zaterdag 2 december 2017

Opvallende dag op de Amerikaanse beurzen


Bron: Beleggersplaats


Opvallende dag op de Amerikaanse beurzen

Door Hans de Groot op Nov 30, 2017 05:06 pm
Dinsdag sloten de drie belangrijkste Amerikaanse beursindexen af op recordhoogte, vooral vanwege de voortgang van de Republikeinse belastingwet. Woensdag kwam die nog een stapje dichterbij, maar dat leverde slecht de Dow Jones een winst op van 0,4%. De Nasdaq en de S&P 500 verloren respectievelijk 1,3% en 0,9%. En opvallend,  de verliezen waren vooral te […]
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London Stock Exchange verliest CEO en president-commissaris

Door Xavier Boutinge op Nov 30, 2017 04:58 pm
Er  komen grootschalige veranderingen aan voor de London Stock Exchange (LSE), de beurs van Londen. Zowel de CEO als de president-commissaris van de beurs hebben namelijk hun functie beëindigd. Dat gebeurde na een lange en publieke strijd over wie de onderneming de komende jaren gaat leiden. De discussie werd aangewakkerd door de activistische aandeelhouder TCI […]
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Groeiende Chinese invloed baart EU zorgen

Door Jos Stellendam op Nov 30, 2017 04:48 pm
China investeert steeds meer in Midden- en Oost-Europa. Hoewel de EU deze ontwikkelingen met argusogen volgt, worden Chinese bedrijven van Belgrado tot Budapest met open armen ontvangen. De Hongaarse premier Viktor Orban stelde in oktober dat het zwaartepunt van de wereldeconomie verschuift van het Atlantisch gebied naar het Pacifisch gebied. Volgens hem is deze verandering […]
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Brits-Amerikaane fusie in bioscoopindustrie?

Door Xavier Boutinge op Nov 30, 2017 04:35 pm
De Britse bioscoopketen Cineworld Group (LSE: CINE) is in onderhandeling met haar Amerikaanse rivaal Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) over een mogelijke overname. De Britten hebben van 3,6 miljard dollar op tafel gelegd, wat overeenkomt met 23 dollar per aandeel. Mocht de overeenkomst doorgang vinden, zal er een fusiebedrijf ontstaan dat zich een serieuze concurrent […]
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Hoe Merkel en Macron geheime migratiedeal voorbereiden


Door Realpredictor

Opeens lijkt een deal over de duizenden migranten in Libië nabij. In een hotelkamer in Abidjan in Ivoorkust smeedden de Franse president Emmanuel Macron en de Duitse bondskanselier Angela Merkel een plan.

Na het officiële gedeelte van de Afrikatop in Abidjan heeft een aantal regeringsleiders nog een bijeenkomst die niet op de agenda staat. Dat meldt de Duitse krant Die Welt. Voor het diner ontmoet Angela Merkel onder anderen Emmanuel Macron en een aantal Afrikaanse regeringsleiders in een zaaltje in het duurste hotel van Abidjan. Daar overleggen de regeringsleiders van Frankrijk en Duitsland een uur lang over een nieuwe migrantendeal.

Het plan moet volgens de Britse Telegraph een slordige 44 miljard euro kosten. Macron zei gisteren op een persconferentie dat de regeringsleiders van Frankrijk, Duitsland, Tsjaad en Niger waren overeengekomen dat de Libische kampen ontruimd moesten worden ‘van degenen die daar niet langer willen blijven.’ De Libische regering heeft daarmee ingestemd.

Elsevier.

RP: En hier komt het meest stompzinnige, bijna lachwekkende voorstel ooit! 

"Bij het opnemen van migranten uit Afrika wordt uitgegaan van het begrip ‘circulaire mobiliteit’. Dat wil zeggen dat migranten eerst opgeleid kunnen worden in EU-landen, om na verloop van tijd terug te reizen naar het land van herkomst."

Deze wereldvreemde idioten zijn schijnbaar nog nooit zelf in Afrika geweest of ze hebben nog nooit de criminaliteitscijfers van de Afrikanen gezien (hierin zijn ze namelijk wel volop opgeleid!!) Bekijk dit maar:

De wereld heeft hier miljarden aan ontwikkelingshulp (waaronder scholen met bijbehorende leerkrachkrachten) gespendeerd. Het is en blijft water naar de zee dragen. Want wat NIEMAND durft te zeggen is dat het grootste deel van dit continent niet wil leren omdat dit betekent dat je moet werken voor je onderhoud!

En neen dit is GEEN  discriminatie maar de keiharde (aangetoonde) realiteit!

Dit betekent dat zowel Macron als Merkel van plan zijn om Europa te vernietigen!

Reapredictor

Minister-president neemt rapport Van Baalen in ontvangst

1 december 2017 - 12:31

Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts: Tax Debate Update

Updated on


Sen. McConnell Says GOP Has Votes for Tax Reform
The Senate tax bill is in the midst of a marathon vote session that stretched into early Saturday morning with the goal of holding a final vote in the next several hours. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day:

Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts (1:51 a.m.)

Senate Republicans narrowly approved the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades, slashing the corporate tax rate and providing temporary tax-rate cuts for most Americans.
The 51-49 vote -- achieved only after closed-door deal-making with dissident senators -- brings the GOP close to delivering a much-needed policy win for their party and President Donald Trump. Trump has promised to sign tax-cut legislation before the end of 2017.

Banks Would Get Rate Hike on Overseas Levy (12:43 a.m.)

Banks and securities dealers would face higher rates than other companies for a new tax aimed at preventing multinational corporations from sending taxable income overseas to low-tax or no-tax jurisdictions, under changes proposed to the Senate tax bill on Friday.
The new tax, called the “base erosion and anti-abuse tax,” or BEAT, would apply to certain payments that U.S. companies make to overseas units, including loan payments.
The initial Senate bill would have assessed the tax at 10 percent, a rate that would grow to 12.5 percent in 2026. The amended version would set those rates at 11 percent, growing to 13.5 percent, for “certain banks and securities dealers.”
Michael Mundaca, co-leader of the Ernst & Young Americas Tax Center and a former top Treasury tax official, confirmed the substance of the change’s language. -- Lynnley Browning

Bill Tab Grows $30 Billion in 11th-Hour Score (12:04 a.m.)

