your ads here!
Month: February 2022

Путін зобов’язав експортерів продавати 80% валютної виручки та заборонив росіянам класти валюту на закордонні рахунки

No Comments

Згідно з указом, резиденти Росії – експортери – мають продавати 80% іноземної валюти, зарахованої з 1 січня 2022 року від контрактів із нерезидентами

your ads here!

Ukraine Crisis: Will African Oil Producers Take Advantage of Increasing Oil Prices? 

No Comments

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the sanctions that followed, has pushed the price of oil to over $100 per barrel, the highest level in eight years. But, it’s also opened an opportunity for African oil producers like Nigeria, Angola, Libya, and Algeria to cash in with more crude oil exports. But a lack of refineries in Africa means crude oil exporters will also have to pay more for imported fuels.

The Brent crude oil prices hit $105 per barrel last week, it’s highest mark since 2014 and up by 47% since December, amid fears that supplies from Russia may be impacted by crisis.

Russia accounts for a significant amount of the world’s total crude oil output between 25-30% making it the second highest producer globally.

But experts say the crisis and sanctions slammed on Russia by Europe and America could significantly impact demand for Russian products and tip the odds in Africa’s favor.

“For Africa it’s a gain, it’s an opportunity, it presents that window of opportunity for African countries to see how they can increase their production capacity and meet the need of global demands of crude oil,” says Isaac Botti, a public finance expert.

However, Africa’s production combined accounts for less than a tenth of total global output. Nigeria is Africa’s largest producer of oil followed by Libya. Other notable producers are Algeria and Angola.

Experts predict oil prices will rise further but worry Nigeria could be facing a backlash.

“At the end of the day it’s going to hit on our economy. We may think that we’ll gain but remember we don’t refine out crude oil,” said economic analyst Paul Enyim.

Nigerian refineries have been shut down for about one year. The country depends on imports to meet it’s energy needs. Experts say prices paid for imported will also increase.

Authorities are also grappling with huge subsidies to keep pump price of oil products within affordable limits.

Last week Nigeria’s minister of state for Petroleum said authorities were not comfortable with the surge in prices of crude oil.

But this week, Algerian state-owned oil and gas giant said it would supply Europe if Russian exports dwindled as a result of the crisis.

Botti says it’s a good example for other African nations.

“We need to develop our capacity to produce locally, we need to look at various trade agreements that are existing,” he said.

For years African oil producers including Nigeria have been struggling to meet required daily output levels.

Experts however worry African producers may struggle to fit into the big market with increasing global demands for crude oil.

For weeks, Nigeria has been battling to normalize fuel supply in the country after authorities recalled millions of liters of adulterated petrol from circulation causing a major shortage in West Africa’s most populous nation.

As the crises between Russia and Ukraine lingers, experts say the shifting focus on Africa could be both a blessing and a burden.

your ads here!

Ruble Plummets as Sanctions Bite, Sending Russians to Banks

No Comments

Ordinary Russians faced the prospect of higher prices and crimped foreign travel as Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine sent the ruble plummeting, leading uneasy people to line up at banks and ATMs on Monday in a country that has seen more than one currency disaster in the post-Soviet era.

The Russian currency plunged about 30% against the U.S. dollar Monday after Western nations announced moves to block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system and to restrict Russia’s use of its massive foreign currency reserves. The exchange rate later recovered ground after swift action by Russia’s central bank.  

People wary that sanctions would deal a crippling blow to the economy have been flocking to banks and ATMs for days, with reports in social media of long lines and machines running out.  

Moscow’s department of public transport warned city residents over the weekend that they might experience problems with using Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay to pay fares because VTB, one of the Russian banks facing sanctions, handles card payments in Moscow’s metro, buses and trams.  

A sharp devaluation of the ruble would mean a drop in the standard of living for the average Russian, economists and analysts said. Russians are still reliant on a multitude of imported goods and the prices for those items are likely to skyrocket. Foreign travel would become more expensive as their rubles buy less currency abroad. And the deeper economic turmoil will come in the coming weeks if price shocks and supply-chain issues cause Russian factories to shut down due to lower demand.  

“It’s going to ripple through their economy really fast,” said David Feldman, a professor of economics at William & Mary in Virginia. “Anything that is imported is going to see the local cost in currency surge. The only way to stop it will be heavy subsidization.”

The Russian government will have to step in to support declining industries, banks and economic sectors, but without access to hard currencies like the U.S. dollar and euro, they may have to result to printing more rubles. It’s a move that could quickly spiral into hyperinflation.  

The ruble slide recalled previous crises. The currency lost much of its value in the early 1990s after the end of the Soviet Union, with inflation and loss of value leading the government to lop three zeros off ruble notes in 1997. Then came a further drop after a 1998 financial crisis in which many depositors lost savings and yet another plunge in 2014 due to falling oil prices and sanctions imposed after Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

Russia’s central bank immediately stepped in to try to halt the slide of the ruble. It sharply raised its key interest rate Monday in a desperate attempt to shore up the currency and prevent a run on banks.  

