Economy

Page: 5

Containers are seen at a port in Huaian
Containers are seen at a port in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China May 5, 2019. Picture taken May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

May 24, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – China can maintain healthy, sustainable economic growth even as it suffers some impact from trade friction with the United States, a senior official from China’s state planner was quoted as saying on Friday.

“China’s healthy, steady and sustainable growth can be maintained in the medium- and long-term,” Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, told state television in an interview.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Writing by Yawen Chen)

Source: OANN

The Vodafone logo is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
The Vodafone logo is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

May 24, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators have extended by two weeks to July 23 their investigation into Vodafone’s $22 billion bid for Liberty Global’s cable networks in Germany and central Europe, according to a filing on the European Commission website.

The EU competition enforcer decline to comment on the reason for the extension. Vodafone, the world’s second-largest mobile operator said discussions with the Commission were ongoing.

Earlier this month, Vodafone offered to grant rival Telefonica Deutschland access to its enlarged high-speed broadband network to allay competition concerns about the deal..

However, rivals and customers have provided negative feedback to the Commission, suggesting Vodafone may need to improve its proposal in order to win regulatory approval for the deal, sources said.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Louise Heavens)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An oil refinery located on a branch of the Druzhba oil pipeline, which moves crude through the pipeline westwards to Europe, is seen near Mozyr
FILE PHOTO: An oil refinery located on a branch of the Druzhba oil pipeline, which moves crude through the pipeline westwards to Europe, is seen near Mozyr, some 300 km (186 miles) southeast of Minsk, September 11, 2013. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Olga Yagova, Agnieszka Barteczko and Olesya Astakhova

MOSCOW/WARSAW (Reuters) – Russia plans to take back around 1 million tonnes of contaminated oil from Belarus, cleaning up the Druzhba export pipeline section leading to Poland and Germany, four industry sources familiar with the plan told Reuters.

An estimated 5 million tonnes of contaminated oil – which is being removed using pipelines, storage, railcars and by the sea – got into in the Druzhba pipeline last month, forcing Russia to stop flows to customers in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany and a number of central European countries.

A month ago, Russia had to stop exports via the Druzhba pipeline to Poland and Germany via the northern branch of the line and to Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in the south. The routes split at the Mozyr refinery in Belarus.

The plan was discussed at talks in Warsaw on Thursday between Russian, Belarussian and European companies. Another roughly 1 million tonnes stuck in Poland and Germany will be left there to be dealt with by the countries, the sources said.

“The Russians are open to agreeing to take back the polluted oil from the Belarus section which has not come to Poland yet, but there is no agreement on compensation,” a source who was attending the Warsaw meeting told Reuters. 

Three other people present at the Warsaw talks or briefed on what was discussed there also said the plan was for Russia to take back the oil from the Belarus section.

“This is a bit under 1 million tonnes. They plan to take it back to Russia,” one of four sources familiar with the plan said.

The plan for contaminated crude in the pipeline further west, in Poland and Germany, is that it will be taken off by local refiners, three of the four sources said.

The Russian energy ministry and Transneft, the Russian state pipeline operator, did not reply to requests from Reuters for comment.

Belarus state energy company Belneftekhim, which manages the country’s two refineries and is part of the talks on the tainted oil issue, declined to comment.

Polish oil refiners PKN Orlen and Lotos as well as pipelines operator PERN were not immediately available to comment.

The tainted oil will be removed from the Belarus section by reversing the flow of crude along that section, sources said.

It remained unclear on where exactly the contaminated crude removed from the Belarus section will be sent or stored by Russia, the four sources said.

A total of around 5 million tonnes could have been contaminated by organic chloride, which is used to boost oil extraction, according to the Belarusian operator of a section of the Druzhba pipeline.

The Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga was affected by the contamination, too. Russia is also exporting oil via other ports on the Baltics, as well in the south and east of the country. These supplies were not affected by the issue.

So far, Russia has managed to remove around 2 million tonnes, using rail, storage tanks and ships, restoring, at least partially, clean flows to the Ust-Luga port and to Slovakia.

Separately from the Warsaw meeting, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and his Belarusian counterpart Igor Lyashenko met in Moscow on Thursday, approving a plan for cleaning up the Druzhba network.

Kozak’s spokesman said after the talks that Russia and Belarus will clean the pipeline all the way through to Belarus’s border with Poland.

Supplies of clean oil to Poland are set to resume no later than in the middle of June, according to the statement after that meeting. The prime ministers of Russia and Belarus are meeting on Friday to discuss the issue.

(Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Gleb Gorodyankin in MOSCOW, Anna Koper in WARSAW and Andrei Makhovsky in MINSK; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Christian Lowe and David Evans)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Health, Labour and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato speaks at a news conference in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Health, Labour and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

May 24, 2019

By Leika Kihara and Yoshifumi Takemoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – The fallout from the U.S.-China trade war on Japan’s economy will be a key factor in deciding whether to proceed with a scheduled sales tax hike this year, a senior Japanese ruling party official said on Friday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said he will go ahead with a twice-delayed increase in the sales tax in October unless the economy is hit by a shock on the scale of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Katsunobu Kato, head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s general council and a close aide of Abe, said such a crisis was hard to predict, and global growth was likely to rebound later this year.

