domingo, 1 de mayo de 2016

2016/04/27 Political Anticipation - LEAP Press review

The great crisis of the Western nuclear sector
In France, while the EDF's CFO is slamming the door further to the total fiasco (not just the financial one) of the two EPR reactors' construction in Hinkley Point, England, the Canton and the City of Geneva file complaints against the Bugey Plant, and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, calls for the closure of Fessenheim; Areva (almost bankrupt) and Engie (ex-GDF Suez) announce catastrophic balance sheets with losses of tens of billions of euros; in Germany, RWE and E-ON, whose financial situations are collapsing, their shareholders are no longer receiving dividends; the Italian ENI announces losses of 8.8 billion euros; the Spanish giants are being punished for fraud, and Endesa reports a net profit fall of 67% for 2015... (Excerpt from the GEAB 103)

Chernobyl: 30 years on
The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, 1986, released large amounts of radiation into the environment, in Ukraine and across Europe. Decades on, problems continue to haunt the site. It's considered to be the most severe nuclear disaster of all time: On April 26, 1986, an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine released massive amounts of radiation into the atmosphere ... (Deutsche Welle)

Saudi Arabia’s post-oil future
If anyone needed confirmation that Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, is a man in a hurry, they got it on April 25th. The 30-year-old unveiled a string of commitments for ending the kingdom’s dependence on oil by 2030 that are by themselves laudably ambitious in the puritanically conservative country. Then he trumped himself, saying that the kingdom could overcome “any dependence on oil” within a mere four years, by 2020. It sums up what seems to be a somewhat manic optimism among the youthful new policy-setters of the royal court... (The Economist)

Reliance buys Iranian oil after six-year hiatus
Reliance IndustriesBSE 0.29 % has bought crude oil from Iran after a 6-year break and is looking to strike a long-term fixed quantity deal, post lifting of sanctions. RIL, which operates the world's biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat, is looking at quickly ramping up purchases to the earlier levels of about 5 million tonnes a year... (Economic Times)
EU referendum: OECD warning of 'Brexit tax' sparks row
Leaving the EU would be the equivalent of imposing an additional "tax" of one month's income on UK workers, a leading economic international body has said. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said economic growth would be lower outside the EU as the UK could not negotiate a "sweeter" deal on trade and investment... (BBC News)
City of London, 2020: A small financial platform on the outskirts of the European continent
The city of London used to be an exceptional financial centre, by far the foremost in the world, a position it had owned for generations. Nevertheless, being attacked from all sides, it attempted with great effort to defend itself and demonstrated imagination and extensive accessibility but yet, eight years after the beginning of the global systemic crisis, it appears as just a shadow of what it used to be... (Excerpt from the GEAB 103)

Iran's Supreme Leader says U.S. lifted sanctions only on paper
Iran's Supreme Leader accused the United States on Wednesday of scaring businesses away from Tehran and undermining a deal to lift international sanctions. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told hundreds of workers that a global deal, signed between Iran and world powers, had lifted financial sanctions, but U.S. obstruction was stopping Iran getting the full economic fruits of the agreement... (Reuters)
Riot breaks out at refugee camp on Greek island of Lesbos
A riot broke out at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on Tuesday, with police firing tear gas and reports that several refugees and migrants had been injured. Black smoked billowed into the sky after refugees set fire to rubbish bins within the fenced camp near the village of Moria, a few miles from the island’s main port, Mytilini... (The Telegraph)
Tsipras calls for EU summit as bailout talks halt
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is asking for a summit over last year's bailout after talks with lenders were suspended on Tuesday (26 April) and an expected meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Thursday was cancelled. Tsipras will call European Council president Donald Tusk later to request an emergency meeting of eurozone leaders... (EUObserver)
US interest rates: Merle Hazard tries to cheer up Fed watchers
Will the US Federal Reserve raise interest rates this week? Not a chance, say economists. The bigger question is when - perhaps if - the central bank will ever get borrowing costs back to more normal levels. December brought the first US rate rise in almost a decade but since then Fed policymakers, led by chair Janet Yellen, have been sitting on their hands. The Fed’s main interest rate is still very close to zero, with a range of 0.25-0.5%... (The Guardian)

Austrian Voters Deal Blow to Mainstream Parties in Election
Voters in Austria’s presidential election Sunday sent a stern warning to the established parties that have ruled the country since World War II, making a populist, anti-immigrant candidate the front-runner. Preliminary results published by the Austrian interior ministry, which didn’t include mail-in ballots, showed that Norbert Hofer... (WSJ)
Spain Political Deadlock May Spur New Elections and Market Woes
The deadlock between Spanish political parties makes fresh elections almost inevitable as it’s highly unlikely a government can be formed before the May 2 deadline, analysts say. With polls still suggesting no one party will secure a majority, a fresh vote risks spurring market volatility and wider spreads, especially as Spain will go to the polls just days after the U.K. referendum on EU membership, they add. (Bloomberg)

Serbia election: EU grasping at straws
Europe’s electoral calendar is gathering pace but not enough scrutiny has been placed on Serbia’s recent general election. Prime minister Aleksandar Vucic and his Serbian Progressive Party emerged victorious from the 24 April vote. Many analysts compared this election to a de facto referendum on EU membership. In a recent interview with Vucic , Politico described Serbia’s vote as a battle between extremist nationalist and pro-European forces... (EUObserver)

Venezuela announces two-day week as it battles energy crisis
Venezuela’s public employees will work only on Monday and Tuesday as the country grapples with an electricity crisis. President Nicolás Maduro announced on Tuesday that the government was slashing working hours for at least two weeks in an attempt to save energy. He said the water level behind the nation’s largest dam had fallen to near its minimum operating level thanks to a severe drought.... (The Guardian)

April Steel Price Forecast: Warning Signs Come From China
The recent steel rally seen in China is triggering some warning signs. Fitch Ratings recently announced prices for the metal increased, in part, due to rising speculation about an inevitable slump. According to a report from Bloomberg, the sharp increase in steel prices isn’t sustainable, as mills are expected to fall back on idled capacity, thus increasing supply... (

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