Revisions made to the Senate tax bill to help shore up GOP senators’ votes added roughly $32.5 billion to its 10-year cost, according to a one-page document posted late Friday night by the Congressional Budget Office.
CBO, one of Congress’s official scorekeepers, said the revised bill would add roughly $1.4467 trillion to federal deficits over a decade. A previous version of the bill was estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation to add about $1.4142 trillion to deficits.
Friday night’s score, which was released shortly before midnight, doesn’t account for any macroeconomic effects. JCT found on Thursday that, even after considering any economic growth it might prompt, an early version of the Senate bill would add about $1 trillion to federal deficits over 10 years. -- John Voskuhl

Senate GOP Rejects Rubio-Lee Child Tax Credit (11:08 p.m.)

Republicans voted down a tax amendment from Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee to expand the bill’s child tax credit and pay for it by setting the corporate tax rate at 20.94 percent rather than 20 percent.
Rubio, a Florida Republican, made an impassioned plea for the provision, which would make the credit refundable against payroll taxes, as a way to help struggling Americans in exchange for a slice of corporate taxes.
“These are teachers, firefighters, welders, construction workers, the working class,” Rubio said on the Senate floor “They need our help.”
Lee, a Utah Republican, called it an "eminently reasonable request," saying the corporate tax change is "slight," but "that minor difference would make all the difference in the world to America’s moms and dads."
The amendment was defeated by a vote of 71 to 29.
The decision to prioritize a lower corporate tax is a politically awkward move by a party that has sold its tax push as primarily about helping the middle class. But much of the push for the tax bill comes from corporate America. President Donald Trump and GOP leaders have drawn a firm line at setting the corporate income tax rate at 20 percent.
Democrats are sure to highlight the vote in campaign commercials for the 2018 congressional elections. -- Sahil Kapur

Democrats Blast Break for School Tied to DeVos (8:56 p.m.)

Democratic senators attacked a planned amendment to the Senate tax bill that they said would benefit a conservative Michigan college with ties to the family of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
GOP Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said he believed Hillsdale College would qualify for the break offered by his amendment, which would exempt colleges that refuse federal student loan funding from a proposed tax on endowments. Hillsdale “does not accept or permit its students to bring federal financial aid to campus,” according to its website.
It was unclear Friday night whether any other universities would qualify for the exemption -- though Toomey said: “Anybody that’s in this category would have this same treatment.”
He called Hillsdale, a private school of about 1,500 students, “a wonderful institution.” One Hillsdale graduate is Erik Prince, the brother of DeVos and the founder of the military contractor formerly known as Blackwater.
“It feels like this is a very limited provision written for a very special person,” Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri told Toomey. -- Sahil Kapur and Janet Lorin

Democrats Decry ‘Illegible’ Handwritten Tweak (7:28 p.m.)

Democratic senators heaped criticism on a handwritten amendment that was distributed to them Friday -- hours before a potential vote -- as Republican Senate leaders rushed to secure approval of their tax overhaul legislation.
Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, called it “illegible.” The handwritten change appears in the margin of page 257 of an amended version of the bill. GOP senators have yet to release the text. It was obtained by Bloomberg News.
It’s not unusual for amendments in Senate debates to include handwritten changes, but Democrats said this particular instance was excessive.
“This is what happens when you push through a bill late at night,” said Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat. -- Sahil Kapur

Revised Bill Includes 23% Pass-Through Break (6:10 p.m.)

An amended version of the Senate tax plan includes a 23 percent deduction for pass-through businesses, according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg News.
Click here to see the draft of the legislative text.
The legislative text -- expected to be released Friday evening -- will clear the way for the bill’s passage late Friday or early Saturday.
A potentially unlimited series of decisions on possible amendments -- known as “vote-a-rama” -- is expected to begin shortly after the release of the revised bill. It’s unclear how long that process might take; Democrats could spend hours offering numerous amendments meant to highlight any flaws they believe the bill contains.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday afternoon that GOP leaders have the votes needed for approval. Republican senators whose support had been in question -- including Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and James Lankford of Oklahoma -- said Friday they supported the plan after some of their requested changes had been made.
The Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate and can only afford to lose two of their 52 members to pass a tax bill without Democratic support. -- Sahil Kapur

Bob Corker Says He Won’t Support Current Bill (4:52 p.m.)

Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said he won’t support the current version of the Senate tax bill over deficit concerns.
“I wanted to get to yes,” Corker said in a statement. “But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations.”
Still, Corker said he would take a “close look” at the tax bill produced by a House-Senate conference committee before making a final decision. -- Sahil Kapur

Susan Collins Says She’ll Support Senate Bill (4:10 p.m.)

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine -- one of the remaining GOP senators whose support was in question -- said she’ll support the tax plan.
“I will cast my vote in support of the Senate tax reform bill,” Collins said in a statement Friday. “As revised, this bill will provide much-needed tax relief and simplification for lower- and middle-income families, while spurring the creation of good jobs and greater economic growth.”
Collins said she was successful in pushing for leaders to preserve the state and local property tax break up to $10,000, lower the threshold for claiming the deduction for high unreimbursed medical expenses and permit catch-up contributions to retirement accounts for certain public employees.
She said she was pleased that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had committed to support the passage of two pieces of legislation before the end of the year to mitigate the cost of health insurance premiums. The Senate bill currently calls for repealing the Obamacare individual mandate.
Collins also cited a commitment made Friday by Speaker Paul Ryan and McConnell to work to waive automatic Medicare and other entitlement cuts that would be triggered in January due to the deficit increases caused by the bill. -- Erik Wasson

Bill’s New ‘Major Provisions’ Exceed $300 Billion (2:44 p.m.)

The “major provisions” that Senate Republicans plan for their tax legislation include benefits for individuals who pay property taxes and have large medical expenses -- along with owners of limited liability companies and other so-called pass-through businesses, according to a summary of the changes that was confirmed by two people familiar with the plans.
The plans are evolving and still subject to change. But in all, the major new tax benefits would cost more than $300 billion over 10 years, according to the summary. They’d be paid for by retaining the alternative minimum tax for corporations and individuals and by increasing the tax rates that multinationals would pay on an estimated $3.1 trillion in accumulated offshore earnings, the summary says. It also provides for unspecified “reconciliation instruction savings” of roughly $50 billion.
The changes appear to include one offered by GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who has proposed enhancing the deduction available to people for high medical expenses. Her proposal would reduce the deduction threshold to 7.5 percent of income from 10 percent. The bill that the House approved last month would eliminate that deduction entirely. -- Kaustuv Basu

Senate Would Create New AMT, GOP Senator Says (1:38 p.m.)

A revised version of the Senate tax bill includes a new individual alternative minimum tax to help pay for proposed changes, according to Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota.
The so-called AMT would have graduated increases, Rounds said. The original version of the tax plan called for repealing the AMT, which was originally designed to make sure wealthy households couldn’t use deductions or credits to pay little or no federal income tax. Over time, inflation has meant that larger numbers of people have paid the tax.
The individual AMT was responsible for 80 percent of President Donald Trump’s 2005 federal income tax bill of $38.4 million, on income of $152.7 million, according to pages of the return that were leaked in March.
Eliminating the individual AMT is estimated to cost $769 billion over a decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The new Senate bill will also include a modified corporate AMT, according to Rounds. The initial bill would have eliminated it.
The revenue saved from the AMT changes would be used to help pay for modifications pushed by GOP senators whose support has been in question. Senator Susan Collins of Maine has called for preserving individuals’ state and local property tax deduction up to $10,000, as the House bill does. That change is estimated to cost about $100 billion over a decade, according to a House aide who asked not to be named.
Senators have also agreed to raise the rates that multinationals would pay on their accumulated offshore earnings to help finance a more generous tax break for partnerships, limited liability companies and other so-called pass-through businesses, Republican Senator Ron Johnson said. -- Laura Davison

McConnell Says ‘We Have the Votes’ on Bill (12:40 p.m.)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans have the votes to pass their tax bill.
A vote may come later Friday or early Saturday morning, according to White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short.
“There’s no doubt‪ ‬that ‪repealing Obamacare -- that effort not succeeding -- put additional pressure on all of us to get tax relief done,” Short said.
One of the remaining holdouts -- Jeff Flake of Arizona -- said he supported the bill in a statement Friday afternoon after securing assurance that what he called a budget gimmick would be eliminated and that leaders would commit to work with him on finding a solution to protect immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
Democrats and many Republicans want to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from being deported. Trump announced in September that he would end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months and that it was up to Congress to provide any further action. -- Erik Wasson, Sahil Kapur and Laura Litvan

Senate Bill Won’t Include Extra Tax Increases (11:56 a.m.)

The Senate tax bill won’t feature any mechanisms to ward against future deficit increases, according to GOP senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and James Lankford of Oklahoma.
The move is a blow to Senator Bob Corker, who had pushed for a trigger that would have increased taxes if economic growth didn’t meet revenue targets. After the Senate parliamentarian ruled a potential trigger violated the chamber’s rules, negotiations continued over including additional tax increases totaling about $350 billion.
Lankford, who had been pushing for the trigger as well, said he would vote for the bill even though his deficit concerns remain.
Senators have also agreed to raise the rates that multinationals would pay on their accumulated offshore earnings to help finance a more generous tax break for partnerships, limited liability companies and other so-called pass-through businesses, Republican Senator Ron Johnson said.
The revised Senate bill would tax companies’ offshore income at 14 percent for cash and 7 percent for earnings invested in less-liquid assets -- mirroring a provision in the House legislation, Johnson, of Wisconsin, told reporters. The initial Senate bill called for rates of 10 percent and 5 percent.
U.S. companies currently can defer taxes on their foreign earnings until they return them to the U.S. Companies have an estimated $3.1 trillion stockpiled offshore. -- Erik Wasson, Steven T. Dennis and Kaustuv Basu

Senate Said to Preserve Property Tax Break (11:32 a.m.)

The Senate tax bill will include a measure preserving the state and local property tax deduction for individuals up to $10,000 -- mirroring the House bill in that regard, according to a person working on making changes to the bill. The person asked not to be named because the discussions are private.
The current version of the Senate tax bill calls for a full repeal of state and local tax deductions, which include property, income and sales taxes.
Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has been pushing for preserving the break for property taxes up to $10,000. -- Sahil Kapur

Collins Says She’s Still a Holdout on Bill (10:45 a.m.)

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she hasn’t announced her support of the tax bill yet, adding it’s “amazing” that No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn would say the plan has 50 votes to pass.
Still, Collins said there’s been “very good progress.” Collins wants to expand the child tax credit, maintain a deduction for state and local property taxes and secure separate legislation aimed at stabilizing individual insurance markets.
Cornyn of Texas earlier implied that Collins backed the bill, and said leaders were still hoping to get Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona on board.
“We’re confident of the 50 and we’d like to build on that,” Cornyn said.
Another potential holdout -- James Lankford of Oklahoma -- supports the bill, according to Darrell Jordan, a spokesman for the lawmaker.
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch also said that he thought Collins would be on board, along with Lankford.
“I think they’ll be with us,” Hatch said. “I have no doubt about it.”
Senate leaders need 50 of their 52-member GOP caucus to approve a tax bill. Vice President Mike Pence could break a 50-50 tie.
Corker, Flake and Lankford have expressed concerns about the bill’s anticipated expansion of federal deficits. -- Erik Wasson and Laura Litvan

Higher Pass-Through Break Wins Holdout’s Vote (8:50 a.m.)

The Senate tax bill will be revised to include a larger tax break for partnerships, limited liability companies and other so-called pass-through businesses -- winning the support of holdout Senator Ron Johnson, an aide to the Wisconsin Republican said.
Johnson and GOP Senator Steve Daines of Montana had been seeking a more generous tax break for the closely held businesses.
The initial bill would have allowed owners of such businesses to deduct 17.4 percent from their business income for tax purposes -- subject to certain income thresholds. The newest version of the bill will increase that deduction to 23 percent, Daines said.
It wasn’t clear Friday morning how Senate tax writers would offset the cost of a more generous deduction. Johnson has suggested eliminating a corporate tax deduction for state and local taxes -- similar to an individual repeal that’s already in the Senate bill.
Senate tax writers are expected to reveal changes to their bill Friday, with the chamber scheduled to resume votes related to the measure at about 11 a.m. The process hit a snag on Thursday evening over some senators’ deficit concerns. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found Thursday afternoon that the bill as written would increase federal deficits by roughly $1 trillion over 10 years -- even after accounting for any economic growth it would produce.
The delay shook some tax-sensitive bank stocks. Bank of America Corp. was down 1.2 percent pre-market; JPMorgan Chase & Co. was down 1 percent. Wells Fargo & Co. was down 0.9 percent; Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley were both down 0.8 percent. --Erik Wasson

Senate GOP Working to Address Deficit Concerns (8:14 a.m.)

Senate Republicans made a lot of progress overnight in crafting a new approach to address deficit concerns in their sweeping tax legislation, according to a Senate GOP aide.
More work remains in the next few hours, said the aide, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are sensitive. The Senate is scheduled to hold its first votes of the day at 11 a.m. on a pair of Democratic motions as GOP leaders try to salvage the legislation, which they see as vital to their political fortunes.
Senator Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, said Friday morning he backs the tax plan. He said in an interview that he thinks the bill will pass without a deficit-cutting mechanism sought by GOP Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.
"That’s going nowhere," he said. "What Bob was suggesting is just causing more problems." Daines said he would oppose changing the bill to retain the alternative-minimum tax or to add another tax increase.
After failing to score any major legislative victory since President Donald Trump took office -- including a repeal of Obamacare that they’d promised for years -- Republicans have put all their chips into the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades.
If passed, it’s likely to be a centerpiece of their 2018 congressional campaigns, which will decide control of the House and Senate. Depending on the contours of the final tax package, the legislation is likely to feature prominently in Democratic campaigns as well. -- Erik Wasson

Senate Republicans Work to Salvage Tax Bill (4:00 a.m.)

Senate Republicans are struggling to salvage sweeping tax legislation they see as vital to their political fortunes amid an intra-party squabble over deficits that may undercut Trump’s promise of lasting and broad rate cuts.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called off a planned series of votes on the tax measure until Friday morning as he and other leaders negotiated their way around objections from three GOP senators that the measure, cobbled together in a matter of weeks, would explode federal budget deficits and add to the national debt.
Some of the solutions that were debated late Thursday night --including letting some taxes rise for individuals and corporations within six or seven years -- threaten to dissolve the precarious Republican majority for the legislation.
They also risk creating a stalemate with the House, where hardline conservatives could throw up roadblocks to reconciling differences if the Senate version waters down tax cuts for businesses and individuals. The House is moving toward naming their members to a conference committee by Monday night.
“We’re trying to get to a point where nobody is going to get exactly what they want but enough to get the bill passed,” Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said.
After failing to score any major legislative victory since Trump took office -- including a repeal of Obamacare that they’d promised for years -- Republicans have put all their chips into the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades. If passed, it’s likely to be a centerpiece of their 2018 congressional campaigns, which will decide control of the House and Senate. Depending on the contours of the final tax package, the legislation is likely to feature prominently in Democratic campaigns as well.
The plans from both chambers already were well short of the promises made by Trump that middle-income Americans would be the biggest beneficiaries and the pitch by Congressional Republicans that the tax cuts would generate enough economic growth to pay for themselves.
An analysis released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official scorekeeper, concluded that the Senate bill would boost gross domestic product by about 0.8 percent on average over the next 10 years. But that still wouldn’t cover the loss of government revenue, leaving a shortfall of roughly $1 trillion over the decade, the JCT said.
The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concluded separately that under the Senate plan, Americans making between $500,000 and $1 million a year would see the biggest percentage increases in their after-tax income, but taxpayers making less than $30,000 would see their after-tax income decline as soon as 2021.
Most Republicans brushed aside those conclusion. “I think it’s pretty clearly wrong, but it’s their opinion,” Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber, said of the JCT analysis.
But the momentum to pass the legislation in the Senate came to a halt Thursday night over deficit concerns and arcane parliamentary rules.
Two of the three Republican holdouts over a procedural vote -- Corker and Jeff Flake of Arizona -- had tied their support to a complex mechanism that would trigger tax increases if government revenue targets weren’t met. James Lankford of Oklahoma has also said he has deficit concerns. The third holdout -- Ron Johnson of Wisconsin -- has argued that pass-through businesses aren’t getting deep enough tax cuts.
But the Senate parliamentarian ruled a potential trigger violated the chamber’s rules, leading to a dramatic hour-long delay in action on the Senate floor.
The legislation is “still changing,” said Corker, who is retiring when his term is up after next year’s election and so is under less pressure to soften his stance to get something passed. “I’m trying to do the best I can to make it a better bill.”
Though Corker was one of three senators raising the deficit concerns, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was among the Republicans singling him out, ignoring other potential opposition.
Cruz said he “absolutely” will fight Corker’s effort to add taxes back to the Senate’s tax bill.
"Fifty-one senators want to cut taxes," Cruz said. "One is trying to raise taxes. That’s not right."
Lankford said the Senate parliamentarian hadn’t issued a formal ruling yet on a trigger, and Cornyn later tweeted members were still exploring options for triggers.
Cornyn said Corker “latched on” to the analysis by the JCT and is insistent that there should be no added deficit. He said there’s been a discussion of a “stair-step” approach in which taxes would rise beginning in the sixth year of enactment if revenue targets aren’t met.
Cornyn said his preference would be not to add taxes, "but what I want most is 50 votes." -- Erik Wasson, Steven T. Dennis, Sahil Kapur and Laura Litvan

What to Watch on Friday:

  • Senate votes are scheduled to resume at 11 a.m. on Democratic motions.
  • Senate leaders may release details of how they will address concerns about future deficits as well as other objections from Republican lawmakers.
  • Numerous amendments will be proposed and voted on, leading up to what Republican leaders are expecting to be final passage by Friday night.

Here’s What Happened on Thursday:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suspended votes after a key compromise on dealing with deficits collapsed.
  • An analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation found that the Senate tax bill would generate enough economic growth to lower its $1.4 trillion revenue cost by only about $458 billion over a decade.
  • Republican John McCain of Arizona said he would support the tax bill, a key vote for party leaders who can afford to lose only two of the members to pass the legislation. McCain’s statement added to the already buoyant sentiment in the U.S. stock market.
  • Senator Susan Collins of Maine said it “would be very difficult” to support the Senate tax bill unless Congress agrees to preserve an individual deduction for state and local property taxes and passes separate legislation to support the individual health care market.
— With assistance by Erik Wasson, Kaustuv Basu, Allyson Versprille, Steven T. Dennis, Laura Litvan, Sahil Kapur, and Lynnley Browning

Drunken destruction


02-12-2017


Bron: Capital & Conflict


Boaz Shoshan

Dear Reader

Black hole sun

Won't you come

And wash away the rain?

Black hole sun

Won't you come?

Won't you come?

- Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden (1994)
Watching one of the longest bull markets in history march upwards, mounting political obstacles and leaping off them to ever greater heights, one has to ask: when does it all end? When will we see a great reckoning, a black hole sun wash it all away?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a fund manager from a well-respected investment house how business was doing. His response?

If the market doesn’t crash soon, they’re in big trouble. In fact, in his words, they need a recession right now.

What his firm does is try to generate returns that are uncorrelated with the rest of the market, so bear markets do not destroy its client’s capital.

