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Oil Rises to $48 Ahead of OPEC Meeting

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Silhouette of oil platform in sea against moody sky at sunset

Global oil benchmark, Brent crude, rose on Monday to its highest level in a month on rising speculation that major producers may work out ways to support prices in an oversupplied market.

Brent, against which half of the world’s oil is priced, rose by 2.6 per cent to $48.20 per barrel as of 6:05pm Nigerian time.

This came as indication emerged that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries could revive talks on freezing oil output levels when it meets non-OPEC nations next month.

Nigeria’s output hit its lowest in over two decades this year due to attacks on oil sites, and Libya is pumping a fraction of the pre-conflict level – raising the question of what level they should limit supplies at.

While Nigeria supported April’s freeze initiative, Libya declined to join the talks.

OPEC members will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum, which groups producers and consumers, in Algeria on September 26-28.

Top exporter, Saudi Arabia, appears to favour higher prices, although Iran, Iraq and Russia present obstacles to a deal, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabia sharply raised expectations for a global production deal, with its Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, saying the country would work with OPEC and non-OPEC members to help stabilise oil markets.

“The comments by the Saudi energy minister give a positive indication that they are willing to go for a freeze deal but the question remains: on what level?” said an OPEC source from a key Middle Eastern producer.

“Will the freeze be at January levels? And what about Iran? And then there is Nigeria, which has lost a lot of production since January,” the source added.

The Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, was quoted as saying that Russia was consulting with Saudi Arabia and other producers to achieve oil market stability, adding that the door was still open for more discussions on output freeze, if needed.

Saudi Arabia boosted output to 10.67 million barrels per day in July from 10.2 million in January, when the freeze idea first emerged.

Since 2014, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader, has been raising output to drive higher cost producers out of the market and win back share from rivals such as the United States, where output soared on the back of the high oil price of the past decade.

As a result, oil prices collapsed to $27 per barrel in January from as high as $115 in mid-2014, capping output of the US but also hitting hard Saudi Arabia’s budget and resulting in a record fiscal deficit for Riyadh.

A previous attempt to freeze output at January levels to support prices collapsed in April after Saudi Arabia said it wanted all producers, including regional rival Iran, to join the initiative.

Iran had argued that it needed to regain market share lost during years of Western sanctions, which have been only softened in January.

Over the past few months, Iran, OPEC’s third biggest producer, has boosted output close to pre-sanctions levels and has repeatedly signalled it has no plans to join the freeze initiative.

But since the collapse of freeze talks in April, Iran is no longer the only obstacle to the deal.

Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer, which in April was saying it would support the deal, has since agreed with oil majors on new contract terms to develop its massive fields, which will allow output to rise further next year by up to 350,000 bpd.

Nigeria and Libya could present further complicating factors, Reuters quoted delegates as saying.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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IL Bagno Rewards High Performing staff with All-Expense Paid Trip to Dubai

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Victor Nwaogu receiving Ticket from ED Black Pelican

IL Bagno, the leading total interior solutions company in Nigeria, for the world’s leading manufacturers of sanitary fittings, kitchen, tiles, doors, and other interior solutions recently recognised two members of its staff for their high performance and commitment to the success of the organisation.

Bosede Opebiyi and Victor Nwaogu both administration officers at IL Bagno’s Abuja and Lagos office respectively were awarded the IL Bagno excellence award based on a voting process by managers of the organization. They were both presented with a 5 day all-expense paid trip to Dubai and a commendation letter signed by the CEO.

Speaking on the award presentation, Mrs. Adetola Owolabi; Executive Director Black Pelican Group said ‘’as an organisation, we value and reward professionalism and exceptional performance. We voted the winners considered to be the most supportive and representatives of the ethos of hard work, diligence, and professionalism. They both represent the ideals of the company and go over and beyond to support other members of the team to achieve the organisations objectives. Consistent good work never goes unnoticed; I would therefore encourage others to emulate the diligence shown by them’’.

An elated Opebiyi thanked the organization for the kind gesture. ‘’I am proud to be a part of the Black Pelican Group, thank you for recognising my effort, I am motivated to do even more’’.

