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TRADER DESCRIBES LOSING SENSE OF REALITY AT SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE (France)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 23, 2009

January 22, 2009

The Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRANCE, FRAUD, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

EX-TRADER TELLS HOW HE LOST SO MUCH FOR ONE BANK (France)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 23, 2009

January 22, 2009

by David Jolly

PUBLISHED BY ‘INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRANCE, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

FRANCE WEIGHS SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR AILING AUTOMAKERS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 20, 2009

January 19, 2009

Reuters- Bloomberg News

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

FRENCH ARISTOCRATS THE WENDELS FORCED TO PUT NORTH SEA ASSETS ON THE BLOCK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 18, 2009

January 18, 2009

by Danny Fortson

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRANCE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

U.S. CAN NO LONGER DOMINATE THE DEBATE, SAYS SARKOZY (France)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

January 08, 2009, 23:38

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GULF NEWS’ (Dubai)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GULF NEWS’ (Dubai)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRANCE, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

RENAULT ORDERS BOOSTED BY FRENCH CAR SCHEME

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

January 6, 2009

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

EURO CURRENCY TURNS 10; SEEN FULFILLING PROMISE – TEN YEARS AGO, EUROPE LAUNCHED ITS GRAND EXPERIMENT WITH A SHARED CURRENCY – AND WATCHED IT PLUNGE IN VALUE BEFORE RECOVERING

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 28, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008 at 11:35 AM

by Matt Moore and George Frey – Associated Press Business Writers

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SEATTLE TIMES’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SEATTLE TIMES’ (USA)

Posted in AUSTRIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BELGIUM, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, CURRENCIES, CYPRUS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EURO, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL, RECESSION, SLOVAKIA, THE EUROPEAN UNION | Leave a Comment »

DEXIA MAY LINK UP WITH FRENCH POSTAL BANK (France)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

December 26, 2008

by Joseph Schmid

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRANCE, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

IRANIAN PRESIDENT TAKES A SHOT AT THE WEST IN A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE – MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IN A VIDEO FOR CHANNEL 4’S ‘ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE,’ OFFERS WARM GREETINGS BUT SAYS THE WEST’S BULLYING LEADERS AND THEIR POLICIES WOULD BE SHUNNED BY JESUS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008

by Borzou Daragahi

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE L.A. TIMES’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE L.A. TIMES’ (USA)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FRANCE, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, ISRAEL, ITALY, NORWAY, PETROL, RECESSION, SAUDI ARABIA, SPAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA | Leave a Comment »

GRIM OUTLOOK FOR RICH NATIONS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 – 23:44 Mecca time, 20:44 GMT

AlJazeera

PUBLISHED BY ‘ALJAZEERA’ (Qatar)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ALJAZEERA’ (Qatar)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BELGIUM, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, ITALY, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SAUDI ARABIA, SPAIN, STOCK MARKETS, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

BRAZIL BUYS 50 HELICOPTERS, 5 SUBMARINES FROM FRANCE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

24 Dec 2008, 02:43 hrs IST

Agence France Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’

Posted in A PRESIDÊNCIA, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FRANCE, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LUIS INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA, MINISTÉRIO DA DEFESA, O MERCADO IMPORTADOR, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, ORÇAMENTO NACIONAL - BRASIL, POLÍTICA EXTERNA - BRASIL, RECEITA FEDERAL - BRASIL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES DIPLOMÁTICAS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

EURO ZONE Q3 EMPLOYMENT FALLS, FIRST TIME ON RECORD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

December 16, 2008

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’ (Cyprus)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’ (Cyprus)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PORTUGAL, RECESSION, RUSSIA, SPAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

COLD WAR TAKES GLOSS OFF NICOLAS SARKOZY’S PRESIDENCY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

December 12, 2008

Charles Bremner in Paris – The Times

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

The Germans see him as an excitable clown and he raises hackles in the East, but Nicolas Sarkozy wants to extend SARKOZY, ACCORDING TO MERKELhis reign as Europe’s de facto leader after his last summit in the EU chair, which opened yesterday.

The hyperactive French President is convinced that he has galvanised Europe with deft handling of the credit crunch and other crises during his six-month EU presidency.

The satisfaction in Paris is barely dimmed by the most glaring failure of France’s presidency: Mr Sarkozy’s cold war with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor.

The subdued Ms Merkel, who loathes Mr Sarkozy’s bravura, has been watching videos of the late Louis de Funès, a manic comic actor and Gallic institution, for clues to understanding the ever-agitated President.

Der Spiegel says that the Chancellor sees Mr Sarkozy as an “unfeasibly vain jack-in-the-box”: “She has nothing to counter him apart from her eternal impassiveness. Her fist may be clenched but she keeps it in her pocket.”

“Super Sarko”, who does not claim modesty among his qualities, is telling colleagues that he has triumphed by steering Europe through the financial crunch – with Gordon Brown’s help – and creating a new political purpose in the moribund Union.

Jean-David Levitte, the veteran diplomat who manages foreign policy from the Élysée Palace, said that Mr Sarkozy had swung the balance of power in Europe by winning over second-rank members such as Greece.

As the Czech Republic prepares to take over the presidency next month, Mr Sarkozy’s team has been setting out his plans for maintaining French direction. Last month Ms Merkel scuppered Mr Sarkozy’s attempt to appoint himself chairman of the eurozone for next year during the EU presidencies of two non-euro states. But France has another 18 months as co-chair of an EU-Mediterranean Union that Mr Sarkozy launched last July.

His next plan, not yet announced, is a new “economic and security space” with Russia, Mr Levitte disclosed. Given anger in the West towards Russia’s occupation of northern Georgia, European leaders will be surprised to learn that Mr Sarkozy aims to offer a new security pact to Russia and hopes to bring in Ukraine and Turkey.

Another item to emerge from Mr Sarkozy’s team this week has been the President’s belief that Mr Brown will swap the pound for the single currency, thereby boosting the power of the eurozone. “Do you think that they enjoy seeing sterling in such a state?” asked a senior Sarkozy adviser.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FRANCE, GEORGIA, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, RUSSIA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, TURKEY, UKRAINE | Leave a Comment »

AIR FRANCE SEEKS PROBE INTO AUSTRIAN AIRLINES SALE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

Thursday, 12.11.08

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIAMI HERALD'(USA)

PARIS – Air France-KLM Group said Thursday it has lodged a complaint with the European Commission, accusing German rival Lufthansa of benefiting unfairly from state aid in its deal to acquire Austrian Airlines.

The French-Dutch carrier dropped out of the running for the Austrian carrier, while Lufthansa agreed last week to buy the Austrian government’s stake in the ailing national airline and offered to buy any outstanding shares.

Air France-KLM said in a statement it “strongly believes that the sale of Austrian Airlines to Lufthansa is not being conducted in the best interest of Austrian Airlines stakeholders and at a fair market price.”

The sale “entails state aid elements that need to be thoroughly investigated by the European Commission,” it said.

