(Bloomberg) — France’s Total SE is in talks to increase energy investment in Libya, where oil output has surged in the past two months amid a truce in the OPEC member’s civil war.
Total and Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. held a virtual meeting and discussed efforts to increase Libyan production capacity and output “to the highest levels,” the NOC said Thursday. Daily output has already recovered to 1.25 million barrels, it said in a statement, the same amount Libya was producing before it collapsed into political chaos and civil war almost a decade ago.
The speedy resurgence in Libyan oil flows — it was producing less than 100,000 barrels a day in early September — has surprised oil traders and exceeded analysts’ forecasts. Strife between rival military forces caused a near-total halt in its energy industry in January.
“The NOC and its companies, even during the shutdown, have not and will not stop working hard,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said. “This explains the rapid return to previous production rates.”
Total has been active in Libya for decades and holds shares in key oil fields, including the nation’s biggest — Sharara — and the offshore Al Jurf deposit. The Paris-based company also has a share in the Mabruk field, which has been closed for years because of the political upheaval.
The North African country was producing 1.6 million barrels a day before a 2011 uprising toppled long-time dictator Muammar Qaddafi and led to civil war. Oil facilities have been caught up in the conflict, making Libya — home to the continent’s largest crude reserves — an uncommonly volatile producer.
The nation was producing about 1.2 million barrels a day before Khalifa Haftar, a Russian-backed commander based in eastern Libya, blockaded ports and fields in January. Haftar, who was battling the United Nations-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, lifted his blockade in September after winding down hostilities amid a truce.
Libya’s recovery is weighing on oil prices at a time when the coronavirus is sapping energy demand. At the same time, analysts and traders question whether the revival will last and if the truce can hold.
In what could be a big step toward stabilizing Libyan oil output and exports, Sanalla traveled to the eastern port of Brega this week to meet with the two main warring factions and discuss unifying the Petroleum Facilities Guard. The Guard was formed as a neutral force to defend oil ports and fields, but its members contributed to a crash in output in recent years by blockading installations on behalf of various groups and to press their own demands.
"Tectonic forces" could cause economic upheaval: Poloz – Investment Executive
This could lead to many different inflationary scenarios from a return to the 2% inflation target to an inflation outbreak, or to stagflation or deflation.
“Personally, I would not weight them equally, but I would attach a meaningful weight to each of them and suggest that [investors] think about ways to preserve [their] capital should any of them arise,” said Poloz who is a special advisor with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.
“We should not fall in love with the high probability scenario where inflation just returns to 2% and remains there.”
One driver of high interest rates in recent decades was the population surge of the post-war baby boom. As this generation now moves into retirement, Poloz believes that the high real interest rates of the past “were an aberration” and should not be expected to return.
While there is an expectation for interest rates to normalize along with inflation targets, Poloz notes there is growing concern that inflation could get out of control as governments borrow a “staggering amount of money.”
The former central banker said that today’s central banks are well-equipped to keep inflation in check via monetary policy.
However, three of the tectonic shifts mentioned could disrupt central banks in their policy goals: growing indebtedness, technological progress and rising inequality.
Global indebtedness was on the rise long before Covid-19 hit, said Poloz.
As a result of monetary and fiscal policies that have prevented recessions, individuals and companies are not retrenching and rebalancing their finances as they might have done in the past. From an investor point of view, this leads to the danger of “zombie firms” that are not “washed out of the system” as they might have been.
In the case of technology, progress generally means more efficiency and lower costs for companies over the long-term, said Poloz. But, that same progress can have serious economic consequences in the short term in the form of economic depressions and disruption.
The world is currently experiencing a fourth industrial revolution as the economy becomes digitized through artificial intelligence — which is leading to fears within workforces that a few large firms will scoop up all the economic benefits, leading to growing income inequality.
“People believe and expect that economic growth is like yeast, it spreads everywhere, so everybody benefits,” said Poloz. “But the reality is more like mushrooms that pop up here and there and single firms can reap most of the benefits.”