The bank hiked the benchmark rate to 20% from 9.5%. That followed a Western decision Sunday to freeze Russia’s hard currency reserves, an unprecedented move that could have devastating consequences for the country’s financial stability.  

It was unclear exactly what share of Russia’s estimated $640 billion hard currency pile, some of which is held outside Russia, would be paralyzed by the decision. European officials said that at least half of it will be affected.

That dramatically raised pressure on the ruble by undermining financial authorities’ ability to support it by using reserves to purchase rubles.  

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the new sanctions that included a freeze on Russia’s hard currency reserves as “heavy,” but argued Monday that “Russia has the necessary potential to compensate the damage.”

The central bank ordered other measures to help banks cope with the crisis by infusing more cash into the financial system and easing restrictions for banking operations. At the same time, it temporarily barred non-residents from selling the government obligations to help ease the pressure on the ruble from panicky foreign investors trying to cash out of such investments.  

The steps taken to support the ruble are themselves painful since raising interest rates can hold back growth by making it more expensive for companies to get credit.

The ruble sank about 30% against the U.S. dollar early Monday but steadied after the central bank’s move. Earlier, it traded at a record low of 105.27 per dollar, down from about 84 per dollar late Friday, before recovering to 98.22.

Sanctions announced last week had taken the Russian currency to its lowest level against the dollar in history. 

your ads here!

Britain Widens Russian ‘Dirty Money’ Crackdown With New Law 

No Comments

Britain will intensify a crackdown on what Prime Minister Boris Johnson called “dirty money” by introducing the government’s Economic Crime Bill to parliament on Monday, a step brought forward in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The much-delayed legislation comes as many opposition lawmakers and those in the governing Conservative party have called on Johnson’s government to do more to stop the flow of Russian cash into London, dubbed by some as “Londongrad.”

“There is no place for dirty money in the UK. We are going faster and harder to tear back the facade that those supporting [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s campaign of destruction have been hiding behind for so long,” Johnson said.

“Those backing Putin have been put on notice: there will be nowhere to hide your ill-gotten gains,” he said in a statement.

Earlier measures have done little to dissuade many Russian oligarchs from using London as their Western capital of choice to spend large sums on property, education and luxury goods.

The government said the new bill would help the National Crime Agency prevent foreign owners from laundering their money in British property and to ensure more “corrupt oligarchs” could be handed an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWOs).

Those orders, introduced in 2018 to help authorities target the illicit wealth of foreign officials suspected of corruption and those involved in serious crime, have rarely been used because of the often high legal costs.

New laws will introduce a Register of Overseas Entities, requiring anonymous foreign owners of property in Britain to reveal their real identities.

Those entities which do not declare their beneficial owner will face restrictions on selling their property and those who break the rules could face up to five years in prison, the government said.

UWOs will also be reformed to prevent people from hiding behind shell companies, hand law enforcement agencies more time to review material and to protect them from substantial legal costs if cases are unsuccessful.

Included in the legislation is a move to allow the Register of Overseas Entities to apply retrospectively to property bought by overseas owners up to 20 years ago in England and Wales and since December 2014 in Scotland, it added.

your ads here!

BP Exiting Stake in Russian Oil and Gas Company Rosneft

No Comments

BP said Sunday it is exiting its share in Rosneft, a state-controlled Russian oil and gas company, in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BP has held a 19.75% stake in Rosneft since 2013. That stake is currently valued at $14 billion.

London-based BP also said its CEO, Bernard Looney, and former BP executive Bob Dudley will immediately resign from Rosneft’s board.

“Like so many, I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the situation unfolding in Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone affected. It has caused us to fundamentally rethink BP’s position with Rosneft,” Looney said in a statement.

Rosneft said it was informed of BP’s decision Sunday. 

“BP has come under unprecedented pressure from both the regulator and its shareholders. BP’s decision was preceded by a Western media campaign full of false reports and conclusions,” Rosneft said in a statement on its website that was translated by The Associated Press. “The decision of the largest minority shareholder of Rosneft destroys the successful, 30-year-long cooperation of the two companies.”

BP Chairman Helge Lund praised the “brilliant Russian colleagues” BP has worked with for decades, but said Russia’s military action “represents a fundamental change.”

“The Rosneft holding is no longer aligned with BP’s business and strategy and it is now the board’s decision to exit BP’s shareholding in Rosneft,” Lund said in a statement.

BP’s action was an abrupt turnaround from earlier this month. During a conference call with investors on Feb. 8, Looney downplayed concerns and said there were no changes to the company’s business in Russia.

“Let’s not worry about things until they happen. And who knows what’s going to happen?” Looney said.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the U.K.’s secretary of state for business and energy, said he welcomed BP’s decision.

“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine must be a wake up call for British businesses with commercial interests in Putin’s Russia,” Kwarteng said in a tweet.

BP said it will take two non-cash charges in the first quarter to reflect the change, including an $11 billion charge for foreign exchange losses that have accumulated since 2013.

It is not clear exactly how BP will unwind its holdings, or who might step up to buy them. 