Under the agreement, the Austrian government will assume up to euro500 million of the carrier’s debt, which amounted to euro900 million as of last month. Air France-KLM said the deal doesn’t follow the instructions imposed on it during the bidding process.

Lufthansa said it was “convinced that the transaction agreed to last week on the acquisition of Austrian Airlines is in compliance with corresponding statutary requirements.”

Lufthansa also said that the Austrian state holding company had obtained legal opinion showing that the deal conformed to law.

The agreement signed by Lufthansa and officials of the Austrian government’s privatization agency gives the German carrier the state’s 41.56 percent share in Austrian Airlines.

That deal carries a price tag of euro366,000 ($465,000) but foresees additional payments of up to euro162 million depending on whether, and to what degree, Austrian turns profitable again.

Lufthansa has also offered to buy the rest of Austrian Airlines for euro4.44 per publicly held share.

Austria’s government decided in August to sell its share in the country’s flagship carrier. Air France-KLM and S7 of Russia had previously expressed an interest but then dropped out of the bidding.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIAMI HERALD'(USA)

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, AUSTRIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FRANCE, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RUSSIA, STOCK MARKETS, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

ROCCO SABELLI PRESENTA LA NUOVA ALITALIA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

12/12/2008

Amerigo Francia – Milano Finanza

PUBLISHED BY ‘MILANO FINANZA’ (Italy)

La nuova Alitalia non aumenterà i prezzi e non ridurrà l’offerta di voli. Lo ha assicurato l’amministratore delegato di Cai, Rocco ROCCO SABELLISabelli, nella conferenza stampa per la presentazione del closing della vendita di Alitalia a Cai. “Non abbiamo in programma di aumentare i prezzi o ridurre l’offerta, anche sulle rotte dove abbiamo il 100% del mercato”, ha affermato Sabelli illustrando i punti principali del piano industriale.

L’obiettivo, spiega il braccio destro di Colaninno, “mira a ottenere il 56% del mercato interno nel 2009 rispetto all’attuale 30%. Una quota che ci farà tornare in Europa, visto che Air France ha il 91%, Lufthansa il 53%, Turkish Airlines il 43% e Iberia 39%. Puntiamo inoltre ad avere una flotta più moderna ed efficiente: nel 2009 l’età media dei nostri aerei sarà 8,6 anni, mentre attualmente è di 12,4 anni”.

Nel piano industriale, ha spiegato Sabelli, una forte attenzione è legata alla creazione di un network completo ed efficiente focalizzato su medio e lungo raggio. “Non si può fare una compagnia grande quanto si vuole, ma grande quanto si deve. Dico un’ovvietà”, ha osservato Sabelli, “ma è meglio avere meno aerei ma più pieni che tanti aerei mezzi vuoti. Il piano industriale parte dall’esame della struttura della domanda e dalle dimensioni del mercato, e punta a creare un leader forte sul mercato domestico. L’integrazione con Air One va in questa direzione e ci fornisce densità, dimensione e sinergie”.

Per la capitalizzazione della nuova Alitalia il manager conta sui 1.100 milioni, che era il target iniziale, e sul contributo del partner straniero. L’aumento di capitale avverrà in due tranche: per 850 mln dai 21 soci attuali, ai quali “non escludiamo se ne aggiungano altri”, mentre la restante parte avverrà in un secondo momento “per garantire la struttura finanziaria”.

Riguardo invece al partner industriale con la nuova Alitalia, l’ad di Cai ha confermato che “La scelta del partner straniero sarà tra Lufthansa e Air France”, precisando che da parte di entrambe le compagnie è stata avanzata la proposta di partenariato industriale come la disponibilità a investire in equity. La proposta di British Airways era invece “di natura solo commerciale”, ha spiegato Sabelli. Il manager ha quindi detto che “noi privilegiamo le prime due e crediamo che un ingresso nell’equity possa rafforzare la compagnia”. Parlando di Lufthansa e Air France, Sabelli ha detto che si tratta di “due proposte molto buone, duole lasciarne fuori una. Sceglieremo la proposta migliore”.

In ultimo, stamattina è partito il processo di assunzioni. “Siamo assolutamente tranquilli sulla trasparenza dei criteri concordati”. Le proposte di assunzione saranno dirette a “quasi 9mila persone, ci aspettiamo una risposta entro 48 ore”. Per quanto riguarda il rapporto con i sindacati, Sabelli ha detto di aver avuto con i sindacati confederali “una trattativa molto dura, ma comunque negoziale”, mentre con le associazioni professionali c’è stato “il rifiuto di cedere il controllo della compagnia”. Per questo, “da oggi il dialogo va direttamente ai nostri dipendenti”, ha concluso Sabelli.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MILANO FINANZA’ (Italy)

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRANCE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, ITALY, NETHERLANDS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, TURKEY, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

EU AGREES $260BN ECONOMY PLAN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008 15:17 Mecca time, 12:17 GMT

PUBLISHED BY ‘AL JAZEERA’ (Qatar)

European Union leaders have agreed a $260bn stimulus package designed to dig the continent’s troubled economies out of recession.

The deal, which see each EU French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, shares a word with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Friday Dec. 12, 2008. European Union leaders continue their two days of talks aimed at sealing a final accord on their climate change package to cut emissions by 20 percent by 2020member invest on average the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) into their economies in order to temper the impact of a global recession, was reached on Friday at a two-day summit in the Belgian capital Brussels.

“What Europe has proved unanimously today is that it is ready to act in a united way to deal with the global downturn,” Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister, said.

“We will continue to reject the do-nothing approach and we will not stand by and let the recession take its course.”

Ahead of the summit, Germany had expressed reservations about ploughing so much public money into the economy and resisted pressure to contribute more than what it judged necessary to revive the German economy again.

Officials revised earlier versions of the conclusions to say the package should be worth “about” 1.5 per cent of GDP rather than “at least” 1.5 per cent as seen in an earlier draft.

Climate change

After securing an agreement in the morning for Ireland to submit a stalled EU reform treaty to a second referendum next year, the 27 leaders were also hoping to reach more common ground on climate change as the day progressed.

Copies of a draft agreement indicated the leaders should commit themselves to warding off the threat of a “recessionary spiral” with the stimulus package and an ambitious climate package.

“In these exceptional circumstances, Europe will act in a united, strong, rapid and decisive manner to avoid a recessionary spiral and sustain economic activity and employment,” the draft conclusion said.

“It will mobilise all the instruments available to it and act in a concerted manner to maximise the effect of the measures taken by the [European] Union and by each member state.”

The EU’s climate-energy package, the “20-20-20” deal, seeks to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, make 20 per cent energy savings and bring renewable energy sources up to 20 per cent of total energy use.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said: “The member states still have essential negotiations but I am cautiously optimistic that good conclusions can be reached here and send an important signal” to an international climate conference in Copehagen next December.

Under Ireland’s referendum deal, a new referendum will be held by November 2009 on the controversial treaty in exchange for guarantees on key issues including an assurance that it does not lose its EU commissioner.

