Brent crude oil prices averaged at the lowest level since 2004, significantly reducing profits and cash flow for energy companies.
Directors welcomed the ambitious reform goals announced by the authorities in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program, and underscored the importance of clear prioritization and sequencing of the planned reforms to reduce implementation risks and give the economy time to adjust. They supported the authorities’ plan to increase the role of the private sector in the economy by focusing on privatization and public-private partnerships, improve the business environment, develop local capital markets, encourage FDI, and support small and medium enterprises. Directors noted that continued labor market and education reforms are needed to encourage private sector employment of Saudi nationals and increase labor force participation of women.
Rosneft Finance S.A. (Rosneft subsidiary) has paid off series 2 eurobonds amounting to $1 bln of total nominal value. Those eurobonds were issued by the former TNK-BP Group in 2006, maturing 10 years later, with the coupon rate of 7.5% p.a.
Venezuela and state oil company PDVSA face heavy debt payments this year amid weak oil markets and continuing decay of its socialist economic model. Neither have been able to borrow in recent years because the extremely high yields have made such operations too costly.
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and InterOil Corporation (NYSE: IOC, POMSoX: IOC) announced an agreed transaction worth more than $2.5 billion, under which ExxonMobil will acquire all of the outstanding shares of InterOil (the ExxonMobil Transaction).
“The industry has got a real problem,” says Chris Pateman-Jones of Ernst & Young. “Projects are becoming larger and more complex and more challenging … Even if they were to hit their targets, they could still be uneconomic.”
First-quarter 2016 financial results from U.S. onshore producers reveal an improving balance between capital expenditure and operating cash flow. Although operating cash flow was the lowest in any quarter in the past five years, larger reductions to capital expenditure brought these companies closest to self-finance (when capital investment can be paid for entirely from operating cash flow). With crude oil prices such as the global benchmark Brent price averaging over $45 per barrel in the second quarter—a 34% increase from first-quarter 2016—cash flow may improve and help offset declining revenue from lower production.
The World Bank is downgrading its 2016 global growth forecast to 2.4 percent from the 2.9 percent pace projected in January. The move is due to sluggish growth in advanced economies, stubbornly low commodity prices, weak global trade, and diminishing capital flows.
Economic activity is expected to decelerate in 2016. Higher disposable income and employment will boost private consumption, but growth will be affected by the slow start of investment projects financed by EU funds. As base effects from the oil price shock fade and domestic demand pressures build-up, inflation is expected to reach the 2-percent target in mid-2017. Over the medium-term, output growth is set to stabilize at around slightly above 2 percent in line with economy’s potential.
The world’s top energy exporter is enduring the longest economic downturn of Putin’s 16-year rule. It relies on crude oil export duties and extraction taxes for about 23 percent of its budget. The government is running the widest deficit since 2010 after a slump in oil prices and is looking for options to cover the gap, including selling state assets, cutting spending and discussing a tax overhaul.