A vote on removing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from office could well roil the oil-hungry US economy which is heavily dependent on the south American country's crude exports, analysts warned Friday. \nChavez agreed to respect Thursday's verdict by Venezuela's National Electoral Council that there were sufficient validated signatures on petitions for a referendum that could remove him from office. \nThe constitutionally mandated recall was the agreed-upon alternative to growing violence, strikes and a short-lived coup two years ago aimed at ousting Chavez. A general strike in late 2002 and early last year paralyzed Venezuela's oil sector. \n"If there is another disruption to Venezuelan oil exports, the US administration would this time use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve [SPR]," said Julian Lee, an analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London. \n"They would have to do that in order to make sure that there wasn't a physical shortage of oil in the United States," he said referring to the SPR, an emergency US oil stockpile. \nVenezuela exports 1.34 million barrels of oil a day to the US, some 13 percent of total US crude imports, according to a March estimate by Petroleum Supply Monthly. \nWashington successfully lobbied the OPEC this week to raise its output as many Americans, topping up their gas-guzzling vehicles, felt the pinch of rocketing fuel costs ahead of the fast-approaching US presidential election. \nLee said past political instability in Venezuela has had a dramatic effect on oil prices, citing the oil workers' strike in 2002 and early last year that he said added US$6 to the price of a barrel. \n"This would have serious consequences" if repeated, he stressed. Confirmation of the recall vote and subsequent events could be "very unsettling," said Fadel Gheit, a New York-based oil analyst with the Oppenheimer Fund. \nIf the recall vote results are contested by either side, "you are going to see demonstrations and probably another strike which could bring oil exports down and that could push prices higher," Gheit explained. \nHe recalled prior threats from Chavez to reduce oil exports in retaliation for what he contends is Washington's interference in Venezuelan politics. \n"As long as George Bush is president of the US and Hugo Chavez is the president of Venezuela, I assume the relationship between the two countries is not going to be any better," said Gheit. \nMarshall Stevens, an oil trader for Refco in New York, said concern exists, but noted there had been no material impact on the Venezuelan oil industry yet. \n"For the moment it doesn't look like it's going to have a material impact on oil production as was the case with the general strike early last year," he said.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion