden. (AFP)
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Updated 08 July 2021

EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap

EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap
  • Sources in Brussels expect the commission’s plan, part of a climate climate strategy, to foresee an end to new registrations of petrol engines from 2035

BRUSSELS: Europe’s prestigious carmakers lead the world in perfecting the internal combustion engine — but the days of the petrol motor are numbered, and the continent is changing gear.
On Wednesday next week, the European Commission will unveil its plan to reduce carbon emissions from new vehicles to zero within the next decade, to fight climate change.
The EU plans to be carbon neutral by 2050, but petrol and diesel cars remains the continent’s main mode of transport and the pride of its globally admired marques.
Sources in Brussels expect the commission’s plan, part of a climate climate strategy, to foresee an end to new registrations of gas guzzlers from 2035.
Europe’s existing emissions limit of less than 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer was to have been reduced by 37.5 percent in 2030.
Exact figures are still under discussion, but Brussels is now expected to seek a 60 percent reduction by 2030 and a 100 percent reduction just five years later in 2035.
The economic damage the coronavirus pandemic has damaged the road vehicle market as a whole, but electric cars have been an exception, with growth accelerating.
Battery-powered cars represented eight percent of new registrations in western Europe in the first five months of this year, with 356,000 new vehicles.
This, noted analyst Matthias Schmidt, represents more than in the whole of 2019.
The impending new regulations will increase this trend, as they will not only spell doom for classic petrol and diesel motors but effectively force out hybrid and hybrid-rechargeable models.
These had once been seen as a transitional technology, a key product for an industry that boasts of employing 14.6 million workers in Europe.
The car lobby is resigned to going along with the changeover, but wants help from Europe, in particular in terms of developing a network of recharging points for battery cars.
“Under the right conditions, we are open to even higher CO2 reduction targets in 2030,” said Oliver Zipse, president of the carmakers’ association ACEA and chief executive of BMW.
The industry is divided about the best way forward, with some executives warning too quick a transition will drive up prices and favor Chinese competitors, which have an advance in battery technology.
But Europe’s giant, Volkswagen, which represents one sale in four on the continent, has followed US champion Tesla in backing an all-electric future.
In 2015, the firm was at the heart of a scandal over faked emissions tests on diesel motors, and is keen to restore its image with the public and regulators.
“There is a huge conflict going on at ACEA level,” market analyst Schmidt explained.
“Volkswagen was forced to go early into electric vehicles because of Dieselgate, to improve their image. they have made huge investments and now they have got the products ready to meet CO2 legislation.
“They are in a perfect position to gain market share, and they will be happy to see others go to the wall.”
Volkswagen already plans to stop selling vehicle with internal combustion engines between 2033 and 2035.
“In general a car remains on the road for 15 years. If we want transport to be carbon free by 2050, we need the last combustion-driven car to be sold by 2035 at the latest,” said Diane Strauss, of pressure group Transport and Environment.
The NGO’s latest report, published in June, gives Volkswagen and Volvo good marks for their preparations, with Renault and Hyundai a little behind them.
But BMW, Daimler (which owns the Mercedes brand), Stellantis (Peugeot, Citrion and Fiat) and Toyota are seen as lacking ambition and remaining too wed to hybrids.
MEP Pascal Canfin, chair of the environment committee in the European Parliament, said the 2035 target date is a good compromise.
He said 2030 would be too soon for industry and workers to adapt, while 2040 would be too late for Europe’s climate goals.
But Canfin is holding out for a fund of “several billion” euros to help fund the transition.


Oil rebounds above $76 on speculation virus fear overrated

Oil rebounds above $76 on speculation virus fear overrated
Updated 30 November 2021

Oil rebounds above $76 on speculation virus fear overrated

Oil rebounds above $76 on speculation virus fear overrated

LONDON: Oil rebounded by more than 5 percent on Monday to above $76 a barrel as some investors viewed Friday’s slump in oil and financial markets as overdone while the world awaits more data on the omicron coronavirus variant.

Brent crude was up $3.66, or 5 percent, at $76.38 a barrel by 1444 GMT, having slid by $9.50 on Friday. US West Texas Intermediate crude was up $4.36, or 6.4%, at $72.51, having tumbled by $10.24 in the previous session.

“We saw some correction as Friday’s plunge in oil prices has been overdone,” said Tatsufumi Okoshi, a senior economist at Nomura Securities.

Friday’s slide, the biggest one-day drop since April 2020, reflected fears that travel bans would hammer demand. The plunge was exacerbated by low liquidity owing to a US holiday and the expected demand hit does not justify such a fall, analysts said.

“The fear factor had its grip on financial markets on Friday,” said Norbert Ruecker of Swiss bank Julius Baer. “Fundamentally, the announced and enacted international air travel constraints cannot explain such a sharp slump.”

A semblance of calm also returned to wider markets on Monday as investors awaited more information about the new variant. European and Wall Street shares rose while safe haven bonds lost ground.