Irish voters rejected the treaty, designed to streamline EU decision-making and institutions, at a first referendum in June.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘AL JAZEERA’ (Qatar)

Posted in AEOLIC, BANKING SYSTEMS, BELGIUM, BIOFUELS, BIOMASS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, EUROPE, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FRANCE, GERMANY, HYDROGEN - FUEL CELLS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRELAND, NATURAL GAS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOLAR, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLANS SPRING UP AROUND WORLD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Published Tuesday, December 2, 2008

THE WASHINGTON POST

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

WASHINGTON — In a bid to jump-start the beleaguered global economy, countries around the world are introducing massive public spending programs aimed at creating millions of jobs, boosting the use of green energy and modernizing infrastructure in a way that could transform urban and rural landscapes.

The viability of some of the plans remains unclear. But observers say the number of countries moving in tandem underscores the perceived severity of the coming global recession and the view that governments must at least temporarily pick up the slack as the hard-hit private sector sheds jobs and cuts spending.

It is time “to invest massively in infrastructure, in research, in innovation, in education, in training people, because it is now or never,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a recent public address.

World leaders are pursuing various strategies to tame the economic crisis, including moves to unclog credit markets, strengthen financial institutions and ease monetary policy. But fiscal stimulus packages, in particular, have emerged as a favorite tool of policymakers.

Worldwide, economists say, the increase in public spending, if executed wisely, could add as much as 1 percent or 2 percent to global growth next year, perhaps easing recessions in the United States, Europe and Japan while cushioning the slowdown in the developing world, which until recently had seen red-hot growth.

Yet if the promise of combating a global recession with public funds is big, so too, experts say, is the danger that billions worth of taxpayers dollars could be spent in vain.

Analysts point out that the pitfalls of growth-by-spending were exposed by Japan, which launched a huge infrastructure program in the 1990s. To spur expansion after stock market and real estate crashes, the Tokyo government spent billions on new public works projects.

Those projects not only failed to prevent a decadelong economic slump but also produced a herd of white elephants that included new, but little-used, airports and ports, as well as a $250 million bridge to Kourijima Island. Population: 361.

“There is a huge danger of bridges to nowhere, and as Japan showed us, that is no way to get out of a recession,” said Grant Aldonas, a former high-level Bush administration trade official and a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

While China and Japan enjoy a surplus of reserves, spending increases will drive the United States, Britain and many other European countries deeper into debt. The cost of raising cash on world markets by some rich nations, such as Ireland, has surged as investors grow increasingly skeptical of their fiscal health, limiting their options to spend more now.

“In normal times, we would be telling countries, ‘Please reduce your debt,'” said Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, which has taken the unusual step of calling on nations to raise public spending by 2 percent of gross domestic product to combat a global recession. “But these are not normal times.”

A snapshot of how governments plan to increase spending is emerging. Those plans include not only the building of more bridges and roads but also the introduction of measures to put more cash into the hands of strapped consumers.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have moved to boost consumer spending and lower home mortgage rates, committing as much as $800 billion to make it easier for Americans to borrow money for cars, tuition and homes.

The British said they would slash the national sales tax from to 15 percent from 17.5 percent. The Germans are set to offer temporary tax incentives to consumers buying cars or renovating homes. The Japanese are giving out cash rebates to taxpayers.

Some of the projects being proposed are pre-existing infrastructure plans that are being accelerated. Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, estimates that only about half the “new projects” in Beijing’s $586 billion package amount to previously unplanned spending. “But that is still a great deal of money,” Lardy said.

A number of countries are gearing up for projects that offer long-term benefits, both economic and environmental.

In a move that may offer a guide to helping the ailing Big Three automakers in Detroit, the French are in the early stages of plans to assist their hard-hit auto industry by awarding government grants to boost research into hybrid and battery-power technology.

In comments last week, president-elect Barack Obama suggested that an expansion of wind and solar power generation would be part of his stimulus plans. Obama also cited a plan being circulated by environmental groups that would offer government loans to help schools update their heating and cooling systems, creating quick construction jobs and stimulating demand for building materials.

“I think the fervor in which (the Obama team) is seeking suggestions right now tells me that this kind of spending is something they are very serious about,” said Carl Pope, executive director the Sierra Club.

Some countries in Europe, such as Germany, appear more concerned about overspending. That is at odds with the leadership in France, where Sarkozy has seen the crisis as an opportunity to boost the role of government.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), BIOFUELS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, MACROECONOMY, MARITIME, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOLAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

WALL STREET CAST ITS VOTE FOR NEW YORK FEDERAL RESERVE PRESIDENT TIMOTHY GEITHNER FOR TREASURY SECRETARY, RALLYING IN HIS FAVOUR

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

November 22, 2008

LATEST: Rob Curran

Article from: Dow Jones Newswires

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged nearly 500 points in the last hour of trading after reports Reutersthat president-elect Barrack Obama would name Mr Geithner to the top Treasury post.

Buyers became energised after a report by NBC News that Mr Obama will personally unveil Mr Geithner as the incoming Treasury boss at a news conference on Monday, along with other members of his economic team.

The report by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who is married to former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, cheered depressed investors, even though there was no immediate confirmation.

“The market is running up on the news that Timothy Geithner will be the next treasury secretary,” said Peter Cardillo of Avalon Partners.

“Maybe it can bring confidence back.”

Yet the Dow still lost more than 5 per cent on the week, as Citigroup plunged to levels not seen in 15 years and traders worried about the survival of General Motors and Ford.

Mr Geithner, 47, is intimately familiar with Wall Street and worked on recent rescue efforts for the financial system. Those rescue efforts are a work in progress, however.

Citigroup fell US94 cents, or 20 per cent, to $US3.77, taking its losses to 60 per cent for the week and 72 per cent for November as the bank scrambles to review strategic options.

Selling of Citi’s shares grew heavier after chief executive Vikram Pandit said he had no desire to sell the Smith Barney brokerage unit. The stock’s close was the lowest for Citi since the last day of 1992; it has lost more than $US53.8 billion ($67.7 billion) in market value in November.

“It’s mind-boggling,” said Bud Haslett, chief executive of Miller Tabak Capital Management.

Traders say the Treasury Department’s decision last week not to buy distressed assets abruptly changed the outlook for banks.

“The change in the direction of the Troubled Asset Relief Program was the major thing” weighing on financials, said Peter McCorry, senior equity trader at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. “Changing the rules of the TARP is an indication that the rules can and will change mid-game.”

The Dow rose 494.13 points, or 6.54 per cent, to 8046.42, its biggest gain in more than a week.

The broad S&P 500 index rose 47.59 points, or 6.32 per cent, to 800.03, a day after closing at its lowest mark since 1997. The tech-oriented Nasdaq Composite added 68.23 points, or 5.18 per cent, to 1384.35. For the week, the Dow lost 5.3 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 8.4 per cent and the Nasdaq was down 8.7 per cent – and all three had their biggest drops in four weeks.