Rosneft’s partnerships with Western oil and gas companies have been stymied before.

In 2011, Exxon Mobil, led at the time by future U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, signed a deal with Rosneft to potentially drill in the oil-rich Russian Arctic. But Exxon ended that partnership in 2017, citing U.S. and European sanctions against Russia.

your ads here!

ООН: число біженців з України наближається до 400 тисяч

No Comments

Комісар Євросоюзу з питань урегулювання криз Янез Ленарчич заявив 27 лютого, що війна Росії проти України може перевести в статус переміщених осіб «понад сім мільйонів людей»

your ads here!
Categories: Новини, Світ

EU to Finance Weapons Purchases For Ukraine, Ban Russian Media

No Comments

The European Union plans to take the unprecedented step of funding weapons purchases for Ukraine, EU officials said on Feb. 27 as the bloc announced a raft of new sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The EU’s plan to fund weapons purchases will use millions of euros to help buy air-defense systems, anti-tank weapons, ammunition and other military equipment for Ukraine’s armed forces. It would also supply things like fuel, protective gear, helmets and first-aid kits. 

“For the first time ever, the European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said of the weapons purchases, calling it a “watershed moment.” 

Von der Leyen expects the measure to be endorsed by EU leaders along with other significant moves — a ban on pro-Kremlin media outlets RT and Sputnik, the closure of EU airspace to Russian planes, and sanctions against Belarus. 

She said RT and Sputnik are part of the “Kremlin’s media machine,” and the EU is “developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe,” von der Leyen said. 

They will “no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division in our union,” von der Leyen said. 

The closure of the EU’s airspace comes after many individual European countries along with Britain and Canada announced they would ban Russian planes. The EU airspace ban will prohibit flights into or over the EU by “every Russian plane — and that includes the private jets of oligarchs,” von der Leyen said. 

The EU also will hit Russian ally Belarus with sanctions for facilitating the invasion. The regime of Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka had been “complicit in the vicious attack against Ukraine,” von der Leyen said. 

New restrictive measures will hit Belarus’s most important sectors, including tobacco, wood, cement, iron and steel. 

The measures come on top of EU sanctions announced Feb. 26, including cutting some Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging network, banning all transactions with Russia’s central bank, and added restrictions on Russian oligarchs. 

The measures also follow Germany’s decision to commit 100 billion euros ($113 billion) to a special armed forces fund and to keep its defense spending above 2% of GDP from now on.  

With reporting by AP, Reuters and AFP.

your ads here!

Із 28 лютого у банкоматах України знову буде готівка – комітет ВР з питань фінансів

No Comments

Із 28 лютого в банкоматах в банкоматах України знову буде готівка. Про це, з посиланням на слова голови НБУ, повідомляє членкиня фракції «Батьківщина», представниця парламентського комітету з питань фінансів, податкової та митної політики Альона Шкрум.

«Голова НБУ прямо зараз говорить з нами на засіданні податкового та фінансового комітету. НБУ виходить зараз зі стратегічними запасами готівки – більшість банків зможуть її безпечно доставити в банкомати. Отже, в банкоматах затвра будуть кошти», – повідомила Шкрум.

Цитуючи голову НБУ, вона також зазначає, що зараз ніхто не має права відмовляти українцям у розрахунку картками. У разі ж відмови кожен може звернутись на електронну пошту Нацбанку.

«Фінансова система працює стабільно, не дивлячись на війну в країні. За що ми дуже дякуємо НБУ і всім його працівникам», – підсумовує Шкрум.

Голова Національного банку України Кирило Шевченко, у свою чергу, зазначив у фейсбуці, що банківська система продовжує забезпечувати всі необхідні рішення з використання POS-терміналів для здійснення оплат.

«Не приймати платіжні картки зараз – це щонайменше непатріотичний крок, якому немає жодного виправдання. Особливо сьогодні, коли Україна демонструє світові безпрецедентний приклад героїзму, мужності і єдності перед обличчям зла», – повідомив Шевченко.

В Україні введено воєнний стан після нового вторгнення Росії. О 5-й ранку 24 лютого президент Росії Володимир Путін заявив про початок спецоперації на Донбасі після звернення про військову допомогу з боку угруповань «ДНР»/«ЛНР», які він перед тим «визнав».

Президент Володимир Зеленський підписав указ про загальну мобілізацію. Країни Заходу почали застосовувати нові санкції проти Росії через її напад на Україну.

Попри пряме вторгнення, Кремль заперечує наміри окупації України. У Міністерстві оборони Росії також заперечують дані української сторони про збиті російські літаки, розбомблену бронетехніку, загибель російських військових і заявляють, що не обстрілюють українські міста.

Кремль повторив попередню заяву Путіна про те, що метою вторгнення є «демілітаризація і денацифікація України».

your ads here!

Туреччина обмежить прохід російських кораблів протоками в Чорне море – Чавушоглу

No Comments

«Ситуацію в Україні можна офіційно розцінити як війну… Ми виконаємо Конвенцію Монтре», – наголосив голова турецького МЗС

your ads here!
Categories: Новини, Світ