Oil prices resume decline on supply glut concerns

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices resumed their decline Wednesday following a US report showing that stockpiles surged last week, with analysts warning of further weakness ahead. Ahead of an official US government report, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said stockpiles increased by 2.3 million barrels last week. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September fell 58 cents to $50.28 a barrel. Brent North crude for September slid 35 cents to stand at $56.69 a barrel in London midday deals. Both contracts had posted gains Tuesday. “Crude prices remain under pressure as the supply overhang continues to persist,” aid Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG Markets.

Wednesday’s official Energy Information Administration data “will be closely monitored, although it is evident that the supply glut problem is expected to stay for a while longer,” Aw added.

Oil prices have tumbled from more than $100 a barrel in June last year as strong production from the United States and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries led to supply outpacing demand.

Concerns over the return of Iranian oil to the market following a deal with major powers on its nuclear ambitions have also depressed prices.

The deal — which aims to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon — allows for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions on the country, enabling it to ramp up shipments of oil.

A strong greenback, boosted by the prospect of higher US interest rates, has also dented demand for dollar-priced oil and helped push prices downwards.

Engro Elengy carrying out first ship-to-ship transfer

ISLAMABAD (APP): Engro Elengy Terminal has received its first shipment of LNG through an LNG vessel. “The vessel which was successfully berthed at Port Qasim alongside the FSRU in a double banking arrangement, will allow for a ship-to-ship transfer of the LNG cargo - a feat which will be performed in the country for the first time”. A statement issued by the Engro Comapy said that the LNG vessel has brought in approximately 130,000 cubic metre of LNG which at current regasification rate of 325 mmscfd will discharge in approximately 8 days. Previously the FSRU was tasked to transport the LNG cargo itself and based on the successful tendering by PSO; this is the first of the 6 cargoes which will now deliver a continuous flow of gas in to the gas grid.

Sheikh Imran ul Haque - CEO Engro Elengy Terminal Limited said that Engro Elengy had earlier fulfilled its commitment by constructing all infrastructure facilities of the terminal earlier than committed and in a record time period anywhere in the world.

He added that the successful culmination of the ship-to-ship transfer for the first time in the country’s history was again a testament to Engro’s expertise in deploying world-class solutions against challenging circumstances.

This, he said also provided a strong signal to those who doubted the achievement of all stakeholders in creating another source of energy for Pakistan which has been in operation for only 110-days and is handling the 7 cargoes received to-date.

“Engro has and is committed to delivering on its promise of deploying an energy solution that will fuel economic growth plans of GOP and assist in alleviating energy shortage by 25%.”, he remarked.

MP&NR strategy of spot cargo purchase with long term arrangements is starting to pay dividends and the number of suppliers interested in delivering LNG to Pakistan is increasing: a clear testament to quality of terminal built to international standards.

The EETL is working round the clock alongside SSGC throughout Eid holidays to ensure that Pakistan has more clean fuel and that the existing power generation capacity is utilized in an optimal manner.

Slovenia issues eurozone’s first bond since Greek deal

LJUBLJANA (AFP): Slovenia raised 1.25 billion euros ($1.37 billon) in 10-year bonds, the first euro bond issued by a eurozone country since a bailout deal was reached with Greece, the government announced Wednesday. The bonds, maturing in 2025, were sold on Tuesday with a 2.125-percent interest rate and at 98.883 percent of the nominal value, the finance ministry said in a statement. “Slovenia successfully re-opened the European Sovereign primary market following a period of intense negotiations between Greece and international lenders that kept investors captive,” the ministry said. Demand for Slovenian sovereign bonds reached 2.6 billion euros, it added.

This was Slovenia’s second bond issue after it raised in March 1.0 billion euros in 20-year bonds with a 1.553-percent yield, the lowest ever for Slovenia.

Slovenia, a former Yugoslav state that joined the eurozone in 2007, saw its economy starting to recover last year after narrowly avoiding a bailout in 2013.

Pak delegation leaves for Bhutan to attend annual SCCI moot

LAHORE (APP): An eight-member Pak delegation on Wednesday left for Bhutan to attend two-day annual meeting of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry to be held on July 25. Leader of the delegation, Vice President SAARC CCI Pak chapter Iftikhar Ali Malik while talking to newsmen prior to his departure, here said that all vice presidents of chamber one each from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Pakistan will present their annual performance report at the moot to be chaired by its president Ismail Asif from Maldives. He said that 1.4 billion Asians were absolute poor and earning less than poverty threshold of US$1.25 per day (a meagre US 438 per month) which he added is absolutely mind boggling poverty level.

He said this burning issue of abject poverty will also be taken up at the moot to work viable strategy through rapid industrialization in the region with the active participation of the member countries.

He said that participants would also be informed about the pace of development and progress of state of the art nine-storey headquarters building of SCCI being constructed in Islamabad.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said that SCCI was fully committed to play its vital role for strengthening of the trade and economic activities in the region, as south Asia possess plenty of natural resources which badly needs to be exploited fully for the welfare and betterment of the down trodden. He said that next annual SCCI meeting will be held in Pakistan in 2016 and its agenda will also be discussed.

PTC contributes Rs49.14 billion to government revenue

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) has announced results for its 1st half of 2015, declaring net turnover of Rs. 24.591 billion and after tax profit of Rs 4.737 billion, an earnings per share of Rs. 18.53. “The company contributed Rs. 49.14 billion to the government exchequer in the form of duties and taxes “, said a statement issued by the company. The PTC has managed to declare good results despite challenging economic conditions. While PTC’s contribution to the government revenues has shown a substantial increase over the same period last year, illegal cigarette trade is becoming a huge threat to the sustainability of the legitimate tobacco sector and the revenues it contributes to the national exchequer.

According to a research due to continuous tax led increase in prices of duty paid cigarettes the share of illegal trade in cigarettes is growing at a rapid pace. “If this continues unabated it will continue to cause a loss of more than Rs. 20 billion to the national exchequer every year”, the Company statement said.