In response to Wall Street, the Sydney Futures Exchange’s December share price index futures contract jumped 68 points to 3500, representing an 83.5-point premium to the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and suggesting a solid start to the Australian market on Monday.

The Australian dollar settled offshore trading at just above US63 cents.

In the most volatile Wall Street market since the 1930s, traders say it takes little to push the market in one direction or another.

“We’re dealing with a lot of redemptions,” said one manager at a fund of funds, indicating that forced selling due to clients’ requests for cash is ongoing.

Goldman Sachs Group rose $US1.31, or 2.5 per cent, to $US53.31, finishing the week with a loss of 20 per cent. Morgan Stanley rose US85c, or 9.2 per cent, to $US10.05, but declined 16 per cent on the week.

The model of Wall Street banks is under strain as investments across all asset classes turn sour, and trading with leverage goes out of style.

KeyCorp fell US64c, or 9.3 per cent, to $US6.27 after the regional bank slashed its dividend.

Dell shed US51c, or 5.2 per cent, to 9.30. Third-quarter profit exceeded the Wall Street estimate, helped by cost cuts, but revenue fell to $US15.16 billion from $US15.65 billion a year earlier.

The shopping season begins in force next week, and traders will see if consumer-spending fears are justified. The Consumer Select Discretionary SPDR, a basket of retailers and other consumer stocks, rose $US1.12, or 6.9 per cent, to $US17.45, but fell 9 per cent this week, just one of many wild swings.

Gold mining companies surged as a wave of “deflation” fears receded for now.

Gold is used as a safe haven, but also a hedge against inflation, a market worry that was replaced by deflation lately. Newmont Mining added $US5.79, or 25 per cent, to $US28.79, but has fallen by almost half since its peak.

In Europe, the London FTSE 100 index fell 2.43 per cent to 3780.96 points — its lowest closing level since April 3, 2003, capping an overall fall of 10.68 per cent for the week.

In Paris, the CAC 40 plunged 3.33 per cent and in Frankfurt the DAX shed 2.20 per cent, with banks Allianz and Deutsche Bank among the heavy losers.

“Although this morning saw a slight rally for the UK market, the afternoon has seen these gains eroded with the market nose diving,” said David Jones, a strategist at IG Index in London.

“Sentiment this week has turned even gloomier than we have been used to of late.”

Additional reporting by AFP and staff writers

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, GERMANY, GOLD, INFLATION, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

MELROSE TOUTS ACTIVE DRILLING PROGRAM IN EGYPT, BULGARIA & US

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melrose Resources plc

MELROSE RESOURCES

Melrose Resources has issued its Interim Management Statement to cover the period July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008 (“the Third Quarter”) and up to date. This information is provisional and unaudited and may be subject to further review.

Exploration

In October Melrose announced the success of the Kavarna No.1 exploration well, which was drilled approximately 7 km to the east of the Melrose-operated Galata gas field, offshore Bulgaria. The well

was drilled to total depth of 2,899 feet and encountered the top of the Paleocene reservoir target at a depth of 2,628 feet. The mud log obtained while drilling established that the reservoir formation was well developed and gas-bearing and the initial reserves estimate for the discovery is 24 Bcf.

The new discovery is located between the Galata field and the Kaliakra discovery which was announced earlier this year and which is estimated to contain reserves of up to 47 Bcf. Three future prospects exist on the same geologic trend and are candidates for drilling in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to completing the well, a strong gas influx occurred in the Kavarna No.1 well and for safety reasons it was necessary to plug the well which will now be redrilled. Subsequently an appraisal well will be drilled on the Kaliakra discovery to test for the significant reserves upside in the structure. First production is expected from the two discoveries in the second half of 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Development

Melrose is continuing with its active development program in Egypt. The West Dikirnis Phase II development project is progressing well with all initial design work complete and all major procurement contracts placed. The project is on schedule for the delivery of first LPG and gas reinjection in mid 2009. Also in Egypt, production was re-instigated from the Qantara field in October and the development projects at East Abu Khadra, North East Abu Zahra, South Zarqa and Damas are ongoing with planned first production on dates between December 2008 and September 2009.

In the USA, Melrose has continued with the development project on its fields in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. A total of 42 new wells have been drilled to date and injection of water as part of the secondary recovery project in the Jalmat field has commenced.

In Bulgaria, the project to convert the Galata gas field to a gas storage facility is moving forward and discussions are continuing with the Bulgarian authorities to define commercial terms. First injection in the facility is expected in mid 2009.

Production and Product Prices

Melrose’s net entitlement production in the Third Quarter totalled 6.0 Bcf of gas and 357 Mbbls of oil and condensate, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2007. Average daily net entitlement production in the quarter was 14.8 Mboepd (88.9 MMcfepd). On a working interest basis average daily production in the quarter was 34.6 Mboepd.

Financial Position

Total capital expenditure in the Third Quarter amounted to $55.4 million, of which $41.7 million was spent on development and $13.7 million on exploration activities. In the period January 1, 2008 to September 30,2008 capital expenditure amounted to $147.4 million, of which $94.4 million was spent on development and $53.0 million on exploration activities.

Melrose remains in a well funded and sound financial position and there have been no major changes in its balance sheet since the publication of the 2008 Interim Results. Group net debt at 30 September was $407.0 million. Increased bank facilities were put in place in June 2008 with the IFC and a syndicate of eight commercial banks. The senior facility has a facility amount of $440 million and the subordinated facility has a facility amount of $70 million. Both facilities remain fixed until 2012 and then amortize with final repayment due in December 2014. Availability under the borrowing base calculation for the senior facility currently exceeds the facility size and Melrose would be in a position to consider increasing the size of the senior facility in the future if required.

The existing loan facilities, coupled with good levels of cash generation from the business, will ensure that the Company is able to finance its planned investment programme going forward. The fall in the oil price has resulted in a decrease in revenue in the Third Quarter compared with the second quarter of the year. Melrose benefits from a number of advantages in the current lower oil price environment. Firstly, approximately 74% of Melrose’s net production in the Third Quarter was gas which was sold at fixed contracted prices. Secondly, under the terms of Melrose’s production sharing concessions in Egypt Melrose has a higher entitlement to production at lower oil prices. Thirdly, and most importantly, Melrose is the operator of its major properties. This gives Melrose the ability to determine the amount and timing of its capital expenditures in the light of available resources.

During the Third Quarter, the Company announced a maiden interim dividend to shareholders of 1.2 pence per share which was paid on October 17, 2008.

Outlook

In Bulgaria, pending receipt of the final approval from the Bulgarian authorities for the conversion of the Galata gas field as a gas storage facility, the Company has reduced the Galata production rate to around 11 MMcfpd and expects to cease production from the field at the end of this year to ensure sufficient gas is left in the reservoir to implement the project.

Because of this and some minor operational delays in Egypt, the Company previously announced last month that it believes it is prudent to reduce its 2008 net entitlement production guidance from 19.2 Mboepd to 18.3 Mboepd. The revised 2008 production guidance equates to 36.3 Mboepd on a working interest basis.