“I can’t help but feel that Friday’s lows were probably the bargain of the year if you were an oil buyer, speculative or physical,” said Jeffrey Halley of brokerage OANDA.


Egypt to issue $604m of treasury bonds

Egypt to issue $604m of treasury bonds
Updated 29 November 2021

Egypt to issue $604m of treasury bonds

Egypt to issue $604m of treasury bonds

CAIRO: The Central Bank of Egypt will issue 9.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($604.3 million) in treasury bonds on Monday to finance the country’s budget deficit.

The T-bonds will be issued in coordination with the Finance Ministry.

In a statement posted on its website, the central bank said the value of the first offering is 8 billion pounds for two years. The value of the second offering is 1 billion pounds for 5 years and the value of the third offering is 500 million pounds for a period of 10 years.

The government borrows through bonds and treasury bills and government banks are the largest purchasers of these financial instruments.

The Ministry of Finance estimated the financing gap for the state’s general budget during 2021/2022 at about 1.06 trillion pounds, compared to 997.733 billion pounds during the last fiscal year, an increase of 6.31 percent, which will be financed through borrowing and issuance of securities.

Egypt had received $2.7 billion from the International Monetary Fund.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt decided to keep the overnight deposit and lending rate and the central bank’s main operation rate unchanged at 8.25 percent, 9.25 percent, and 8.75 percent, respectively.

Last month, the committee announced that the interest rate would be fixed for the seventh time in a row this year.


Saudi Fund for Development signs two agreements with Pakistan worth $4.2 billion

Saudi Fund for Development signs two agreements with Pakistan worth $4.2 billion
Updated 29 November 2021

Saudi Fund for Development signs two agreements with Pakistan worth $4.2 billion

Saudi Fund for Development signs two agreements with Pakistan worth $4.2 billion

RIYADH: The Saudi Fund for Development on Monday signed two agreements worth $4.2 billion with Pakistan. The deals aim to support the Pakistani economy.

The first agreement includes a $ 3 billion deposit to the State Bank of Pakistan to support the country’s foreign currency reserve levels and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease pandemic. The second deal seeks to support Pakistan in financing oil derivatives trade with $1.2 billion.

Related


Thailand plans to boost tourism through bitcoin holders: Crypto wrap

Thailand plans to boost tourism through bitcoin holders: Crypto wrap
Updated 29 November 2021

Thailand plans to boost tourism through bitcoin holders: Crypto wrap

Thailand plans to boost tourism through bitcoin holders: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working with the country’s regulators to make it easier and more convenient for visitors to spend cryptocurrency in the country, Bloomberg reported.

Thailand is laying the groundwork for becoming a positive crypto community with the aim of attracting cryptocurrency holders and promoting tourism in it.

The country is also hoping to recover some of the $80 billion in tourism revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

The plan is already being discussed with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bank of Thailand, and Bitkub Online Co., the largest crypto exchange in the country.

The authority will create a new unit next year to handle the issuance of its crypto tokens, produce a wallet, and build a new tourism ecosystem, according to Bitcoin.com.

However, Thailand does not currently recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

Adoption

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, has revealed that he is buying more Bitcoin and ether in response to the alarming rise he sees in inflation.

Meanwhile, Blockchain protocol Moonlift has unveiled a new name and a new product release as part of a large-scale rebranding initiative.

The blockchain project will be known as MoonLift Capital and will launch a decentralized exchange that will enable token exchange and liquidity mining features, Bitcoin.com reported.

MoonLift is a community-driven project that aims to provide users with passive income using blockchain technology.

The blockchain protocol also provides a one-stop solution for upcoming crypto projects across marketing, fundraising, and community building services.

MoonLift Capital is also backed by numerous partners and advisors. One of the biggest names is the DeFi startup guide LaunchZone.

MoonLift Capital will offer new projects to Launchzone, providing them with a favorable position to launch their tokens via IDO.  

Daily trading

Bitcoin traded higher on Monday rising by 4.75 percent to $56,926 at 6:38 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether traded at $4,313, up 5.80 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.


Oil demand expected to reach pre-pandemic levels despite omicron fears: Aramco CEO

Oil demand expected to reach pre-pandemic levels despite omicron fears: Aramco CEO
Updated 29 November 2021

Oil demand expected to reach pre-pandemic levels despite omicron fears: Aramco CEO

Oil demand expected to reach pre-pandemic levels despite omicron fears: Aramco CEO

Dhahran: Aramco’s CEO is optimistic about oil demand growth next year despite fears over the new COVID-19 variant omicron. 

Oil demand will be over 100 million barrels per day in 2022, reaching pre-COVID19 levels, Amin Nasser told Arab News during a media briefing at the company's headquarter today.

On COVID-19’s new strain, he said that “the markets overreacted,” adding that the impact of omicron on demand cannot be measured without a full medical assessment.  

Nasser’s remarks came during a ceremony in Dhahran to kickoff development of the unconventional gas field Jafurah.