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2015-04-28 20:35:00



China National Petroleum Corp and Sinopec, China's top two state-owned oil companies, have denied they are considering merging to form a giant monopoly after rumours prompted both companies' Hong Kong-listed shares to jump on Monday.

PetroChina, CNPC's listed arm, said on Tuesday it had not received "any information, written or verbal, from any government authority" regarding a merger. Sinopec issued a similar denial to the Hong Kong exchange.

The idea of an oil merger first surfaced in February, after China's two state-owned rail companies agreed to combine to better compete in international tenders.

The country's two top nuclear groups have also been ordered to co-ordinate internationally but are resisting the idea of a domestic merger.

Unlike rail companies, which must compete internationally as China's domestic rail buildout slows, the oil companies' main business is in the Chinese market. Critics say a merged oil group would be a more bloated and less efficient version of the current duopoly.

Both companies were created in the 1990s from the division of the former Ministry of Petroleum Industry, a powerful body that played a substantial role not only in Chinese energy and industrial policy but also in political factions.

They are under siege from a nearly two-year anti-corruption campaign that is rooting out the political support base of former energy and security tsar Zhou Yongkang, whose early career was spent in the oil towns at the heart of CNPC and Sinopec.

Mr Zhou was formally charged with "bribery, abuse of power and intentional disclosure of state secrets".

On Monday Chinese anti-corruption investigators detained Wang Tianpu, Sinopec's second-in-command. Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported that Mr Wang had fronted for the business interests of Mr Zhou's son, Zhou Bin, who is also in detention.

Mr Wang was also among those reprimanded for the explosion of crude leaking from an oil pipeline that killed 62 people in the coastal city of Qingdao in 2013.

Mr Wang had survived previous corruption purges at Sinopec, including the 2007 scandal that claimed the then-head of Sinopec and the then-mayor of Qingdao amid allegations of improper land deals by the two mens' shared mistress.

Sinopec remains under the control of Fu Chengyu, a rising star who previously headed smaller rival, Cnooc.






2018, June, 18, 14:00:00


IMF - Within the next few years, the U.S. economy is expected to enter its longest expansion in recorded history. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the approved increase in spending are providing a significant boost to the economy. We forecast growth of close to 3 percent this year but falling from that level over the medium-term. In my discussions with Secretary Mnuchin he was clear that he regards our medium-term outlook as too pessimistic. Frankly, I hope he is right. That would be good for both the U.S. and the world economy.

2018, June, 18, 13:55:00


IMF - The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation. Unemployment is already near levels not seen since the late 1960s and growth is set to accelerate, aided by a near-term fiscal stimulus, a welcome recovery of private investment, and supportive financial conditions. These positive outturns have supported, and been reinforced by, a favorable external environment with a broad-based pick up in global activity. Next year, the U.S. economy is expected to mark the longest expansion in its recorded history. The balance of evidence suggests that the U.S. economy is beyond full employment.

2018, June, 18, 13:50:00


U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in May after rising 0.9 percent in April. Manufacturing production fell 0.7 percent in May, largely because truck assemblies were disrupted by a major fire at a parts supplier. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output moved down 0.2 percent. The index for mining rose 1.8 percent, its fourth consecutive month of growth; the output of utilities moved up 1.1 percent. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.5 percent higher in May than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in May to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

2018, June, 18, 13:45:00


IMF - South Africa’s potential is significant, yet growth over the past five years has not benefitted from the global recovery. The economy is globally positioned, sophisticated, and diversified, and several sectors—agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and services—have capacity for expansion. Combined with strong institutions and a young workforce, opportunities are vast. However, several constraints have held growth back. Policy uncertainty and a regulatory environment not conducive to private investment have resulted in GDP growth rates that have not kept up with those of population growth, reducing income per capita, and hurting disproportionately the poor.

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