The result of the exploration programme in Bulgaria and reserve additions in the USA put Melrose on track for a strong performance in reserves replacement in 2008. The development projects which comprise the majority of Melrose’s capital expenditures are on schedule which is positive for production expectations in 2009 and beyond.

In the coming few months Melrose has an active drilling program. In Egypt the North Dikirnis No.1 exploration well is currently drilling and an exploration well at East Dikirnis (also known as North Tariff) is planned before year-end. In Bulgaria the re-drill of the Kavarna No.1 will be followed by an appraisal well on the Kaliakra structure. In East Texas, the Nunan No.1 well, which has multiple pay targets, is expected to spud later this month and will be followed by the Ramsey No.1 well which is twinning a well drilled by the previous operator and which discovered the target formation.

Commenting on this report, David Thomas, Chief Executive, said, “Melrose continues to make good progress in all three of our principal areas of operation. In the current environment we are seeing the benefit of our solid production base and of the established development upside in our properties. Drilling success has again demonstrated our ability to add value for the Company through exploration and with our current resources and asset portfolio we are well positioned to provide value growth for our shareholders.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in ALGERIA, BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

MELROSE TOUTS ACTIVE DRILLING PROGRAM IN EGYPT, BULGARIA & US

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melrose Resources plc

MELROSE RESOURCES

Melrose Resources has issued its Interim Management Statement to cover the period July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008 (“the Third Quarter”) and up to date. This information is provisional and unaudited and may be subject to further review.

Exploration

In October Melrose announced the success of the Kavarna No.1 exploration well, which was drilled approximately 7 km to the east of the Melrose-operated Galata gas field, offshore Bulgaria. The well

was drilled to total depth of 2,899 feet and encountered the top of the Paleocene reservoir target at a depth of 2,628 feet. The mud log obtained while drilling established that the reservoir formation was well developed and gas-bearing and the initial reserves estimate for the discovery is 24 Bcf.

The new discovery is located between the Galata field and the Kaliakra discovery which was announced earlier this year and which is estimated to contain reserves of up to 47 Bcf. Three future prospects exist on the same geologic trend and are candidates for drilling in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to completing the well, a strong gas influx occurred in the Kavarna No.1 well and for safety reasons it was necessary to plug the well which will now be redrilled. Subsequently an appraisal well will be drilled on the Kaliakra discovery to test for the significant reserves upside in the structure. First production is expected from the two discoveries in the second half of 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Development

Melrose is continuing with its active development program in Egypt. The West Dikirnis Phase II development project is progressing well with all initial design work complete and all major procurement contracts placed. The project is on schedule for the delivery of first LPG and gas reinjection in mid 2009. Also in Egypt, production was re-instigated from the Qantara field in October and the development projects at East Abu Khadra, North East Abu Zahra, South Zarqa and Damas are ongoing with planned first production on dates between December 2008 and September 2009.

In the USA, Melrose has continued with the development project on its fields in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. A total of 42 new wells have been drilled to date and injection of water as part of the secondary recovery project in the Jalmat field has commenced.

In Bulgaria, the project to convert the Galata gas field to a gas storage facility is moving forward and discussions are continuing with the Bulgarian authorities to define commercial terms. First injection in the facility is expected in mid 2009.

Production and Product Prices

Melrose’s net entitlement production in the Third Quarter totalled 6.0 Bcf of gas and 357 Mbbls of oil and condensate, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2007. Average daily net entitlement production in the quarter was 14.8 Mboepd (88.9 MMcfepd). On a working interest basis average daily production in the quarter was 34.6 Mboepd.

Financial Position

Total capital expenditure in the Third Quarter amounted to $55.4 million, of which $41.7 million was spent on development and $13.7 million on exploration activities. In the period January 1, 2008 to September 30,2008 capital expenditure amounted to $147.4 million, of which $94.4 million was spent on development and $53.0 million on exploration activities.

Melrose remains in a well funded and sound financial position and there have been no major changes in its balance sheet since the publication of the 2008 Interim Results. Group net debt at 30 September was $407.0 million. Increased bank facilities were put in place in June 2008 with the IFC and a syndicate of eight commercial banks. The senior facility has a facility amount of $440 million and the subordinated facility has a facility amount of $70 million. Both facilities remain fixed until 2012 and then amortize with final repayment due in December 2014. Availability under the borrowing base calculation for the senior facility currently exceeds the facility size and Melrose would be in a position to consider increasing the size of the senior facility in the future if required.

The existing loan facilities, coupled with good levels of cash generation from the business, will ensure that the Company is able to finance its planned investment programme going forward. The fall in the oil price has resulted in a decrease in revenue in the Third Quarter compared with the second quarter of the year. Melrose benefits from a number of advantages in the current lower oil price environment. Firstly, approximately 74% of Melrose’s net production in the Third Quarter was gas which was sold at fixed contracted prices. Secondly, under the terms of Melrose’s production sharing concessions in Egypt Melrose has a higher entitlement to production at lower oil prices. Thirdly, and most importantly, Melrose is the operator of its major properties. This gives Melrose the ability to determine the amount and timing of its capital expenditures in the light of available resources.

During the Third Quarter, the Company announced a maiden interim dividend to shareholders of 1.2 pence per share which was paid on October 17, 2008.

Outlook

In Bulgaria, pending receipt of the final approval from the Bulgarian authorities for the conversion of the Galata gas field as a gas storage facility, the Company has reduced the Galata production rate to around 11 MMcfpd and expects to cease production from the field at the end of this year to ensure sufficient gas is left in the reservoir to implement the project.

Because of this and some minor operational delays in Egypt, the Company previously announced last month that it believes it is prudent to reduce its 2008 net entitlement production guidance from 19.2 Mboepd to 18.3 Mboepd. The revised 2008 production guidance equates to 36.3 Mboepd on a working interest basis.

The result of the exploration programme in Bulgaria and reserve additions in the USA put Melrose on track for a strong performance in reserves replacement in 2008. The development projects which comprise the majority of Melrose’s capital expenditures are on schedule which is positive for production expectations in 2009 and beyond.

In the coming few months Melrose has an active drilling program. In Egypt the North Dikirnis No.1 exploration well is currently drilling and an exploration well at East Dikirnis (also known as North Tariff) is planned before year-end. In Bulgaria the re-drill of the Kavarna No.1 will be followed by an appraisal well on the Kaliakra structure. In East Texas, the Nunan No.1 well, which has multiple pay targets, is expected to spud later this month and will be followed by the Ramsey No.1 well which is twinning a well drilled by the previous operator and which discovered the target formation.

Commenting on this report, David Thomas, Chief Executive, said, “Melrose continues to make good progress in all three of our principal areas of operation. In the current environment we are seeing the benefit of our solid production base and of the established development upside in our properties. Drilling success has again demonstrated our ability to add value for the Company through exploration and with our current resources and asset portfolio we are well positioned to provide value growth for our shareholders.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in ALGERIA, BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

SARKOZY SAYS U.S. MISSILE SHIELD WON’T HELP SECURITY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

The Associated Press

U.S. President George W. Bush, left, gestures during a joint news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at Elysee Palace on Saturday, June 14, 2008Nicolas Sarkozy at Elysee Palace on Saturday, June 14, 2008

NICE, France: France’s U.S.-friendly president sent a clear message Friday to the next American administration: Plans for a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe are misguided, and won’t make the continent a safer place.

