Category Archives: World Business

Trade and Commerce.

E.U Ambassadors to approve embargo on Russian oil next week.

Indications emerged Friday that the European Union may turn to Nigeria and other oil-producing countries for oil supply amid moves to approve an embargo on Russian oil.

The New York Times reported Friday that the oil embargo would be phased in over a period of some months.

Quoting EU officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, the newspaper said the new resolution is expected to be approved by E.U. ambassadors next week as part of plans to avoid delays.

The EU resolution comes against the background of new assessments that the Russian military’s eastern offensive was faltering amid plans to provide Ukraine with more weapons and support.

With about one quarter of the Europe’s yearly oil needs coming from Russia, European countries rely heavily on Russia for supply. But officials said the union is looking elsewhere for oil supply.

As the oil embargo is phased in, officials said the bloc would seek to make up the shortfall by increasing imports from other sources, like Persian Gulf countries, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, the New York Times reported Friday, quoting officials.

Since the invasion of Ukraine earlier in thee year, the EU embargo If enacted will be the biggest and most important new step in the E.U.’s sixth package of sanctions against Russia.

The new sanctions will also be directed at Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, according to officials who spoke to the New York Times.

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DBS Group Holdings and OCBC both reported 10 per cent falls in their quarterly profits on Friday (Apr 29).

Singapore lenders DBS Group Holdings and OCBC both reported 10 per cent falls in their quarterly profits on Friday (Apr 29), accompanied by declines in revenues as their wealth management businesses were affected by weaker markets.

Net profit at DBS, Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, fell to S$1.8 billion (US$1.3 billion) in January-March from a record S$2 billion a year earlier but came in above an average estimate of S$1.63 billion from six analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

Second-ranked OCBC posted a quarterly profit of S$1.36 billion, down from S$1.5 billion a year earlier, but this also came above an average estimate of S$1.2 billion from six analysts, according to Refinitiv data. 

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BMW said during its annual press briefing in mid-March that it expected the chip shortage to last throughout 2022.

A shortage of semiconductors is likely to remain a problem for the auto industry into 2023, German carmaker BMW’s Chief Executive Oliver Zipse said in an interview with newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) published on Monday (Apr 11).

We are still in the height of the chip shortage, Zipse was quoted as saying. I expect us to start seeing improvements at the latest next year, but we will still have to deal with a fundamental shortage in 2023.

BMW said during its annual press briefing in mid-March that it expected the chip shortage to last throughout 2022.

Zipse’s comments echoed similar statements by Volkswagen’s CFO Arno Antlitz on Saturday who said he expected that the supply of chips would not be able to meet demand until 2024.

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Japanese firms reported softer optimism for the 12 months ahead in March.

Japan’s manufacturing activity sped up in March from the prior month as a reduction in COVID-19 cases in the country helped lift orders and production, however, surging input prices and Russia’s war in Ukraine clouded the outlook.

Activity in the services sector, which has been battered by the pandemic, contracted for the third straight month, but the pace of decline slowed.

The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 53.2 in March from a final 52.7 in the previous month. A reading below 50 indicates contraction from the previous month, above 50 expansion.

The survey showed output rebounded from a contraction in the previous month, while activity in new orders posted an expansion, albeit at its slowest rate in six months.

The conflict in Ukraine and soaring oil and raw material prices hurt momentum for the world’s third-largest economy, even as it saw new coronavirus infections caused by the Omicron variant slow.

Firms across the Japanese private sector reported a further intensification of price pressures, said Usamah Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

Input prices rose at the fastest pace since August 2008 with businesses attributing the rise to surging raw material prices, notably energy, oil and semiconductors amid deteriorating supplier performance.

The au Jibun Bank Flash Services PMI Index rose to a seasonally adjusted 48.7 from February’s final 44.2 to mark the third straight month of contraction.

The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Composite PMI, which is calculated by using both manufacturing and services, also shrank for a third straight month, rising to 49.3 from last month’s final of 45.8.

Japanese firms reported softer optimism for the 12 months ahead in March, Bhatti said.

Positive sentiment was the weakest for 14 months amid concerns regarding the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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American Hertz global add Tesla Model Y to it fleet of cars.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc has added Tesla Inc’s electric mid-size SUV Model Y to its electric vehicle fleet, according to the car rental firm’s website.

The development comes months after Hertz announced its order to purchase 100,000 electric cars from Tesla, primarily the EV maker’s Model 3 vehicles.

News of the massive deal had triggered a meteoric rally in Tesla’s stock, helping it surpass $1 trillion in market value. However, Tesla boss Elon Musk later said the company had not signed a contract with Hertz.

Model Y was added to Hertz’s fleet this week, news website Electrek reported on Wednesday.

Last month, Florida-based Hertz named former Goldman Sachs finance chief Stephen Scherr as its top boss, replacing interim CEO Mark Fields.

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Russia hit back, considering halting the sale of uranium to the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back the US for the crippling sanctions placed by Joe Biden on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, the US dealt a major blow to Moscow by announcing a ban on Russian oil and gas, the country’s largest export. Now as a response to the embargo, Russia is considering halting the sale of uranium to the US.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that banning the supply of uranium to the US as a response to the energy sanctions is currently being studied, TASS reports.

When he was asked about how he felt about imposing a ban on the export of uranium, Mr Novak said: This issue is also on the agenda, it is being studied.

Uranium, which is a key component of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, is another energy resource mined in Russia.

The US energy industry relies on Moscow and its key allies Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for roughly half of the uranium powering its nuclear power plants.

Mr Biden has faced intense lobbying from the nuclear industry to continue buying Russian uranium despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has known uranium deposits of 500,000 tonnes and accounts for 9 percent of the world’s uranium production, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Uranium is primarily used for its nuclear properties, both as a fuel for power plants and for nuclear weapons.

Earlier this month, at a White House address, Mr Biden said: ‘We’re banning all imports of Russian gas, oil and energy.

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Belarus is set to become the first country in Europe to aquire defence products from Nigeria.

Nigerian company Proforce has reportedly signed a contract with Belarus for the delivery of defense equipment, possibly, armored vehicles.

“With the Proforce deal stamped, Belarus is set to become the first country in Europe to aquire defence products from Nigeria.

With this contract, Belarus became the first European country to buy Nigerian defense products.

Details of when the contract was signed and with which party in Belarus has not been revealed by Proforce or the Nigerian or Belarussian governments.

Proforce introduced Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in December 2021. The Proforce PF Viper is a FAST ATTACK Infantry Assault Vehicle (IAV).

It is a lighter and maneuverable version of a MRAP, designed to provide ballistic protection, ricocheting capability and mobility.

The PROFORCE PF Viper is integrated with a fully independent suspension system which provides controlled mobility for all terrain.

The monocoque body structure and optimized sidewall angles are designed for increasing the ballistic protection of the vehicle.

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The Chinese people bank approve establishment of financial holding group.

China’s central bank said on Thursday that it approved the establishment of two financial holding companies in a move to enhance regulations and prevent contagious risks in the financial sector.

The People’s of Bank approved the establishment of China CITIC Financial Holdings and Beijing municipal government-owned Beijing Financial Holdings Group, it said in a statement.

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