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Business

Dateline
July 25, 2014 14:47
AFP Photo / John D. Mchugh
​EU sanctions on Russian finance could cripple London
The EU plans to widen economic sanctions against Russia, but London, already on rocky ground with the EU, would be hit the hardest if tougher restrictions are slapped on Russia’s big state banks. 36
Valves of gas pipe-line are seen not far from Kiev. (AFP Photo / Andrey Sinitsin) Ukraine votes to keep Western companies out of gas industry
Ukraine’s parliament has rejected allowing EU and US companies to buy up to 49 percent of oil and gas company Naftogaz, and also said they were against liquidating the national energy monopoly. 48
Sales clerks of fast food chain McDonald's serve meals to customers at a Tokyo shop. (AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno) ​McDonald’s Japan halts Chinese supplies after rotten meat scandal
McDonald’s restaurants in Japan have stopped selling products that use chicken sourced in China. It comes after a scandal involving a Shanghai factory which supplied expired meat products to global fast food chains. 13
Bulgaria's Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski (Reuters / Stoyan Nenov) Bulgaria's Prime Minister resigns as banking crisis unfolds
The Prime Minister of Bulgaria Plamen Oresharski has resigned his post. His decision came after accusations by opponents of failing to cope with the worst banking crisis in 17 years. 24

Business snaps

4 foreign companies interested in construction of light metro in Moscow Region 

Four foreign companies are ready to take part in the construction of a light metro in the Moscow Region, ITAR-TASS reported, citing regional officials. The companies include Germany’s Siemens, France’s Alstom, China Railway Construction and Italy’s Finmeccanica. It was earlier reported that Siemens is not only ready to participate in developing the project, but also to finance it.

Consumer sentiment in Germany at highest level in 8 years 

German consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in nearly eight years, MarketWatch said, citing survey data from the Nuremberg-based GfK institute published on Friday. The consumer-sentiment indicator for August is due to rise to 9.0 versus July's 8.9. The mood is exceedingly robust in July, and the consumer climate “not only remained at an extremely good level, but even improved slightly,” the institute said.

Rosneft posts strong Q2 financial results amid sanctions 

Russia’s largest oil producer’s profit surged almost eightfold, beating estimates, to 171 billion rubles ($4.87 billion) in the three months to June 30, Bloomberg reported. Oil and gas sales rose 24 percent to 757 billion rubles, driving total revenue up 22 percent to 1.44 trillion rubles. Daily hydrocarbon production increased by 4.6 percent in Q2, EBITDA increased by 41 percent, net income increased 5 times, with net debt being reduced by 3,653 billion rubles, according to energyland.info. The company is preparing a plan to limit the impact of US-led sanctions.

Moving processing to Russia could cost Visa $50mn  

Moving processing to Russia could cost Visa $50 million, RBC reported, citing the payment company’s statement in a conference call on its quarterly report. The move is required by new Russian legislation and is needed if a company wants to avoid paying a substantial security deposit. Visa is in talks with Russian authorities and banks on a solution.

Exxon plans expansion of Beaumont refinery in Texas – reports 

Exxon Mobil is weighing up a possible multibillion-dollar expansion of its 344,600 barrel-per-day Beaumont, Texas, refinery, Reuters said. The move could make it the nation’s largest by 2020, industry sources say. The company has also reportedly made plans to replace four coking unit drums in 2015 and add two new coker drums in 2017 at the Beaumont refinery. The biggest refinery is Motiva Enterprises LLC in Port Arthur, Texas. The plant has a 600,250 bpd capacity.

EU, Ukraine set up consultative group on gas issues 

The EU and Ukraine have agreed to set up a consultative group on gas, ITAR-TASS quoted Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan as saying on Thursday. He made the statement after talks with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. The group will include two representatives from the European Commission and two from Ukraine. The minister reiterated that Ukraine is ready to receive EU monitors at gas measuring stations.

Russian central bank hikes key interest rate to 8% 

Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points on Friday in an unexpected move, saying it could raise rates further, Reuters said. The decision brings the central policy rate, the one-week minimum auction repo rate to 8.0 percent, after cumulative rate hikes of 200 basis points in March and April. The bank cited concerns about high inflation and the current geopolitical tensions.

Reuters / Joe Raedle ​68 percent of Britons ‘tricked’ by small print financial fees - poll
More than half of Britons say they have been hit with extra fees on their credit cards, bank accounts mortgage or insurance in the last year. Two thirds say lenders and insurers are tricking them with dubious and difficult to compare headline prices. 4
Reuters/Todd Korol $200 per barrel oil if Russia sanctions escalate- Oxford Economics
If the standoff with Russia and the West reaches a point where the EU has to completely cut trade with Russia, oil prices could soar above $200 per barrel, sparking a global economic crisis, says Adam Slater, senior economist at Oxford Economics. 59
A front of the atrium of the European Union Council Building (AFP Photo) EU adds 15 people, 18 firms to sanctions list over Ukraine crisis
The European Commission added new names and companies to its blacklist on Thursday over the Ukrainian crisis, according to diplomats. However, 'stage three' economic sanctions against Russia have again fallen flat. 46
The sun sets on the entrance sign at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California (Reuters / Beck Diefenbach) Facebook proves Fed wrong with quarterly profits up 138%
Facebook showed a 138 percent increase in Q2 profit compared to 2013 sending shares to a record high of $75.13 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The results refute the boss of the Fed Janet Yellen’s concerns about overvaluation of social media stocks. 4
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen in Washington, DC (AFP Photo) US growth shakiest since Great Recession - IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its growth expectations for the world’s biggest economy to 1.7 percent for the year, after a harsh winter crushed growth in the first quarter. 20
Reuters/Benoit Tessier Sky not the limit: AirBaltic first airline to accept bitcoin
Bitcoin’s latest expansion is into commercial airspace after Latvian airline airBaltic announced customers can start using bitcoins to pay for tickets. AirBaltic is the first airline to offer a bitcoin payment option. 3

Shows

Boom Bust Boom Bust
  Steve Hanke on effectiveness of economic sanctions and Murdoch wants Time Warner

Our lead story: Rupert Murdoch wants Time Warner and he’s selling off assets to get it! On Friday, 21st...

July 26, 2014 03:30
Venture Capital Venture Capital
  Sanctioned hit (E49)

Global financial markets shake as the U.S. targets Russia's energy and finance sectors. Also, the BRICS group of...

July 20, 2014 08:15

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