It’s a cautious approach to the chaos of financial markets, and one that has garnered the firm much respect over the years.

But these days, caution isn’t popular – central banks have seen to that. As loose monetary policy has jacked up the stockmarket, people are pulling their money out of expensive wealth protection strategies.

One of the primary goals of quantitative easing is to push investors into riskier assets – in a way, his firm has become a casualty of the Bank of England.

As hedge fund manager Chris Cole of Artemis Capital said last year, “It can be hard to hang out with the designated driver when everyone is getting drunk from the monetary punchbowl.”

Drunk is the word. But for how long will markets continue their relentless stagger higher?

The VXO index, which is the market’s expectation of short-term volatility in the S&P 100, continues to wallow in the depths, moving opposite to the index itself:

While the S&P 100 has more than doubled since 2009, volatility has been cut in half… and then some.

“Markets take the stairs up and the elevator down”, the saying goes, which is why volatility can be seen spiking when the S&P declines.

A similar story can be seen in the bond market. The Merrill lynch Option Volatility Estimate (MOVE) index is similar to the VXO, measuring expected volatility in US government debt. It too is at all-time lows – while US Treasuries have been in a bull market; as their price increases, the interest they pay to investors is crushed (in green).



From a volatility perspective, it’s never been this dull. It’s no wonder that a managing director of Deutsche Bank recently remarked that 2017 could be “the most boring year ever”.

But for those invested in US equities and bonds, the year hasn’t been boring at all. In fact, this year has been a gift that just doesn’t stop giving, a grand party.

And one which they don’t think will end, either.

In a survey of its clients, Citibank discovered that 85% of them did not expect a US recession in 2017 or 2018.

Stocks at all-time highs. Expected volatility at all-time lows.

Is it time to bid farewell, and leave the party – sell stocks, and find refuge in cash and gold?

Akhil Patel doesn’t think so – in fact, he thinks this party is just beginning. Click here to see just how wild he expects it to become.

I’m not nearly so optimistic. Sooner or later I expect the market will vomit all the cheap credit it’s sucked down its gullet in a horrific unwinding of excess.

But the issue, of course, is timing.

Grab your coat

When is the best time to leave a party?

Leave early and you may miss all the fun. Leave it too late, and you run the risk of things going awry – often at your expense.

Alcohol, the liquid social leverage, carries many of the same risks financial leverage does. Just as it can amplify fun, it can make a bad experience even worse.

And just as markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent, parties can continue longer than you can stay standing.

Those who’ve sold out of the market at the prospects of Brexit and Trump and are waiting on a correction are currently missing all of the fun.

Those with the ability to sense when the mood at the party has shifted, and exit at just the right time are a rare breed.

Those who can call the top of a market are even rarer.

All-time highs and lows are not necessarily predictive of the future, unless what is being measured reverts to the mean over time. Expected future volatility and the S&P 500 do not mean revert, and so their use as an alarm clock may be limited.

The cyclically adjusted price/earnings ratio, or CAPE ratio, is a mean reverting indicator that has stood the test of time for valuing stockmarkets. The S&P 500 (a broader metric than the S&P 100 mentioned previously) now has a CAPE of 31.56.

This is a higher level than the US stockmarket was right before the Great Depression… but much less than its all-time high of 44.19 during the dotcom boom. Should this bull run deliver even greater returns than before, you’d be leaving an awful lot of money on the table if you sell now.

The chart below, courtesy of a presentation given by Grant Williams, is enlightening. With interest rates at such all-time lows, companies can now borrow cheaply to purchase their own shares back from the market. This boosts the price of those shares by reducing liquidity and boosting share metrics such as earnings per share, or EPS. (Bear in mind that many company executives are paid bonuses based on the EPS of their companies, making such a system highly prone to abuse.)

 

Source: Presentation by Grant Williams at the 2017 Stansberry Research conference

As you can see, the recent bull run in the market has been heavily supported by share buybacks… until recently. If the data is correct, the market is running on fumes. Nausea may come next.

One gentleman I know, through years of experience treating alcohol as an endurance event, has developed the ability to maintain a conversation while being sick, keeping his tone of voice clear and even between convulsions – as if he were just enjoying another pint.

Passive investors during the next bear market will need to develop a similar skill.

Such activity, while impressive in a grotesque way, is not recommended.

But that’s alright. Because you don’t have to invest like the other drunken revellers at this party. There are alternatives out there. You don’t have to gorge on the central bank punch bowl and deal with the splitting headache tomorrow.

Charlie Morris, in his latest issue of The Fleet Street Letter, explained what he learned from the 2008 crisis, and pointed out that many of those who made money (from the pain of other market participants) failed to produce similar returns in the years that followed. The heroes of the crisis, in his words, were those who made a tactical retreat – to fight another day. For more of his observations and access to his investment advice, click here.

Tim Price’s primary objective is protecting the capital of his clients and readers, and recommends you avoid the party punch altogether. In London Investment Alert he details not only how to protect and grow your capital through the coming crisis – but how to deal with the financial martial law that will follow it.

Until next time,



Boaz Shoshan
Editor, Southbank Investment Research

Nederlandse regering blokkeerde zélf het aanblijven van Dijsselbloem


Een meerderheid van de eurolanden wilde dat PvdA’er Dijsselbloem nog minstens een half jaar zou aanblijven als Eurogroep-voorzitter. Maar Nederland hield dat tegen. Waarom?
Jeroen Dijsselbloem had langer kunnen aanblijven als Eurogroep-voorzitter, als Nederland het niet had geblokkeerd. Foto ANP/Bart Maat
Het mogelijk langer aanblijven van Jeroen Dijsselbloem als voorzitter van de Eurogroep is onlangs door Nederland zelf geblokkeerd, terwijl een meerderheid van de eurolanden vóór verlenging was. Dat zeggen bronnen in Brussel, waar maandag over de opvolging van de Nederlandse ex-minister (PvdA) zal worden gestemd. Nederland wilde zo zijn kansen op een andere hoge post vergroten.
In Europese hoofdsteden heerst verbazing over het Nederlandse ‘veto’. Het komt zelden voor dat een land een landgenoot laat vallen, als die langer op een Europese toppost kan blijven zitten. EU-leiders willen medio 2018 bovendien belangrijke beslissingen nemen over verdere versterking van de eurozone. Dat Nederland de kans laat lopen om hier, vanaf de eerste rij, een stempel op te drukken, wordt moeilijk begrepen.
De Eurogroep is het machtige gremium van ministers van Financiën uit eurolanden en speelt een hoofdrol bij het maken van economisch beleid in Europa. Frankrijk en Duitsland maakten zich eerder deze maand sterk voor Dijsselbloems aanblijven, na het aflopen van zijn termijn in januari, niet in de laatste plaats omdat de Duitsers volledig in beslag worden genomen door een lastige formatie. Ook in andere eurolanden bleek er brede steun om de alom gewaardeerde Nederlander nog een half jaar en mogelijk zelfs een heel jaar te laten zitten. Maar door het Nederlandse nee was het einde verhaal.
Maandag wordt bekend wie de nieuwe voorzitter van de Eurogroep wordt. Lees daarover: de nieuwe Dijsselbloem wordt een Europese superminister

EU wil grip krijgen op migratie, Afrika wil inkomstenbron niet kwijt!