Nicolas Sarkozy also warned Russian President Dmitry Medvedev against upping tensions by deploying missiles on the borders of the European Union in response to the U.S. planned missile defense system.

Sarkozy’s comments, at a summit with Medvedev, were the strongest to date by an American ally against the missile-defense plans — and undercut the rationale behind U.S. President George W. Bush’s European security strategy.

The plans for using sites in Poland and the Czech Republic have infuriated Russia despite the Bush administration’s insistence that they are aimed at protecting Europe from Iran.

“Deployment of a missile defense system would bring nothing to security … it would complicate things, and would make them move backward,” Sarkozy said at a news conference with Medvedev. Medvedev smiled and pointed his finger at Sarkozy in approval.

The remarks came at the end of a week in which the United States and Russia rejected each other’s proposed solutions to the standoff over the missile plans, making it increasingly likely that it will not be resolved before U.S. President-elect Barack Obama takes office.

Obama has not been explicit about his intentions on European missile defense, saying it would be prudent to “explore the possibility” but expressing some skepticism about the technical capability of U.S. missile defenses.

Moscow sees the defense plans as a Cold War-style project that could eliminate Russia’s nuclear deterrent or spy on its military installations. Much of Western Europe is nervous about the idea of such major defensive weaponry stationed around the continent.

But Poland and the Czech Republic, where bad memories of Soviet domination run deep, hope Obama follows through on the plans.

Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra said in a statement he “was surprised” about Sarkozy’s remarks, made at an EU-Russia summit.

“France never consulted with us such a standpoint,” he said. “As far as I know a stance on the missile defense was not part of the French presidency mandate for the EU-Russia summit.” France currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

Sarkozy said he was worried about Russia’s threat to deploy short-range Iskander missiles near Poland in response to the U.S. move.

“We could continue between Europe and Russia to threaten each other with shields, with missiles, with navies,” he said. “It would do Russia no good, Georgia no good and Europe no good.”

Sarkozy said he would discuss the missile issue with NATO counterparts at a summit early next year and proposed a pan-European security conference after that, to include Russia. Medvedev welcomed the idea.

Sarkozy has generally been hawkish on Iran and allied himself more closely with Bush than his predecessor Jacques Chirac. But Sarkozy is also clearly looking ahead to his relations with Bush’s successor.

Medvedev stuck to Russia’s stance. He suggested that the Russian threat to install missiles in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad — announced just hours after Obama’s election — was “a response to the behavior of certain European states that agreed to deploy new (missile defenses) on their own territories without consulting anyone.”

Friday’s summit made a key step toward rapprochement between Russia and the European Union: The EU announced the resumption of partnership talks with Russia that had been put on hold because of the war in Georgia.

Critics, including the United States and Georgian governments and human rights groups, say it is too soon to forgive Russia, in effect, when Russian troops remain implanted and unchecked in the two breakaway Georgian provinces at the core of the war.

Sarkozy, temporarily in charge of the 27-nation EU, insisted that the resumption wasn’t “a sign of weakness.”

He and Medvedev remained divided, though, over the continuing presence of Russian troops.

The European Union is Russia’s No. 1 customer and No. 1 investor, and heavily dependent on Russian energy. With the world financial crisis shaking markets in Europe and beyond, officials of the 27-nation EU say reaching out to Moscow is crucial to ensuring stability and to keeping Russia from shutting off its economy to outsiders.

Medvedev pointed on Friday to the lucrative trade between the EU and Russia, worth hundreds of billions of euros annually.

“We should think of this when we make decisions on all cooperation,” he said.

The EU-Russia talks, launched in 2007, aim for an agreement that would increase economic integration, tighten relations on justice and security and boost cooperation in education and science. U.S. diplomats warned European officials that the resumed talks could undermine Western attempts to rein in the Kremlin’s aggressive foreign policy.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (Brasil)

Posted in COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, EUROPE, FRANCE, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RUSSIA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, USA | Leave a Comment »

EU UNVEILS PLAN TO WEAKEN RUSSIAN GRIP ON GAS SUPPLY – Southern corridor pipeline would bypass Gazprom – Strategy is part of £1.5tn energy security package

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Friday November 14 2008

by Ian Traynor in Brussels – The Guardian – guardian.co.uk

Europe yesterday stepped up attempts to reduce its exposure to potential Russian blackmail over energy supplies, unveiling an ambitious strategy aimed at weakening Russian giant Gazprom’s domination of Europe’s gas imports.

On the eve of the Russia-EU summit today in France, the energy package released by the European commission highlighted Europe’s dependence on Russian exports and sought to devise strategies to wean Europe off the addiction.

Of six energy projects pinpointed for development, commission officials said the two “absolute” priorities were to connect the three post-Soviet Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to European power grids and to forge ahead with the so-called “southern gas corridor”, which is supposed to transport gas from the Caspian basin to Europe while, for political reasons, bypassing the world’s two biggest gas producers, Russia and Iran. Both projects are aimed at loosening Russia’s grip.

By next year Brussels also aims to have set up a consortium of European companies to buy gas from the Caspian basin, to be shipped to Europe in a new pipeline from Azerbaijan, via Turkey and the Balkans, to Austria from 2013. Gazprom currently controls all the pipelines sending gas to Europe from the east.

“The EU wants different sources of supply,” said José Manuel Barroso, the commission president, who will negotiate on energy today with the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, at a summit in the south of France. “We must not sleepwalk into Europe’s energy dependence crisis.”

The Baltic states are isolated from the rest of the EU in their energy supplies and dependent on Russia, while another five EU countries in central Europe and Ireland also get all their gas from Russia. Germany is the EU’s biggest Gazprom client.

Europe currently gets 42% of its gas, a third of its oil and a quarter of its hard coal from Russia. The commission estimates that by 2030 Europe will be importing 84% of its gas needs, up from 61% at present.

In a direct reference to the perceived threat from Russia, a commission document warned: “Recent events in Georgia have shown that this is a critical time for energy security.”

The immediate focus on Russia was contained in a more grandiose long-term package calling for the integration of European power grids and energy markets; the incorporation of North Sea wind farms and Mediterranean solar energy hubs in a nascent European “supergrid”; the development of vast pan-European infrastructure projects; and an energy efficiency revolution. The entire scheme- aimed at making Europe’s energy consumption “secure, sustainable, and competitive” – would cost almost €2 trillion (£1.5tn) by 2030 and is also factored into the campaign on global warming, ostensibly making Europe the world leader in the low-carbon economy contest.

The commission proposals said current contingency planning on gas supplies “might not provide an effective and timely response in crisis situations” and called for common policy-making among the 27 member states to define “an effective EU emergency plan”, to cope with possible disruptions of supplies.

