Finance (International)

Chinese petroleum giant looks to exit Canada

China’s international petroleum giant CNOOC, having entered the Canadian energy sector less than a decade through a takeover of Nexen, is reported to be planning to withdraw not only from Canada but also Britain and the U.S. There evidently are concerns in Beijing that the company’s assets could be targeted by Western sanctions because of China’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Shanghai lockdown extended

China’s efforts to contain a new coronavirus outbreak in its largest city, which also its financial hub, means that Shanghai’s 26 million residents are confined to their homes except for testing, completely dependent on the city administration for food and other basis needs. [node:read-more:link]

Russian debt repayments blocked

The U.S. has stopped Russia from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than $600 million from reserves held at U.S. banks. The April 4 Treasury Branch economic blow came as a $552.4 million principal payment on a maturing bond and an $84 million coupon payment were due. It move builds on an earlier decision to freeze Russian foreign currency reserves held at U.S. banks which Russia had been permitted to use to make dollar-denominated sovereign debt coupon payments. [node:read-more:link]

Not business as usual in G20

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the G20 group of nations must re-evaluate the participation of Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. “When it comes to Vladimir Putin sitting around that table with the rest of us, that's going to be extraordinarily difficult for us and unproductive,” he says. “It can't be business as usual . . . pretending that everything is okay.” [node:read-more:link]

Insurers face huge claims for stranded jets

Dublin-based AerCap, the world's top aircraft lessor, has submitted a $3.5 billion insurance claim for more than 100 jets stuck in Russia afger European Union sanctions forced the termination of Russian leases. Other lessors’ claims have brought the total insurance exposure to $10 billion and AerCap expects insurers to contest the claims in years of litigation. [node:read-more:link]

Germany prepares for gas rationing

Amid growing concerns about a possible suspension of Russian natural gas deliveries, Germany began gearing up today for possible rationing due to a dispute over Moscow’s insistence that it be paid in rubles. It activated an “early warning” phase” of emergency legislation, setting up a “crisis room” in the energy ministry. [node:read-more:link]

G7 Rejects “rubles for gas” plan

Russian President Vladimir Putdin’s insistence that “unfriendly countries’ must pay for natural gas in rubles is unacceptable to the G7 countries, says Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, calling on “the companies concerned not to comply.” Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the U.S. are the other G7 members. [node:read-more:link]

China locks down Shanghai

A spike in coronavirus cases in Shanghai compelled the Chinese government today to lock down the country’s largest city and financial capital, which has a population of 26 million. Residents are required to stay home and deliveries are being left at checkpoints to ensure there is no outside contact as mass testing began. [node:read-more:link]

Putin insists on rubles for gas

Russian President said his country will honour natural gas prices and volumes in current export contracts but that “unfriendly” countries must pay in rubles. Much of Europe depends on Russia gas but the market has been thrown into the spotlight by Russia’s month-old invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s announcement March 23 is designed to shore up his country’s seriously sagging currency on international exchanges. [node:read-more:link]

Putin determined to stay in economic summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to attend the next G20 summit, currently set for the end of October in Bali, Indonesia. There had been suggestions that Russia should be barred because of its invasion of Ukraine, but China pushed back, saying “expulsion of Russia from this kind of forum will not help (global) economic problems to be resolved.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia withdraws from Japanese treaty talks

Annoyed by Japanese sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, Russia withdrew from treaty talks and froze joint economic projects related to the disputed Kuril Islands. The two have not formally ended World War II because of their long standoff over the archipelago which was seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the war. [node:read-more:link]

EU trio travels to Ukraine

Three leaders of three NATO countries travelled by train to Kyiv day to express the EU’s “unequivocal support” for Ukraine even as Russian forces bombarded the capital. In addition to their moral support, the leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia offered financial assistance. [node:read-more:link]

Who’s Who of sanctioned Russians

Politicians, influential oligarchs and media figures are among the Russians sanctioned by Canada and other countries over President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Poland and essentially wage all-out war. Canada has continued to add to its sanctions list in smaller and more thematically-targeted batches three times since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. [node:read-more:link]

Putin tries to stem western business exodus

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has announced a presidential decree designed to stem the exodus of western companies over Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Accusing the companies of bowing to “political pressure” from home, the PM said the decree would enable them to make “informed decisions” and that “we expect those who have invested in our country will be able to continue working here.” [node:read-more:link]

Allies take Canadian cue on Russian energy

Eight days after Canada announced that it would stop buying Russian crude oil, Britain and the the U.S. announced today that they were following suit and the EU said it would end its reliance on Russian natural gas. Energy exports are a key revenue source for Russia but the move will impact Western consumers too. Meanwhile, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are among the latest western brands to pull out of the Russian market. [node:read-more:link]


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