- Nissan sacks Detained Chairman Ghosn
Nissan Motor Co’s board voted unanimously to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn on Thursday after the shock arrest of the industry heavyweight, ushering in a period of uncertainty for its 19-year alliance with Renault.
The Japanese firm said its board also voted to remove Greg Kelly – who like Ghosn has been arrested after allegations of financial misconduct – from his post as representative director.
The moves, which leaves the chairman position vacant, came despite Renault urging Nissan’s board before its meeting to delay removing Ghosn, sources close to the matter told Reuters.
The Franco-Japanese alliance, enlarged in 2016 to include Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T), has been rattled to its core by the arrest of the 64-year-old Ghosn in Japan on Monday.
Ghosn had shaped the alliance and was pushing for a deeper tie-up, including potentially a full Renault-Nissan merger at the French government’s urging, despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm.
Japanese prosecutors said Ghosn and Kelly conspired to understate Ghosn’s compensation at Nissan over five years from 2010, saying it was about half the actual 10 billion yen ($88 million).
Shin Kukimoto, deputy public prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, said on Thursday that court approval was received a day earlier to detain Ghosn for 10 days but he could not comment on whether he had admitted to the allegations.
Nissan executives have five seats on the nine-member board, Renault loyalists have two seats and the remaining two are held by unaffiliated outside directors, a former bureaucrat and a race driver.
With Ghosn and Kelly still in detention, neither of the men were able to vote or defend themselves at the meeting.
Renault has refrained from firing Ghosn as chairman and CEO.
But Mitsubishi Motors plans to remove Ghosn from his post of chairman at a board meeting next week.
Amid growing uncertainty over the future of the alliance, Japan’s industry minister and France’s finance minister are due to meet in Paris on Thursday to seek ways to stabilize it.
“For me, the future of the alliance is the bigger deal,” a senior Nissan official told reporters on Wednesday, when asked about Ghosn’s arrest. “It’s obvious that in this age, we need to do things together. To part would be impossible.”
Nissan said on Monday an internal investigation triggered by a tip-off from an informant had revealed that Ghosn engaged in wrongdoing including personal use of company money and under-reporting of his earnings for years.
Ghosn and Kelly have not commented on the accusations and Reuters has not been able to reach them.
Prosecutors said Ghosn is being held at the Tokyo detention centre, which is known for its austere regime, a far cry from his usual luxury lifestyle, including restrictions on sleeping during the day and a requirement to wear a mask when meeting with visitors to prevent the spread of disease.
The detention house “is pretty cold at this of time year,” internet entrepreneur and convicted fraudster Takufumi Horie told his followers on Twitter.
Motonari Otsuru, a former public prosecutor who is known for overseeing the case against Horie, was hired as Ghosn’s lawyer, NHK reported. Otsuru’s law office declined to confirm that he represented Ghosn and said no one was available for comment.
The Asahi Shimbun said on Thursday, quoting unnamed sources, that Ghosn had given Kelly orders by email to make false statements on his remuneration. Tokyo prosecutors likely seized the related emails and may use them as evidence, the report said.
The Yomiuri, Japan’s biggest-circulation daily, cited unnamed sources as saying Nissan’s internal investigation found that Ghosn had since 2002 instructed that about $100,000 a year be paid to his elder sister as remuneration for a non-existent advisory role.
The paper said Nissan had found through the investigation that Ghosn’s sister had in fact been living in and managing a luxury apartment in Rio de Janeiro that the company had bought through an overseas subsidiary, but had done no advisory work for the car maker. Nissan has shared the information with prosecutors, Yomiuri said.
Shares in Nissan closed up 0.8 percent, in line with a broader market .N225, ahead of the board meeting.
Oil Prices Recover Slightly Amidst Demand Concerns in U.S. and China
Oil Prices Continue Slide as Market Skepticism Grows Over OPEC+ Cuts
Global oil markets witnessed a continued decline on Wednesday as investors assessed the impact of extended OPEC+ cuts against a backdrop of diminishing demand prospects in China.
Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian crude oil, declined by 63 cents to $76.57 a barrel while U.S. WTI crude oil lost 58 cents to $71.74 a barrel.
Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, agreed to maintain voluntary output cuts of approximately 2.2 million barrels per day through the first quarter of 2024.
Despite this effort to tighten supply, market sentiment remains unresponsive.
“The decision to further reduce output from January failed to stimulate the market, and the recent, seemingly coordinated, assurances from Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend the constraints beyond 1Q 2024 or even deepen the cuts if needed have also fallen to deaf ears,” noted PVM analyst Tamas Varga.
Adding to the unease, Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut its official selling price (OSP) for flagship Arab Light to Asia in January for the first time in seven months raises concerns about the struggling demand for oil.
Amid the market turmoil, concerns over China’s economic health cast a shadow, potentially limiting fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer.
Moody’s recent decision to lower China’s A1 rating outlook from stable to negative further contributes to the apprehension.
Analysts will closely watch China’s preliminary trade data, including crude oil import figures, set to be released on Thursday.
The outcome will provide insights into the trajectory of China’s refinery runs, with expectations leaning towards a decline in November.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia has added an extra layer of complexity to the oil market dynamics.
Discussions centered around the cooperation between Russia, the UAE, and OPEC+ in major oil and gas projects, highlighting the intricate geopolitical factors influencing oil prices.
U.S. Crude Production Hits Another Record, Posing Challenges for OPEC
U.S. crude oil production reached a new record in September, surging by 224,000 barrels per day to 13.24 million barrels per day.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a consecutive monthly increase, adding 342,000 barrels per day over the previous three months, marking an annualized growth rate of 11%.
The surge in domestic production has led to a buildup of crude inventories and a softening of prices, challenging OPEC⁺ efforts to stabilize the market.
Despite a decrease in the number of active drilling rigs over the past year, U.S. production continues to rise.
This growth is attributed to enhanced drilling efficiency, with producers focusing on promising sites and drilling longer horizontal well sections to maximize contact with oil-bearing rock.
While OPEC⁺ production cuts have stabilized prices at relatively high levels, U.S. producers are benefiting from this stability.
The current strategy seems to embrace non-OPEC non-shale (NONS) producers, similar to how North Sea producers did in the 1980s.
Saudi Arabia, along with its OPEC⁺ partners, is resuming its role as a swing producer, balancing the market by adjusting its output.
Despite OPEC’s inability to formally collaborate with U.S. shale producers due to antitrust laws, efforts are made to include other NONS producers like Brazil in the coordination system.
This outreach aligns with the historical pattern of embracing rival producers to maintain control over a significant share of global production.
In contrast, U.S. gas production hit a seasonal record high in September, reaching 3,126 billion cubic feet.
However, unlike crude, there are signs that gas production growth is slowing due to very low prices and the absence of a swing producer.
Gas production increased by only 1.8% in September 2023 compared to the same month the previous year.
While the gas market is in the process of rebalancing, excess inventories may persist, keeping prices low.
The impact of a strengthening El Niño in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean could further influence temperatures and reduce nationwide heating demand, impacting gas prices in the coming months.
Flutterwave Expands Financial Frontier: Acquires Money Transfer Licenses for 13 U.S. States
Unity Bank MD Advocates Policy Actions to Stem Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria
Oil Prices Recover Slightly Amidst Demand Concerns in U.S. and China
Business3 weeks ago
Nigeria’s Logistics Sector Holds Untapped N3tn Potential, Says Courier and Logistics Management Institute
Black Market Rate3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 14th November 2023
News4 weeks ago
Millionaire Powerplay Limited Unveils Unprecedented Odds in American Lotto’s Instant Cashless Payout
Black Market Rate4 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 9th November 2023
Forex3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 16th November 2023
Forex4 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 10th November 2023
Black Market Rate2 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 21st November 2023
Telecommunications3 weeks ago
Airtel Africa Announces Interim Dividend Amidst Robust Half-Year Performance