Saudi crude exports fall to 6-month low

Updated 20 June 2016

Saudi crude exports fall to 6-month low

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia cut shipments in April to the lowest level in six months as overseas refineries bought less due to seasonal maintenance and the Kingdom burned more oil at home to power air conditioners.
Shipments dropped to 7.44 million barrels a day from 7.54 million barrels a day in March, and to the lowest since 7.36 million in October, according to data released Monday by the Joint Organizations Data Initiative in Riyadh. Exports also declined for Qatar, whose shipments slid to the lowest since at least 2002, as well as for fellow OPEC members Iraq and Kuwait, the data show.
Oil companies typically shut refineries for maintenance in April and May in preparation for higher summer demand.
Saudi Arabia is planning to boost crude production to 10.5 million barrels a day in the next few months as higher summer temperatures boost demand for electricity needed to cool homes and offices, a person with knowledge of Saudi output policy said in April.
The country’s output was 10.26 million barrels a day in April after reaching a record 10.56 million in June 2015, according to Jodi.
“We have a refinery turnaround season going on,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst, said by phone.
Also, “we had an uptick in local consumption of crude for power,” he said.
Qatar’s oil exports, which fell to 427,000 barrels a day in April from 506,000 barrels in March, were the lowest since JODI started compiling data in January 2002. 
Iraq’s shipments dropped to 3.36 million barrels a day from 3.81 million in March, while Kuwait’s exports declined to 2.03 million in April from 2.2 million, the data show.


Trump advisers urge delisting of US-listed Chinese companies that fail to meet audit standards

Updated 46 min 27 sec ago

Trump advisers urge delisting of US-listed Chinese companies that fail to meet audit standards

  • Growing pressure to crack down on Chinese companies that avail themselves of US capital markets but do not comply with rules
WASHINGTON: Trump administration officials have urged the president to delist Chinese companies that trade on US exchanges and fail to meet US auditing requirements by January 2022, Securities and Exchange Commission and Treasury officials said on Thursday.
The remarks came after President Donald Trump tasked a group of key advisers, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, with drafting a report with recommendations to protect US investors from Chinese companies whose audit documents have long been kept from US regulators.
It also comes amid growing pressure from Congress to crack down on Chinese companies that avail themselves of US capital markets but do not comply with US rules faced by American rivals.
“We are simply leveling the playing field, holding Chinese firms listed in the US to the same standards as everyone else,” a Treasury official told reporters in a briefing call about the report.
The US Senate unanimously passed legislation in May that could prevent some Chinese companies from listing their shares on US exchanges unless they follow standards for US audits and regulations.
Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, who sponsored the bill described the recommendations as “an important first step,” but said that “without the added teeth of our bill, this report alone does not implement the requirements necessary to protect everyday American investors.”
The administration’s recommendations, if implemented via an SEC rulemaking process, would give Chinese companies already listed in the United States until Jan. 1, 2022, to ensure the US auditing watchdog, known as the PCAOB, has access to their audit documents.
They can also provide a “co-audit,” for example, performed by a US parent company of the China-based affiliate tasked with auditing the Chinese firm. However, companies seeking to list in the United States for the first time will need to comply immediately, the officials said.
A State Department official told Reuters the administration plans soon to scrap a 2013 agreement between US and Chinese auditing authorities to set up a process for the PCAOB to seek documents in enforcement cases against Chinese auditors.
China said on Friday that the two countries have “good cooperation” in monitoring publicly listed firms.
“The current situation is that some US monitoring authorities are failing to comply with their obligations, and what they are doing is political manipulation — they are trying to force Chinese companies to delist from US markets,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing.
The PCAOB has long complained of China’s failure to grant requests, giving it scant insight on audits of Chinese firms that trade on US exchanges.
The report also recommends requiring greater disclosure by issuers and registered funds of the risk of investing in China, as well as mandating more due diligence by funds that track indexes and issuing guidance to investment advisers about fiduciary obligations surrounding investments in China.
The moves come amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over China’s handling of the coronavirus and its moves to curb freedoms in Hong Kong, among other issues.