The EU has been struggling for two years to come up with coherent policies towards Russia, particularly on energy, while Russia and Gazprom have strengthened their grip by creating facts on the ground and cutting deals with individual countries.

Relations between Moscow and the west, already poor, plumbed new depths in August when Russia invaded Georgia. Despite the tensions, EU governments decided on Monday to resume negotiations with Moscow that were called off in protest at the Caucasus conflict. Britain performed a volte-face, going from being a fierce critic of Moscow to supporting the resumption of talks on a strategic pact between Russia and Europe.

“The British signalled well in advance that they were giving up [opposition to the negotiations],” said a senior European minister.

The dependence on Russian energy played a crucial role, he added. With gas prices currently low, Gazprom has in recent weeks been offering long-term supply contracts to individual EU countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, sowing divisions within the EU. The east European and British critics of Russia abandoned their opposition in the hope that a concerted policy would strengthen the EU in its dealings with Moscow.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, EUROPE, FRANCE, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RUSSIA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

MOZAMBIQUE: FRENCH INVESTMENTS SET TO GROW

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

13 November 2008

Agência de Informação de Moçambique (Maputo)

The volume of French investment in Mozambique is set to grow significantly in the next few years, with the approval of new projects to be implemented in the country.

The outgoing French Ambassador to Mozambique, Thierry Viteau, who made the statement, was speaking to reporters shortly after meeting with Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Wednesday to say farewell after completing his term of duty.

According to Viteau, French investments in Mozambique have reached 40 million Euros (48 million US dollars), but are set to grow, with the implementation of new projects, the nature of which he did not reveal.

“There are projects under discussion and we hope they will be carried out soon”, said Viteau, adding that the growth in the flow of French investments is in response to the request of Guebuza when he visited France in July 2006.

At that time, Guebuza asked French businesses to invest in Mozambique. This led to the visit by a French business delegation to the country in September 2007, to investigate for the business environment in Mozambique.

Viteau claimed that this visit had resulted in French investmen in mining and in sugar.

“Investment is rising, and with the new projects under discussion, the level will rise still further”, he said. “I cannot give you the sums involved, since this is a matter for the businesses, but obviously it’s going to grow

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ALL AFRICA.COM’

Posted in AFRICA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FRANCE, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, MOZAMBIQUE, SUGAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

VERMILION’S PRODUCTION DOWN IN THIRD QUARTER, CRUDE OIL INVENTORY LEVELS UP VERMILION ENERGY TRUST

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vermilion Energy Trust has reported its interim operating and unaudited financial results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2008.

THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

Recorded production of 31,927 boe/d in the third quarter of 2008 as compared to 33,743 boe/d in the second quarter of 2008. Previously announced shut-in production in the Netherlands, combined with scheduled downtime in Australia were the primary drivers behind the production decline.

Production was relatively flat as compared to 32,172 boe/d recorded in the third quarter of 2007, and is expected to remain stable over the balance of the year. Vermilion had projected softer production levels in the second half of 2008 and has maintained its 2008 production guidance unchanged between 32,000 and 33,000 boe/d.

Generated fund flows from operations of $131.8 million ($1.73 per unit) in the third quarter of 2008 compared to $190.3 million ($2.50 per unit) in the second quarter of 2008. A significant draw on crude oil inventories in the second quarter of 2008 was the principal reason for the higher cash flow in the second quarter, as compared to the third quarter of 2008. As only two shipments of crude occurred in each of Australia and the Aquitaine Basin in France, Vermilion’s crude oil inventory levels increased to 390,000 barrels at the end of the third quarter compared to 114,000 barrels at the end of the second quarter.

Vermilion distributed $0.57 per unit in the quarter, equivalent to 30% of fund flows from operations, representing the lowest cash payout ratio in its peer group of oil and gas income trusts. Since converting to a trust in January 2003, Vermilion has distributed more than 100% of the initial unit price at the time of conversion and has never decreased its distribution payments.

Total payout comprising of net distributions, capital expenditures, reclamation fund contributions and asset retirement costs incurred was 68% of fund flows from operations in the third quarter of 2008 and 50% year to date in 2008.

Vermilion further reduced its net debt from the second quarter by approximately $63 million to $222 million, equivalent to approximately 0.4 times annualized third quarter 2008 fund flows from operations. Vermilion’s existing line of credit of $675 million is expected to be an important tactical advantage as Vermilion continues to pursue acquisitions.

Vermilion drilled 14 Drayton Valley and central Alberta wells in the third quarter of 2008, and continued its workover and recompletion programs in Canada and France. On October 22, 2008, Vermilion began drilling the first of two wells at its Wandoo Field in Australia. The plan is to drill both wells concurrently and Vermilion expects both wells will be drilled, completed and tied-in before year-end.

On September 8, 2008, Verenex Energy Inc., in which Vermilion holds approximately 18.8 million shares representing a 42.4% equity interest, announced that it has initiated a process to identify, examine and consider a range of strategic alternatives available to Verenex to maximize shareholder value.

Vermilion is well positioned to weather a prolonged global economic downturn and believes the distressed markets may provide the opportunity to acquire producing properties at attractive metrics. The Trust’s conservative business model and low payout ratio are expected to provide a significant cushion in a low commodity price environment, which should enable Vermilion to maintain its current distribution levels for the foreseeable future.

OUTLOOK

Vermilion expects fourth quarter production volumes will remain stable near 32,000 boe/d. Normal production declines in Canada, France and the Netherlands will be offset by slightly higher Australian volumes as no significant downtime is planned at Wandoo in the fourth quarter. Accordingly, Vermilion is maintaining production guidance between 32,000 and 33,000 boe/d for 2008. New production from the two wells that are currently drilling at Wandoo is expected to be tied-in near the end of 2008 and will not have a significant impact on fourth quarter 2008 volumes. Production from each of these wells is expected at approximately 1,000 boe/d.

Capital expenditures in the fourth quarter are projected at approximately $85 million, with roughly half of that amount aimed at the Wandoo drilling program. Vermilion expects year-end net debt to approach $260 million, representing less than six months trailing cash flow.

Vermilion anticipates a capital expenditure program of between $175 million and $250 million for 2009. The Trust believes one of its primary responsibilities is to maintain a stable stream of distributions for unitholders, and Vermilion does not anticipate any change in distributions in 2009. Management also believes that the Trust’s strong balance sheet provides a good opportunity to pursue acquisitions in a more favourable ‘buyer’s market’ for property transactions.

In 2009, Vermilion is projecting record activity levels in France and the Netherlands and a slight slowdown in western Canadian activity. Australian capital spending in 2009 will be limited to maintenance capital spending as the trust assesses the performance of the 2008 drilling activity.

Approximately one-third of Vermilion’s 2009 capital expenditure program is geared towards non-reserve-additive activities, including long term studies related to the waterflood and enhanced oil recovery programs, seismic and land expenditures and subsurface and facilities maintenance. This portion of the capital program is focused on the potentially significant expansion and long-term sustenance of Vermilion’s existing reservoirs.