Door Realpredictor

Afrika.heerser

Over het algemeen vinden Afrikaanse landen het belangrijk dat ze politiek serieus worden genomen. Jarenlang werd er weinig met ze gepraat en waren er ook geen officiële bezoeken van belangrijke Europese regeringsleiders.

Aan dat laatste punt is de afgelopen twee jaar al gewerkt: via bezoeken van diplomaten, naar ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken, naar premiers en zware delegaties zoals nu op de top in Ivoorkust. Zo zijn vanuit Nederland drie bewindslieden aanwezig.

Migratie als bron van inkomsten

Een ander belangrijk punt is legale migratie. De Afrikaanse landen zouden graag zien dat daar meer mogelijkheden voor komen, bijvoorbeeld via (tijdelijke) visa. Op dit moment is het voor Afrikanen erg moeilijk om legaal naar Europa te reizen om daar te wonen en te werken.

Voor veel Afrikaanse landen is migratie een bron van inkomsten. Veel regio's leven van geld dat migranten, vanuit Europa of andere Afrikaanse landen, terugsturen naar hun land van herkomst.

Een voorbeeld is Mali, een van de armste landen ter wereld. Bijna een kwart van de ongeveer 18 miljoen Malinezen woont in het buitenland (op het Afrikaanse continent of in Europa). Volgens denktank European Council on Foreign Relations (EFCR) bestaat zo'n 7 procent van het Malinese bruto binnenlands product uit geld dat is teruggestuurd door Malinezen die in het buitenland wonen.

In 2015 heeft de EU een speciaal fonds voor Afrika opgericht, dat is bedoeld om de grondoorzaken van migratie aan te pakken. Inmiddels zijn 117 ontwikkelingsprogramma's goedgekeurd voor in totaal 1,9 miljard euro.

In ruil voor de investeringen moeten de Afrikaanse landen de grenzen beter controleren en meehelpen uitgeprocedeerde migranten terug te nemen. Bijvoorbeeld door deskundigen naar Europa te sturen die migranten kunnen herkennen en terugsturen.

RP: De weldenkenden onder ons weten dat dit nooit gaat gebeuren. Afrika zal zijn (Europese) kip met de gouden eieren niet opgeven! Net als de miljoenen aan Ontwikkelingsgeld die voor een groot deel door de Afrikaanse machthebbers in egen zak worden gestoken! En zoals ook dit zullen  de burgers van Europa, dankzij de EU, wederom hiervoor moeten opdraaien!

https://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2205161-eu-wil-grip-krijgen-op-migratie-afrika-wil-inkomstenbron-niet-kwijt.html

The Senate closes in on tax reform



  Today could prove to be a monumental one for the United States, as the Senate moves ever closer to passing the most ambitious tax reform bill in three decades. While Senators do the tough and necessary work of finalizing the legislation’s terms, the past 48 hours has given Americans plenty of reason to be optimistic that a tax cut will arrive in time for Christmas:
  • On Wednesday, 137 economists sent an open letter to Congress backing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The letter is worth reading in full, but here’s the money quote: “Left virtually untouched for the last 31 years, our chart-topping corporate tax rate . . . [sent] 4,700 companies from 2004 to 2016 to cheaper shores abroad.”
  • Yesterday, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said they’ll be voting yes on the bill; this morning, Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Steve Daines (R-MT) also confirmed their support, giving the legislation a major boost.
  • The sense of forward momentum from Republicans on Capitol Hill is palpable. “We’re heading down the home stretch,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday. President Donald J. Trump stands ready to sign this historic legislation.
Read more about the President’s vision to jolt economic growth.


The President delivers a Christmas message 
  
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participated in the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting last night. Visitors gathered on the Ellipse at President’s Park to listen to musical acts including the Beach Boys, Mannheim Steamroller, and more.
Speaking at the ceremony, the President underscored the religious significance of Christmas even as he spoke about the holiday’s universal truths. “Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of his life forever changed the course of human history,” the President said. “There is hardly an aspect of our lives today that his life has not touched.”
Watch video of the President’s remarks here.


President Trump hosts Libyan Prime Minister

 President Trump met with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj at the White House today, capping off a busy week that included in-person or phone conversations between the U.S. President and world leaders from China, South Korea, and Bahrain. Yesterday, President Trump spoke with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea for the second time since North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on November 28.
While several of this week’s conversations were sparked by that missile test, today the President turned his attention to North Africa. He and the Libyan Prime Minister discussed ways to cooperate on counterterrorism and expand bilateral engagement between the two countries.
Read the White House statement on today’s meeting.

President Trump and the First Lady Take Part in Lighting the National Christmas Tree

https://youtu.be/wDYbtEeE7m0

Nervositeit door Trump

02-12-2017


Bron: beursmedia
De Europese beurzen sloten vrijdag eensgezind lager. Wall Street was vlak gestart, maar om vijf uur Belgische tijd begonnen de indexen te dalen. De Nasdaq stond om 18u ruim 1% lager. Aanleiding was het nieuws dat de vroegere veiligheidsadviseur van president Trump, Flynn, bereid zou zijn om te getuigen tegen Trump. En dat maakt beleggers nerveus, want hierdoor neemt de onzekerheid over de belastinghervorming weer toe. Europa volgde de Amerikaanse beurzen lager. De Euro Stoxx eindigde 1,2% lager. De traditionele vluchthavens vonden er baat bij. De goudprijs stijgt met 1% en de obligatiekoersen gaan hoger. De obligatierentes stijgen hierdoor met 5 à 10 basispunten. De olieprijs in Londen wordt 2% duurder tot 64 USD per vat.

