Russia, PRC to tap Siberia
Russia’s top crude producer Rosneft has agreed to cede a share of its oil riches to China, the world’s top oil importer, signing a memorandum yesterday to jointly develop East Siberia deposits. Russia, the world’s top oil producer, has previously preferred to sign long-term supply deals with China backed by multi-billion-dollar loans. The Russian state-owned company said it signed a memorandum with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) to jointly tap oil reserves, including the recently acquired Srednebotuobinsk field, part of the Taas-Yuryakh oil producer. Rosneft would have a controlling state of 51 percent in the future joint venture, while CNPC will own the remaining 49 percent.
Wells Fargo to cut 925 jobs
Wells Fargo, the biggest US mortgage lender, said on Thursday it would cut a further 925 jobs in its home lending business due to a decline in refinancing. “Yesterday, across the country, we provided a 60-day notice of displacement to 925 mortgage team members,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. The move came because “the mortgage refinancing volume remained below that of last year,” company spokesman Alfredo Padilla said. Wells Fargo announced in August that it was cutting 2,300 jobs due to declines in mortgage refinancing. Last week, Wells Fargo reported a 13 percent rise in third-quarter profit despite a big drop-off in home mortgages compared with the prior quarter. Wells Fargo said home lending originations sank to US$80 billion, compared with US$112 billion in the prior quarter.
Asian gold demand grows
Gold demand across Asia will keep expanding as inflation spurs investment purchases, said HSBC Holdings PLC, estimating that the region’s share of worldwide consumption jumped in the past decade. Demand for jewelry, bars and coins in India, Greater China, Indonesia and Vietnam increased to about 60 percent of the global total compared with 35 percent in 2004, economists including Frederic Neumann wrote in a note yesterday, citing data from the World Gold Council. Bullion is mostly used in the region as a store of value, Neumann wrote. While gold is heading for its first annual loss since 2000 as the US recovers and the Federal Reserve weighs tapering stimulus, the slump spurred increased demand among coin and jewelry buyers across Asia. Since 2008, demand for gold in India more than doubled, while consumption in China rose almost 350 percent, Neumann said.
Iron debuts on PRC exchange
Iron ore futures for physical delivery debut on the Dalian Commodity Exchange yesterday as China takes greater control of price setting in the biggest seaborne commodity trade after oil. The contract for delivery in May, the most active by volume with 300,818 lots, closed at 977 yuan (US$160) a metric tonne, after opening at the bourse set price of 950 yuan. The exchange, the nation’s third-largest by volume of futures, will use stockpiles of the steel-making feedstock at shipping terminals including Tianjin and Qingdao, as well as material held at some mills. Dalian’s futures backed by the raw material challenge index-based contracts settled financially by CME Group Inc, Singapore Exchange Ltd and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. Overseas companies will be allowed to trade via units registered in China, the bourse said.