Approximately 40% to 45% of Vermilion’s 2009 capital program will be focused in France, where Vermilion anticipates drilling six to ten wells in its most active program in France since 1998. Besides new wells in the Champotran/La Torche field, drilling plans include a water injection well at Les Mimosas to support oil production from that field. New drilling in the Parentis field is being temporarily deferred until commodity prices rebound. Vermilion will continue with a robust workover and recompletion program in the Chaunoy, Cazaux and Parentis fields.

Approximately 25% to 30% of the capital program is earmarked for Canada, where Vermilion will maintain its successful natural gas drilling, workover and recompletion program in Drayton Valley and a smaller coalbed methane and shallow gas program in Central Alberta.

In the Netherlands, subsidence concerns led Vermilion to shut in approximately 1,000 boe/d of production in July 2008. Vermilion has applied to re-instate 150 boe/d and is reviewing new reservoir data, but has not made any decision regarding the balance of this production. Approximately one quarter of the 2009 capital program is aimed at the Netherlands, where Vermilion hopes to drill four to five wells in 2009. None of the drilling will be in the area affected by subsidence concerns. Potential additional production volumes from this drilling program are excluded from Vermilion’s 2009 guidance figures, as drilling is not expected to begin until the third quarter of 2009 with tie-in expected at year-end.

Preliminary production estimates reflect average volumes in 2009 of between 31,500 and 33,000 boe/d.

Verenex Energy Inc., in which Vermilion holds approximately 18.8 million shares representing a 42.4% equity interest, announced that it has initiated a process to identify, examine and consider a range of strategic alternatives available to Verenex to maximize shareholder value. The company continues to achieve positive drilling results in Libya. On November 6, 2008 Verenex announced that its two most recent wells have also encountered hydrocarbons in the target zones. To date, Verenex has drilled sixteen wells, all of which encountered hydrocarbons. Eleven of these wells, which include nine new field exploration wells and two appraisal wells have been tested at combined rates of 98,000 boe/d of production. The company is developing a commerciality application that contemplates an initial production phase of up to 50,000 boe/d.

On November 3, 2008, Verenex reported that DeGolyer and McNaughton (“D&M”), an independent engineering firm, provided an updated assessment of oil and gas resources in Verenex’s discoveries and portfolio of exploration prospects in Area 47. In summary, the aggregate of D&M’s updated September 30, 2008 best estimate of gross contingent resources and risked mean estimate of gross prospective resources, on an oil equivalent basis, has increased by 36% to approximately 2.15 billion barrels.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, CANADA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, NETHERLANDS, PETROL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

AIRLINES FREAK OUT, OFFER HOLIDAY DISCOUNTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

November 10, 3:27 PM

Susan Finch by Susan Finch, New York Budget Travel Examiner

While holiday travel is looking grim for both travelers and airlines looking to keep money in their pocket, prices are easing up more than I thought they would. Since the economic downturn, travelers are cancelling plans and opting to drive, stick closer to home, or wait it out.

Seems like the airlines are responding by having a bit of a freak out.

According to Farecompare.com, the industry is bracing for one of the biggest sales they’ve had in the past 18 months. Airlines are looking to quickly fill empty seats, hold onto dear life for any profits they can squeeze, and create a budget stir.

Keep in mind there’s an even higher chance for overbooking in terms of both holiday travel and fare ** FILE ** An Air France jumbo jet rolls behind the tail of a KLM Royal Dutch airliner at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, north of Paris, in this Sept. 30, 2003, file photo. Air France-KLM, the world's largest airline by revenue, said Thursday Nov. 22, 2007 that second-quarter profit almost doubled thanks to 'dynamic' demand for long-haul flights to Asia and North America. (AP Photo - Remy de la Mauviniere)mania, so use it to your advantage by making up your mind to take the bump and earn yourself a free travel voucher.

Looking for fares under $200? Here are just a few discount fares currently found on Orbitz.com:

New York City to Atlanta $183
New York City to Baltimore $176
New York City to Boston $125
New York Cityto Buffalo $165
New York City to Burlington, VT $185
New York City to Charlotte $124
New York City to Cleveland $173
New York City to Columbus, OH $195
New York City to Dayton $193
New York City to Detroit $145
New York City to Fort Lauderdale $169
New York City to Indianapolis $197
New York City to Jacksonville, FL $195
New York City to Madison $193
New York City to Miami $159
New York City to Milwaukee $164
New York City to Myrtle Beach $171
New York City to New Orleans $195
New York City to Newport News $111
New York City to Orlando $175
New York City to Pittsburgh $181
New York City to Portland, ME $164
New York City to Raleigh/Durham $125
New York City to Richmond $125
New York City to Rochester, NY $165
New York City to San Antonio $196
New York City to St Louis $195
New York City to Syracuse $165
New York City to Tampa $199
New York City to Washington, DC $155
New York City to West Palm Beach $175

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PUBLISHED BY ‘EXAMINER.COM’ (USA)

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FRANCE, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL | Leave a Comment »

IMF LOAN AVERTED POSSIBLE BANKRUPTCY AND SOCIAL CRISIS – PM (Hungary)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 3, 2008

Budapest, November 1, 2008 – (MTI)

Without the IMF standby loan granted earlier this week, the financial crisis in Hungary could have led to bankruptcy and social crisis, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany told the Sunday newspaper Vasarnapi Hirek, which made the interview available to MTI on Saturday evening.

The PM was disputing a statement by opposition Fidesz party chief that accessing the line of credit from the International Monetary Fund was “shameful”.

In a worst-case scenario, the forint, Hungary’s currency could have continued sinking to 350/400 to the euro, triggering 20 to 30 percent inflation, he said.

It had dropped from 238/240 to the euro to 280/285 at the time the loan was announced, and firmed to 255/260 in the aftermath.

The other part of the problem, he said, was that Hungary was already having a hard time finding buyers for government securities. If it failed to sell them, all its foreign loans would have had to be paid off within three to six months, leaving the country without the money to pay government employees such as teachers and doctors, or to pay pensions, the PM continued.

“That would have been shameful,” Gyurcsany said.

What we were facing could have evolved into bankruptcy, said the PM, adding that two-thirds of the problem was caused by the international crisis and one-third by domestic shortcomings. As far as the domestic portion is concerned, the government is partly, but not wholly responsible. One concern is that residents have not saved any money since 2000/2001, leading to excessive spending and borrowing. Residents and businesses have done the lion’s share of their borrowing in foreign currencies, he added, which means an enormous foreign debt. In addition, there has been such – opposition initiated – resistance to reforms in the past two years that Hungary was extremely vulnerable, the PM suggested.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had all played key roles in securing the IMF loan for Hungary, Gyurcsany told Vasarnapi Hirek.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MTI HUNGARIAN NEWS AGENCY’ (Hungary)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, GERMANY, HUNGARY, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS | Leave a Comment »