De Bel20 verloor 0,5%, meteen ook het weekverlies. Aperam (-2,1%) en Ontex gaf 1,6% prijs. Er waren slechts drie stijgers binnen de index. UCB won 1,6% na een adviesverhoging van Morgan Stanley. Op de bredere markt gaf Option 9,5% prijs. Recticel eindigde 3,4% lager. arGEN-X (+4,1%) ging op het elan van gisteren verder. MDxHealth won bijna 2%. Vastgoedontwikkelaar Immobel (-0,3%)
kocht een Franse sectorgenoot, die actief is in het residentiële segment in Parijs. Elia (-0,2%) kwam met een trading update. Tinc (+0,7%) nam een bijkomend belang in de A11. Gisteren hadden we een ontmoeting met de CEO van Ablynx (+0,4%).

We hebben ook een analyse klaar van meststoffengroep OCI (-0,6%). Nog in Amsterdam won PostNL 2,6% nadat ING het postbedrijf op haar favorietenlijst zette. Peugeot (-2,7%) kreeg een verkoopadvies van Citi en Sanofi (-2,3%) eindigde lager na een adviesverlaging van Morgan Stanley. Chipaandelen stonden opnieuw onder druk. STMicroelectronics gaf 3,5% prijs en Infineon en ASML Holding tussen 2 en 3%. Intel bracht het belang in ASML terug tot beneden de 5%. Olietoeleveranciers wonnen dan weer terrein. SBM Offshore steeg met 0,7% en Fugro met 0,6%.

Op Wall Street stijgt Mylan met 3,7%. De producent van generische geneesmiddelen kreeg de goedkeuring voor een aantal producten en Amazon zou onder meer in gesprek zijn met Mylan. Qualcomm verliest 2%. Broadcom zou pas volgend jaar een hoger bod overwegen. Farma- en olieaandelen gaan licht hoger.
Lees meer >

OPEC Extension Sends Oil Prices Soaring


02-12-2017

Bron: Oilprice Intel

 
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As expected, OPEC agreed to extend its production cut deal through to the end of 2018. The initial reaction from oil prices was muted, but once fears of a selloff had passed, both WTI and Brent moved dramatically upwards on Friday morning.


Important Note for Energy Investors: The World Economic Forum, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the MIT Technology Review, prestigious national laboratories, and a slew of other experts are buzzing about this new element that will transform the energy industry. Early investors are already reaping the benefits. Are you in?













OPEC followed through on its promise,
extending the production cuts through the end of 2018, bringing relief to an oil market that had grown jittery in recent days. Oil prices traded in a relatively narrow range after the meeting and appeared muted. But once concerns over a selloff calmed, oil prices rallied once again on Friday morning.

OPEC deal extended through 2018. The deal will run from January through to December, and the exact volumes of the production cuts will be the same as this year. The OPEC/non-OPEC coalition said that they would monitor market conditions and would remain “agile,” ready to respond if the fundamentals deviate significantly from expectations. They will revisit the agreement at the next official meeting in June 2018, but they assume the cuts will last through the end of the year. Russian officials pressed for details on an exit strategy heading into the meeting, but the group offered no information – Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said it would be “premature” to do so. One notable change is that Libya and Nigeria agreed to cap their production levels at their 2017 average, which doesn’t necessarily curtail supply but will prevent any “surprise,” as witnessed this year. The Russian and Saudi oil ministers played up their unity and boasted about their strong relationship. All smiles from Vienna.

Goldman: Oil market volatility doesn’t make sense. Long-dated oil futures are more volatile than is justified, according to a research note from Goldman Sachs. The investment bank said that assurances from OPEC that the group will respond to market conditions should assuage concerns in the market about an unexpected rush of supply or, conversely, excessive tightening. The responsiveness of OPEC “leads us to reiterate our view that long-dated implied volatility remains too rich,” Goldman analysts wrote in the note published on Thursday.

EIA: U.S. oil production surged in September. While OPEC was meeting behind closed doors, the EIA published data for September, showing a dramatic jump in output. The U.S. produced 9.48 million barrels per day in September, an increase of 290,000 bpd from a month earlier. Aside from the size of the increase, the data was significant because it seemed to put to rest the notion that the agency was overestimating supply. For several months, the weekly data diverged from the monthly data, raising questions about how accurate the EIA’s estimates were. Yesterday’s data suggests that U.S. shale production is indeed growing robustly.

Shale hedging soared in 3rd quarter. New hedging contracts in the third quarter encompassed
897,000 bpd of annualized production, according to Wood Mackenzie survey of 33 companies. That is 147 percent increase from the second quarter, and a sign that shale drillers rushed to lock in hedges after WTI rose above $50 per barrel. “Producers that are able to lock in prices above previous expectations may feel more comfortable with increasing activity," Andy McConn, a Wood Mackenzie research analyst, told Bloomberg. “Others may leave budgets unchanged and promote higher cash-flow guidance to an investment community anxious about profits."

China gas consumption surges, leads to shortages. China has tried to replace dirty coal-fired power plants with natural gas to cut down on pollution, and by all accounts, it has succeeded. But now, the country faces natural gas shortages because of the spike in consumption. That has led officials in Hebei province to call on cities to
cut their gas use.

Venezuela arrests former oil minister. The purge in Caracas continued to expand this week. After replacing the head of PDVSA and the oil minister with a military general, the Venezuelan government
detained Eulogio del Pino, the former oil minister. The reason, like the other arrests, was because of corruption allegations. But the government also risks purging the country of its top oil talent, and PDVSA could struggle as production declines accelerate.

EV recharging along highways is key to adoption. Building out EV recharging networks along highways is crucial to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano told
Bloomberg in an interview, noting that recharging infrastructure is less urgent at homes and workplaces. “Getting a highway infrastructure up and ready is critical,” he said. “It’s a red-herring that there is no charging network in cities.” He went on to add: “The infrastructure is segueing naturally, except for highway charging, where Tesla has already proven this can be done without much trouble.”

Eni receives approval to drill offshore Alaska. Eni (NYSE: E) won
approval to drill an exploration well in the Beaufort Sea off of Alaska’s northern coast. The shallow water wells will be drilled in winter months through early 2019.

ExxonMobil begins production at Hebron field. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) said production at the Hebron field in eastern Canada
began this week, which will see peak production at 150,000 bpd. The field was first discovered in 1980 and is thought to hold 700 million barrels. Its partners in the project include Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU), Statoil (NYSE: STO) and Nalcor Energy-Oil and Gas Inc.

ExxonMobil close to exploration deal in Mauritania. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)
said it is nearing a deal with Mauritania to explore for oil and gas offshore, which would mark its first deal in the West African country. Interest in Mauritania has climbed because of the sizable discoveries in neighboring Senegal.