‘’I am truly humbled by the trust and faith placed in me, I feel compelled to work harder and improve my skills on the job’’ Nwaogu stated.

The debut award will be given twice in a year to deserving staff members voted by managers of The Black Pelican Group.

IL Bagno business is the business unit with the Black pelican Group that provides total interior solutions, it has carved a niche for being the preferred supplier of bathroom and other interior fittings to the most discerning clients and projects. The company recently celebrated its 18th anniversary.

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Appointments

Former Goldman Sachs Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon Joins Flutterwave as New the CTO

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Flutterwave - Investors King

Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, today announced the appointment of former Goldman Sachs’ Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Gurbhej joins at a key time for Flutterwave, following its recently completed Series D funding round, valuing the company at over USD 3 billion, and maintaining its rapid expansion.

As the new CTO, Gurbhej will be responsible for the further development of Flutterwave’s innovative technology platform which currently supports integrations with key technology partners like VISA, Mastercard, Discover Card Networks, and customers like Uber, Flywire, Booking.com etc. He will focus on improving the architecture and infrastructure, as well as providing leadership enabling other engineering and product leaders to create the best solutions that support business growth for customers.

Gurbhej joins Flutterwave from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, where he was the CTO and Head of Lending Engineering. He has extensive experience in enterprise application architecture across financial services and consumer businesses. At Marcus, he was responsible for launching platforms to significantly grow businesses while improving customer experience and established strategic partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to that, Gurbhej was CTO for Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Capital Markets team, responsible for the design, architecture, and build-out of strategic platforms that enabled clients to execute equity and debt product offerings.

Gurbhej is a great supporter of the Developer Community in Africa and admires the work they have done in recent times, building creative solutions at a world-class standard.

In his role as CTO of Africa’s leading technology company, Gurbhej hopes to support the Community to attain higher levels.

Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said: “I look forward to working closely with Gurbhej as we continue to expand rapidly. With the needs of our customers constantly evolving, we remain focused on driving further innovation across the business and continuing to develop our cutting-edge technology platform that simplifies payments and connects the African market with the world. Gurbhej’s experience and deep expertise in developing financial technology platforms will be instrumental in Flutterwave’s further growth.”

Commenting on his appointment, Gurbhej Dhillon said: “I am delighted to be joining the Flutterwave team at such an exciting time for the company. As a leading financial technology company in Africa, Flutterwave is well-positioned to capitalise on the global trends in payment digitisation and continues to drive Africa’s digital transformation, creating further opportunities for customers and merchants alike. It is a very crowded market with lots of new entrants so it is vital that we as a company continually look to innovate our products and services, improve our existing architecture and create endless possibilities for everyone.”

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Merger and Acquisition

Bankman-Fried’s FTX Says no Talks to Acquire Robinhood

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange said it is not in talks to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc, after a report on Monday claimed the exchange was exploring such a deal.

Bloomberg News reported on Monday FTX was discussing internally how to buy the app-based brokerage and that Robinhood had not received a formal takeover approach, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

“There are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood,” Bankman-Fried said in an emailed statement.”We are excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them.”

Robinhood declined to comment. The retail-trading platform’s shares were down 5% in extended trading after jumping over 14% on the report.

Last month, the founder and chief executive of FTX revealed a 7.6% stake in Robinhood but said he did not have any intention of taking control of the retail-trading platform.

Robinhood’s dual-class shares give its founders control of 64% of the voting shares outstanding, making it virtually impossible for takeovers without their support.

The popular trading platform has come under pressure this year as trading volumes ease from 2021’s frenetic pace – when retail investors used it to pump money into shares of so-called meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

That slowdown, along with a sell-off in high-growth technology stocks, has driven a near 50% slump in Robinhood shares this year. The company had a market valuation of nearly $7 billion as of Friday’s closing price.

FTX’s U.S. arm announced in May it would launch a stock trading platform by the end of the summer. Last week, it acquired partner Embedded Financial Technologies for an undisclosed amount, which would add custody, execution and clearing services to its equity trading platform.

FTX and its billionaire founder Bankman-Fried have rescued other players during the crypto market’s recent crash. It provided crypto lender BlockFi with a $250 million revolving credit facility to help the firm avoid a liquidity crunch.

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