“If the economy remains in a state it is now, the government will proceed with the tax hike as scheduled,” he told Reuters.

But Kato said the government must scrutinize developments in U.S.-China trade talks and their impact on Japan’s economy, warning that it was “unclear” whether the two countries could narrow differences at a summit scheduled to be held on the sidelines of a Group of 20 leaders’ meeting next month.

“The biggest factor to look out for is the U.S.-China trade friction,” Kato said. “Global economic developments change all the time, so we need to watch out for them.”

A recent mixed batch of economic data has kept alive speculation that Abe could put off the increase in the tax rate to 10 percent from 8 percent, despite repeated assurances by senior government officials.

If the higher levy hurts the economy too much, the government can take steps to prop up growth, Kato said, while adding that in terms of policy tools “unfortunately Japan doesn’t have that many options left.”

The Bank of Japan could be called upon to help revive the economy depending on how severe the shock is, though it was up to the central bank to decide what steps it takes, he added.

“Any policy step would come at a cost, so it will be a decision the central bank makes” balancing the merits and demerits, Kato said.

Kato also said there was no change to the government’s endorsement of the BOJ’s efforts to achieve its elusive 2 percent inflation target.

“We’re not in a stage where the government needs to ask the BOJ to drop its 2 percent inflation target,” Kato said.

Years of heavy money printing have failed to drive up inflation to the BOJ’s target. Prolonged easing, instead, has drawn criticism from financial institutions for narrowing margins, raising calls from some lawmakers to drop the target or make it a less rigid one with room for some allowances.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

Office lights are on at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district, London
Office lights are on at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district, London, Britain, January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

May 24, 2019

By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) – Britons could see a 6 billion pound ($7.6 billion) cut in energy bills over five years from 2021, saving the average household 40 pounds per year, under plans to curb what gas and electricity network firms can pay shareholders.

Regulator Ofgem, which introduced a price cap on standard energy bills in January after lawmakers said customers were being overcharged, is now targeting the operators whose network fees make up around a quarter of British household energy bills.

Energy firms are under intense scrutiny, with Britain’s opposition Labour party last week announcing a plan to nationalize the sector if it comes into power.

Ofgem said it plans to cut the amount network firms pay their shareholders, known as the “cost of equity range” by almost 50% for the next regulatory period starting in 2021.

The regulator said the package of measures it proposed could result in savings averaging 40 pounds per customer from 2021.

“Our proposals are on track to deliver a tough, fair settlement that strikes a better deal for consumers,” Ofgem executive director for systems and networks Jonathan Brearley said as the regulator announced its plan on Friday.

(What costs make up a British duel fuel energy bill? https://tmsnrt.rs/2TDnSKs)

Under Ofgem’s framework, energy network operators set out their plans for investment and how much they expect this to cost over the period. Ofgem sets the return the companies can make.

Fixed returns have prompted investors to scoop up network assets. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority bought a 16.7 percent stake of the Scotia Gas Networks business from SSE for 621 million pounds in 2016.

Other investors in Britain’s energy network include National Grid, Iberdrola’s Scottish Power, Australian investment bank Macquarie and Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Group.

National Grid and SSE both said they were disappointed by the equity proposals.

“We believe this is not in the long-term interests of consumers,” National Grid said in a statement.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

Office lights are on at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district, London
Office lights are on at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district, London, Britain, January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

May 24, 2019

By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) – Britons could see a 6 billion pound ($7.6 billion) cut in energy bills over five years from 2021, saving the average household 40 pounds per year, under plans to curb what gas and electricity network firms can pay shareholders.

Regulator Ofgem, which introduced a price cap on standard energy bills in January after lawmakers said customers were being overcharged, is now targeting the operators whose network fees make up around a quarter of British household energy bills.

Energy firms are under intense scrutiny, with Britain’s opposition Labour party last week announcing a plan to nationalize the sector if it comes into power.

Ofgem said it plans to cut the amount network firms pay their shareholders, known as the “cost of equity range” by almost 50% for the next regulatory period starting in 2021.

The regulator said the package of measures it proposed could result in savings averaging 40 pounds per customer from 2021.

“Our proposals are on track to deliver a tough, fair settlement that strikes a better deal for consumers,” Ofgem executive director for systems and networks Jonathan Brearley said as the regulator announced its plan on Friday.

(What costs make up a British duel fuel energy bill? https://tmsnrt.rs/2TDnSKs)

Under Ofgem’s framework, energy network operators set out their plans for investment and how much they expect this to cost over the period. Ofgem sets the return the companies can make.

