OIL PRICES FOR BANKS
A protracted period of low oil prices will negatively impact Canada's major banks more than it will their regional neighbours to the south, says Moody's Investor Services.
"For Canada's major banks, the credit costs on energy-sector loans would rise if oil prices were to remain low for too long, which would hurt the banks' profitability," said David Beattie, a Moody's senior vice-president, in a release.
"Given the historical relationship between oil prices and the impairment rate for energy-related loans, we expect some mild erosion in these loans' asset quality in the coming quarters."
Moody's said revenues from underwriting and capital markets activities could also decline because of potential spending cuts by the major Canadian banks' oil and gas clients.
But the scale and diversity of the Big Six should help partially offset any rise in impaired energy loans and declines in capital markets revenues, the ratings agency said, adding that the credit risk associated with energy-sector loans by U.S. regional banks is more manageable.
"Declining energy costs could actually be positive for the US banks' operating environment, with a neutral to positive effect on their overall asset quality," said Allen Tischler, a Moody's senior vice-president in the same release.
"In many cases, the US banks with the highest exposures are also the most experienced in underwriting energy-sector loans."
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.