IEA optimistic on oil
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) chief economist is “optimistic” about the future of Iraq’s oil industry and the country’s rebuilding efforts. Fatih Birol says the agency’s most likely projections see average annual revenues from energy exports until 2035 at US$200 billion, by when the nation’s economy would be as large as today’s in Saudi Arabia. The Paris-based IEA’s report on Iraq’s energy sector was due to be released yesterday. Birol said that the main risks faced by the energy sector are differences on oil contracts between the central and regional governments, and the need to ensure plentiful water supplies for oil extraction and larger export facilities. The IEA says oil production could rise to 6.1 million barrels a day by 2020 from around 3 million barrels now.
IMF reports on Russia
The IMF said yesterday that robust domestic demand should help Russia avert some of the pitfall from the global economic recession and accompanying weakness in the price of oil. “Russia’s growth is projected at about 3.75 percent during 2012-2013, led by domestic demand, which is supported by an expansionary fiscal stance and a rebound in credit growth,” the IMF’s latest World Economic Output report said. “Growth is projected to moderate in the region’s other energy-exporting economies, mainly owing to weaker growth in the energy sector, although strong public spending should help sustain activity in other sectors.”
GM plans to open center
General Motors (GM) announced plans on Monday to open a new information technology center in Michigan, which is to employ up to 1,500 people. It is the second of four planned “innovation centers,” including a recently announced facility in Austin, Texas, that is to employ 500 people. The largest US automaker said in a statement it is moving to an in-sourced IT model as it works to “improve its performance, drive down the cost of ongoing operations and increase the level of innovation delivered to GM customers.”
Moody’s cuts credit rating
Credit rating agency Moody’s cut the debt ratings for Cyprus and three Cypriot banks on Monday, saying it expected the government to have to rescue the troubled banks with outside support. Moody’s chopped Cyprus’s sovereign rating by three notches to “B3,” deep in junk bond territory, citing the impact of the meltdown in the country’s banks following Greece’s financial crisis. In a parallel action, Moody’s cut Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank to “Caa3” and Hellenic Bank to “Caa2.”
Firms reports drop in sales
Japanese car makers reported tumbling sales in China for last month — with Toyota’s almost halving — confirming the impact of a territorial row between the two countries and raising concerns about their future in the world’s biggest auto market. Toyota Motor Corp said yesterday that sales in China fell 48.9 percent last month from a year earlier, while Honda Motor Co reported a 40.5 percent slide in its sales there. Nissan Motor Co’s China auto sales, including imports, fell 35.3 percent last month from a year earlier, Suzuki Motor Corp said shipments to dealerships in China fell 42.5 percent last month from a year earlier, and smaller rival Mazda Motor Corp said last week that its China sales tumbled 35 percent from a year earlier.