Goldman cuts China growth forecasts as power cuts start to bite

Goldman cuts China growth forecasts as power cuts start to bite
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Updated 28 September 2021

Goldman cuts China growth forecasts as power cuts start to bite

Goldman cuts China growth forecasts as power cuts start to bite
  • Nearly 60 percent of the Chinese economy is powered by coal, but supply has been disrupted by the pandemic
  • Goldman Sachs said Tuesday it expects growth to come in at 7.8 percent, down from 8.2 percent

Goldman Sachs Tuesday lowered its annual economic growth forecast for China as nationwide power cuts hit millions of homes and halted production at factories, including some supplying Apple and Tesla.

Goldman Sachs said Tuesday it expects growth to come in at 7.8 percent, down from 8.2 percent, citing power cuts that led heavy industries to cut output, leading to "significant downside pressures".


It is the second bank to downgrade forecasts in as many days.


At least 17 provinces and regions -- accounting for 66 percent of the country's gross domestic product -- have announced some form of power cuts in recent months, mainly targeting heavy industrial users, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.


Nearly 60 percent of the Chinese economy is powered by coal, but supply has been disrupted by the pandemic, put under pressure by tough emissions targets and squeezed by a drop in coal imports amid a trade tiff with Australia.


Earlier this month, coal prices hit a record high, with restrictions imposed on businesses and homes amid the supply crunch.


Still, China's power demand in the first half of the year exceeded pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Energy Administration.

Analysts at Nomura said Monday a surging number of factories had been forced to cease operations due to either government mandates to meet carbon targets or surging prices and coal shortages.


It cut its annual GDP growth forecast to 7.7 percent.

Footage in local media Beijing News showed cars travelling on a busy highway in the city of Shenyang in complete darkness without traffic lights or street lamps.


"Power cuts eight times a day, four days in a row... I'm speechless," wrote one frustrated user from Liaoning.


Another complained that malls were shutting early and a convenience store was using candlelight.
"It's like living in North Korea," they wrote.

Apple supplier Unimicron Technology said factories in two regions were told to stop production from midday Sunday through Thursday, in filings with the Taiwan stock exchange on Monday.


Dozens of other companies, including a parts supplier to carmaker Tesla, were told to halt production this week, according to stock exchange filings.


The northeastern rust belt, with thousands of power-hungry cement kilns and steel smelters, has been among the worst affected.


A factory in northeast Liaoning had to rush 23 workers to hospital due to carbon monoxide poisoning after ventilators suddenly stopped working during a blackout, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

 


Saudi telecom giant 'stc' reports 3.5% jump in net profit in 9 months

Saudi telecom giant 'stc' reports 3.5% jump in net profit in 9 months
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi telecom giant 'stc' reports 3.5% jump in net profit in 9 months

Saudi telecom giant 'stc' reports 3.5% jump in net profit in 9 months

RIYADH: Saudi telecom giant 'stc" said its net profit for the first nine months of 2021 increased by SR295 million or 3.5 percent to SR8.7 billion compared to a year ago.

The company said in a filing that this was the result of the increase in revenues by SR3.6 billion and a decrease in operating expenses by SR627 million due to the decrease in general and administration expenses and selling and marketing expenses.


Nigeria to launch digital currency on Monday, central bank says

Nigeria to launch digital currency on Monday, central bank says
Getty Images
Updated 4 min 25 sec ago

Nigeria to launch digital currency on Monday, central bank says

Nigeria to launch digital currency on Monday, central bank says
  • Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has said the eNaira would operate as a wallet

Nigeria will on Monday launch a digital currency, the eNaira, the central bank said, months after it barred banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has said the eNaira would operate as a wallet against which customers can hold existing funds in their bank account.


"The eNaira therefore marks a major step forward in the evolution of money and the CBN is committed in ensuring that the eNaira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone," the bank said in a statement.


Nigeria has named Barbados-based Bitt Inc as a technical partner in developing the eNaira. 


Saudi Arabia plans to be world’s biggest hydrogen producer

Saudi Arabia plans to be world’s biggest hydrogen producer
Updated 7 min 3 sec ago

Saudi Arabia plans to be world’s biggest hydrogen producer

Saudi Arabia plans to be world’s biggest hydrogen producer

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud said the Kingdom has plans to be the biggest producer of hydrogen in the world.

The comments were made at the Youth Green Summit in Riyadh, which is part of the Saudi Green Initiative.


QatarEnergy signs deal with ExxonMobil Canada on farm-in exploration license

QatarEnergy signs deal with ExxonMobil Canada on farm-in exploration license
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Updated 24 October 2021

QatarEnergy signs deal with ExxonMobil Canada on farm-in exploration license

QatarEnergy signs deal with ExxonMobil Canada on farm-in exploration license
  • The Hampden exploration well activities are planned in deep water, 450 km off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador

QatarEnergy has signed a deal for a 40 percent stake in one of ExxonMobil’s major offshore explorations in Canada, the Qatar state-owned oil and gas firm said on Sunday.


The deal marks QatarEnergy’s first foray into offshore exploration in Canada, the company said in a statement.


The agreement will give QatarEnergy a farm-in exploration license for EL 1165A, currently held by ExxonMobil Canada.


The Hampden exploration well activities are planned in deep water, 450 km off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. ExxonMobil Canada will retain the remaining interest in the exploration.


Over the past two years, Qatar Energy has expanded internationally, gaining stakes in oil and gas projects around the world by signing deals with major energy companies, including ExxonMobil.


Qatar is the world's largest supplier of liquefied natural gas and aims to expand production to 127 million tonnes annually by 2027 from the current 77 million tonnes.


Gazprom could cut gas to Moldova if contract not signed

Gazprom could cut gas to Moldova if contract not signed
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 24 October 2021

Gazprom could cut gas to Moldova if contract not signed

Gazprom could cut gas to Moldova if contract not signed
  • Moldova's contract with Gazprom ran out in September

Moscow's Gazprom could cut Moldova's gas supply if the country does not settle its bill and sign a new contract, the energy giant's top official was quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying.


Moldova declared a 30-day state of emergency on Friday in an effort to secure the ex-Soviet country cheaper natural gas from Europe after Moscow - its traditional supplier - raised prices.


Gazprom's Sergei Kupriyanov said Chisinau owed the company $709 million (610 million euros).


Moldova's contract with Gazprom ran out in September, but Kupriyanov said the pair were able to "meet half way" and extend a contract for October.


"If payment for gas supplies is not fully paid and a contract is not signed from December, then Gazprom will halt gas supplies to Moldova," he told Interfax.


The country of 2.6 million people wedged between Romania and Ukraine gets gas from Russia via its pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria and Ukraine.


Gazprom this month hiked prices more than 40 percent to $790 per thousand cubic metres from $550 - a level Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said was "not justified and not realistic" for Europe's poorest country.


Despite the contract being extended, Moldovan Prime Minster Natalia Gavrilita said on Friday the country was receiving a third less natural gas than usual for October.


"We face a critical situation," she said.


She told parliament Moldova would be seeking supplies from EU countries and thanked Romania and Ukraine for already providing some gas.


The month-long state of emergency, which will last until November 20, gives Moldovan utility company Energocom the powers to secure gas from other countries.


The country's gas shortages come amid skyrocketing gas prices that some in Europe have blamed on Moscow not providing additional supplies to put pressure on the continent.