Elon Musk’s claim for world’s largest battery to be temporary. Elon Musk made news over the past week when Tesla (NYSE: TSLA) successfully installed the world’s largest energy storage facility in Australia, a 100-megawatt project that came online in less than 100 days. But he will only hold that mantle for a short period of time – Bloomberg
reports that a 150 MW project should reach completion in South Korea in three months. Developers are expected to install 1,650 MW of energy storage capacity this year, quadruple the total from 2016.

In our Numbers Report, we take a look at some of the most important metrics and indicators in the world of energy from the past week. Find out more by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next week.

Best Regards,

Tom Kool

Editor, Oilprice.com

P.S. – In this week’s Oil and Energy Insider, Martin Tillier addresses a unique problem that technical traders are currently facing following the rapid rise of oil prices over the last six months, he explains that this rare occurrence has provided a real opportunity for those who are in the know. Find out how to trade this long-term oil rally by 
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Global Energy Advisory - 1st December 2017

OPEC and its partners in the Vienna Club agreed to extend their oil production cuts to the end of 2018 – a widely expected move despite doubt about Russia’s willingness to support the extension. This doubt has now been cast aside and the only thing that suggests the cuts may not last until the very end of the year is the stipulation that the partners will meet to discuss progress in June. In other words, they’ve got an exit plan.

Since the extension had been factored in by traders, oil prices remained stable, so the announcement was met with a lackluster market response. One change this time around is that Libya and Nigeria, which were exempted from the initial deal, have now agreed to cap their production at current levels to support their OPEC co-members efforts to boost prices. This doesn’t really mean much. Libya would have had a hard time producing more than it’s producing right now regardless. So, for all intents and purposes, it’s still an exemption.

Prices saw a significant rally on Friday morning as bullish sentiment returned, but a new issue is now emerging: how will the Vienna Club wind down the cuts? This question seemed to be of particular concern for Russia at the meeting, according to sources close to the talks. It should be of concern to all participants, in fact: the wind-down needs to be gradual to avoid prices tanking again on oversupply worries.

Deals, Mergers & Acquisitions

•    Total will sell two stakes in Norwegian North Sea oil fields to Statoil for a total consideration of $1.45 billion. The sale is part of the French company’s review of its North Sea assets, prompted by the acquisition of Maersk Oil earlier this year: most of the Danish company’s assets are also located in the area. The assets agreed for sale to Statoil include a 51% interest in the Martin Linge field, with reserves estimated at 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, and a 40% one in the Garantiana discovery, whose resources are estimated at 50-70 million barrels of oil equivalent.

•    Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC plans to spend $109 billion over the next five years on acquiring stakes in refining and petrochemical companies abroad as well as building its own capacity in the downstream segment. These will be the first international investments of the Emirati company as it follows in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia in trying to secure long-term demand for the crude oil it produces.

•    Sinopec will sell its Argentine oil assets to Mexican Vista Oil & Gas for between $500 and 600 million. The Mexican company competed for the assets with Argentine state oil major YPF and private oil player Pluspetrol, along with several other companies. Initially, the assets were valued at up to $1 billion. The Chinese company—the country’s largest refiner—decided to quit Argentina as the business was loss-making and Sinopec had labor trouble. The Chinese company paid $2.45 billion for the business back in 2010.

Tenders, Auctions & Contracts

•    Iraq has launched tenders for untapped oil and gas fields in nine blocks. Five of these are located near the border with Iran, three are near the border with Kuwait and one is an offshore block. All these locations have been neglected until now because of conflicts between Iraq and its neighbors that have now been settled. The tender aims to increase Iraq’s production capacity though not its actual production as the country is still bound by the OPEC production cut agreement to produce at an assigned quota of 4.35 million bpd.

•    Aramco and Sabic inked an agreement for the construction of a $20-billion petrochemicals complex in Saudi Arabia that is supposed to be the largest in the world. The final investment decision, however, will only be made in two years, Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser said. The deal is the latest indication of Riyadh’s determination to relieve the Kingdom of its almost exclusive reliance on crude oil sales for government revenues and its diversification into other segments of the energy industry, including renewable power projects.

Discovery & Development

•    Anadarko will leave New Zealand as the current level of oil prices cannot justify investments in exploration there, the company said. The U.S. company was the operator of an exploration project in the Canterbury Basin, where it partnered with Australian Lattice Energy Resources and UK-based Discover Exploration.

•    Exxon announced the start of production at the Hebron offshore field in Canada, ahead of schedule. At peak levels, production should reach 150,000 bpd, with the field’s recoverable resources estimated at over 700 million barrels of oil. Exxon partners on the Hebron project with Chevron, Suncor, Statoil, and Nalcor Energy.

•    Eni has won drilling rights for a block offshore Alaska. This is the first granting of drilling rights in the region in the last two years and was immediately slammed by conservationists. Drilling will be conducted from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea and will start next month. The Italian company’s decision is seen as risky due to the high cost of Arctic exploration and also due to the vehement opposition of environmentalists to drilling operations in the region.

•    Statoil will return to the Arctic next year despite a disappointing drilling season this summer, the Norwegian company said. This year’s drilling failed to hit any meaningful oil deposit but Statoil is determined to continue: in 2018, it will drill five to six new wells in the Barents Sea and another 20-25 split between the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. Most of Norway’s undiscovered oil resources are located in the Arctic and as mature fields near depletion, it urgently needs new discoveries to keep its energy industry healthy.

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

•    North Korea launched yet another missile, claiming it can now reach any location in the United States. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened taking the whole thing into U.S. hands if China did not cut off its crude oil supply for the pariah state.

•    Terrorists bombed a mosque in Egypt killing 305 and wounding at least 128. Egypt’s public prosecutor said the bombers and shooters were from a local branch of Islamic State, although the group is unlikely to claim the attack since it was on a Muslim place of worship.

•    Libyan PM Fayez al-Sarraj will visit the White House this Friday for talks with Donald Trump on bilateral cooperation and counterterrorism partnership.

•    Venezuela’s government ordered the removal of its representative in the United Nations Rafael Ramirez – an official that has grown critical of Maduro’s government in recent months. Ramirez used to be oil minister and head of state oil company PDVSA. He was seen by some as angling to be a presidential candidate as Maduro’s government grows increasingly unpopular. In other news, Former Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino and Nestor Martinez, ex-president of PDVSA, were arrested just four days after being removed by Maduro in a surprise cabinet shake-up.
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