Wednesday, July 4th, 2018


Trump tariff threat jolts car-parts giant eyeing China expansion

TOKYO, July 4 — Japan’s biggest auto-parts supplier has joined the industry chorus warning of disruptions from President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on cars and components. Denso Corp, whose US$37 billion market value exceeds Fiat Chrysler…

Asiana chairman apologises over no in-flight meals fiasco

SEOUL, July 4 — The chairman of South Korea’s Asiana Airlines today apologised after many of its planes took off without any in-flight meals this week because the carrier was suddenly forced to switch caterers. Since Sunday, many Asiana flights…

Brent crude firm on drop in US oil inventories, Iran threat

LONDON, July 4 — Brent oil rose today, driven higher by a threat from an Iranian commander and a drop in US crude inventories for the second week in a row caused by an outage at a Canadian facility. The price was near session highs above US$78 a…

Petrobras-CNPC talks put China closer to first Americas refinery

SAO PAULO, July 4 — Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) took another step today in negotiations that could give the Chinese their first refining capacity in the Americas. The companies…

VW to launch car-sharing with electric vehicles in 2019

FRANKFURT, July 4 — Volkswagen plans to start offering car sharing services using fully electric vehicles in German cities next year as part of efforts to serve consumers who don’t want to buy their own vehicles. Its offering will compete in its…

Iran’s Guards praise Rouhani’s threat to disrupt regional oil exports

LONDON, July 4 — A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said today that the Guards were ready to implement a policy preventing regional oil exports if Iranian oil sales were banned by the United States. President Hassan Rouhani appeared…

US sidelined as five powers set to give Iran new assurance

VIENNA, July 4 — Top diplomats from world powers will meet on Friday in a bid to defend their landmark nuclear deal with Iran from attack by President Donald Trump. Foreign ministers from China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK will convene in…

Misif: Electricity tariff hike will hamper industry recovery

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation (Misif) is calling for the government to consider maintaining the rebate and abolish the surcharge for the imbalance cost pass through mechanism, as the additional energy costs will hamper the industry’s recovery, which is just emerging from the doldrums.

It is also hoping the government will maintain the special industrial tariff for the industry over the next three years.

Misif said in a statement today that the net impact of the recent adjustment amounts to an increase of 2.87sen/KWhr or a drastic 8%-16% increase for industrial users.

“Both steelmaking and rolling processes consume more than 650 KWhr per metric tonne of electricity. This latest adjustment will translate to more than RM100 million per annum of additional cost to the industry.”

The Energy Commission cancelled the rebate of 1.52 sen/KWhr and imposed a surcharge of 1.35 sen/KWhr for the commercial sector for the period of July 1 to Dec 31.

Misif said while the iron and steel industry is just about to recover after it battled with cheap imports over the past five years, the surge in natural gas and electricity prices in the second half of 2018, will hamper the recovery effort for both the industry and the Malaysian economy at large.

It pointed out that over the last four years, the natural gas tariff increased eight times, from RM16.07 per MMBtu to RM32.69 per MMBtu, a staggering increase of RM16.62 per MMBtu or 103%.

“The additional gas cost incurred by the iron and steel industry is estimated to be more than RM107 million under the new tariff against the applicable rate in May 2014.”

Besides the extremely challenging business environment, Misif said the industry is also grappling with the rising cost of doing business due to the implementation of the Employment Insurance Scheme, the ongoing duty drawback mechanism for the importation of steel raw materials to produce finished goods for export purposes, the minimum wage, stringent credit access, levy/rehiring cost of foreign workers cost and mandatory annual health checks for foreign workers, among others.

Citing the iron and steel industry’s contribution of 2.9% to Malaysia’s GDP in 2016, Misif said it has the potential to generate up to 6.5% of GDP, with job creation of up to 225,000 by 2020.

British Supreme Court rejects Goldman Sachs appeal vs Novo Banco

LISBON, July 4 — Britain’s Supreme Court dismissed today an appeal by Goldman Sachs for compensation from Portugal’s Novo Banco over a US$835 billion loan to Novo Banco’s bankrupt predecessor, Banco Espirito Santo (BES), which was carved up…

Perdana Petroleum gets CDRC to mediate with debt holders

PETALING JAYA: Perdana Petroleum Bhd is getting assistance from Bank Negara Malaysia’s Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC), which requires it to submit a proposed debt restructuring scheme within 60 days.

The approval letter was received on July 2, whereby CDRC will mediate between Perdana Petroleum and some of its subsidiaries, with its financial institutions and sukuk holders.

Perdana Petroleum said the admission to CDRC is consistent with the group’s strategy to streamline its operations and optimise its financial resources to focus and proactively enhance its offshore marine support services segment.

“It is a follow on from the company’s previous successful cost rationalisation initiative which has had a positive impact on the company’s financials.”

The restructuring programme is limited to 12 months and it must comply with the CDRC’s restructuring principles for it to continue to remain under the standstill arrangement with the lenders.

CDRC will mediate between Perdana Petroleum and their respective financiers to renegotiate their respective financing facilities that can be sustained in the face of this challenging period for the oil and gas industry.

Perdana Petroleum said this successful mediation will enable the company to be better positioned to raise new financing and capital in the future and ensure its operations to sustain going forward.