Fixed returns have prompted investors to scoop up network assets. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority bought a 16.7 percent stake of the Scotia Gas Networks business from SSE for 621 million pounds in 2016.

Other investors in Britain’s energy network include National Grid, Iberdrola’s Scottish Power, Australian investment bank Macquarie and Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Group.

National Grid and SSE both said they were disappointed by the equity proposals.

“We believe this is not in the long-term interests of consumers,” National Grid said in a statement.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

Office lights are on at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district, London
Office lights are on at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district, London, Britain, January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

May 24, 2019

By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) – Britons could see a 6 billion pound ($7.6 billion) cut in energy bills over five years from 2021, saving the average household 40 pounds per year, under plans to curb what gas and electricity network firms can pay shareholders.

Regulator Ofgem, which introduced a price cap on standard energy bills in January after lawmakers said customers were being overcharged, is now targeting the operators whose network fees make up around a quarter of British household energy bills.

Energy firms are under intense scrutiny, with Britain’s opposition Labour party last week announcing a plan to nationalize the sector if it comes into power.

Ofgem said it plans to cut the amount network firms pay their shareholders, known as the “cost of equity range” by almost 50% for the next regulatory period starting in 2021.

The regulator said the package of measures it proposed could result in savings averaging 40 pounds per customer from 2021.

“Our proposals are on track to deliver a tough, fair settlement that strikes a better deal for consumers,” Ofgem executive director for systems and networks Jonathan Brearley said as the regulator announced its plan on Friday.

(What costs make up a British duel fuel energy bill? https://tmsnrt.rs/2TDnSKs)

Under Ofgem’s framework, energy network operators set out their plans for investment and how much they expect this to cost over the period. Ofgem sets the return the companies can make.

Fixed returns have prompted investors to scoop up network assets. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority bought a 16.7 percent stake of the Scotia Gas Networks business from SSE for 621 million pounds in 2016.

Other investors in Britain’s energy network include National Grid, Iberdrola’s Scottish Power, Australian investment bank Macquarie and Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Group.

National Grid and SSE both said they were disappointed by the equity proposals.

“We believe this is not in the long-term interests of consumers,” National Grid said in a statement.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

A shopper loads a basket in a supermarket in London
A shopper loads a basket in a supermarket in London, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

May 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailers reported the weakest sales performance for the time of year in over a decade this month, and plan the least investment on record, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Friday.

The CBI distributive trades survey’s retail sales balance slumped to -27 in May from +13 in April, below all forecasts in a Reuters poll and the lowest since October 2017.

Adjusted for the time of year, sales were the weakest since March 2009, the CBI said.

“This month’s survey paints a dismal picture of business conditions for retailers, who face a grim combination of tough trading conditions, Brexit uncertainty and a burdensome outdated business rates regime,” CBI economist Anna Leach said.

A quarterly measure of retailers’ investment intentions sank to its lowest since the survey began in 1983.

Official data earlier on Friday showed British shoppers paused for breath in April after months of strong buying, according to official data that showed continued underlying strength of consumer spending during the Brexit crisis.

(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Alistair Smout)

Source: OANN

A shopper loads a basket in a supermarket in London
A shopper loads a basket in a supermarket in London, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

May 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailers reported the weakest sales performance for the time of year in over a decade this month, and plan the least investment on record, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Friday.

The CBI distributive trades survey’s retail sales balance slumped to -27 in May from +13 in April, below all forecasts in a Reuters poll and the lowest since October 2017.

Adjusted for the time of year, sales were the weakest since March 2009, the CBI said.

“This month’s survey paints a dismal picture of business conditions for retailers, who face a grim combination of tough trading conditions, Brexit uncertainty and a burdensome outdated business rates regime,” CBI economist Anna Leach said.

A quarterly measure of retailers’ investment intentions sank to its lowest since the survey began in 1983.

Official data earlier on Friday showed British shoppers paused for breath in April after months of strong buying, according to official data that showed continued underlying strength of consumer spending during the Brexit crisis.

(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Alistair Smout)

Source: OANN

A shopper loads a basket in a supermarket in London
A shopper loads a basket in a supermarket in London, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

May 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailers reported the weakest sales performance for the time of year in over a decade this month, and plan the least investment on record, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Friday.

The CBI distributive trades survey’s retail sales balance slumped to -27 in May from +13 in April, below all forecasts in a Reuters poll and the lowest since October 2017.

Adjusted for the time of year, sales were the weakest since March 2009, the CBI said.

“This month’s survey paints a dismal picture of business conditions for retailers, who face a grim combination of tough trading conditions, Brexit uncertainty and a burdensome outdated business rates regime,” CBI economist Anna Leach said.

A quarterly measure of retailers’ investment intentions sank to its lowest since the survey began in 1983.

Official data earlier on Friday showed British shoppers paused for breath in April after months of strong buying, according to official data that showed continued underlying strength of consumer spending during the Brexit crisis.

(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Alistair Smout)

Source: OANN


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