Climate change is also having a seismic effect on the economy as more companies try to shift their businesses to environmentally-friendly processes. The problem, noted Poloz, is “markets are really bad at distinguishing between shades of green. They’re essentially only able to tell the difference between green and not-green.”
Firms will have to move towards “full carbon transparency,” which will require significant investments in analytics or consultancy work. And, “firms who invest in this early deserve your attention,” said Poloz.
With these forces in play, “volatility beyond the norm is now a given,” said Poloz. A firm’s risk management for these factors will be key to creating shareholder value and will likely be “the next channel of intangible investment.”
Canadian General Investments: Investment Update – Unaudited Toronto Stock Exchange:CGI – GlobeNewswire
TORONTO, Canada, Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canadian General Investments, Limited (TSX: CGI, CGI.PR.D) (LSE: CGI) reports on an unaudited basis that its net asset value per share (NAV) at November 30, 2020 was $47.40, resulting in year-to-date and 12-month NAV returns, with dividends reinvested, of 30.9% and 33.8%, respectively. These compare with the 3.8% and 4.3% returns of the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index on a total return basis for the same periods.
The Company employs a leveraging strategy, by way of preference shares and bank borrowing, in an effort to enhance returns to common shareholders. As at November 30, 2020, the combined leverage afforded by both forms of leverage represented 17.7% of CGI’s net assets, down from 22.7% at the end of 2019 and 23.2% at November 30, 2019.
The worldwide spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on such factors as business operations, supply chains, travel, commodity prices and consumer confidence, and the associated impact on domestic and international equity markets and fixed income yields, is expected to continue to have a significant influence on the equity markets and could significantly impact the value of investments held by CGI. Morgan Meighen & Associates Limited, the manager of the Company, will maintain its consistent, steady, long-term approach of holding diversified, appropriate investments, while pursuing selective new opportunities.
The closing price for CGI’s common shares at November 30, 2020 was $32.20, resulting in year-to-date and 12-month share price returns, with dividends reinvested, of 26.8% and 36.7%, respectively.
The sector weightings of CGI’s investment portfolio at market as of November 30, 2020 were as follows:
|Cash & Cash Equivalents||0.7%|
The top ten investments which comprised 37.2% of the investment portfolio at market as of November 30, 2020 were as follows:
|Canadian Pacific Railway Limited||4.1%|
|First Quantum Minerals Ltd.||2.8%|
|Lightspeed POS Inc.||2.7%|
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Canadian General Investments, Limited
Jonathan A. Morgan
President and CEO
Phone: (416) 366-2931
Fax: (416) 366-2729
Imperial halts $1.2 billion in Alberta investment – Western Standard
The murder rate in Seattle has soared to its highest level in a decade – as the city council approved cutting the police budget by nearly 20 per cent.
Council members voted overwhelmingly to cut funds for police training and overtime and to eliminate dozens of vacant positions within the Seattle Police Department after months of contentious talks.
The cut will amount to 18 per cent.
That falls well short of the 50 per cent local activists demanded amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis protesters burned down a police precinct building and set up the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone, which sought to operate on Marxist-Leninist principles.
At least 31 people were arrested at the CHAZ zone and crime rose by more than 500 per cent in just over three weeks.
Thousands of protesters – many hailing from the far-left ANTIFA terrorist organization – took over the six-square block area of Seattle, where no police officers were allowed.
The commune quickly run out of food, putting out a plea for “vegan meat alternatives” and other soy-based food donations.
They had a list of demands, including the “abolition” of the Seattle Police Department and its attached court system, free college for all people in the state, as well as “the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.”
The streets were controlled by a hip hop artist-turned-warlord by the name of Raz Simone, who established an armed private police force that does did hesitate to dole out beatings to communal scofflaws.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan engaged in a war of words over the Zone.
“Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will,” Trump warned Durkan and Washington state governor Jay Inslee – both Democrats – in a tweet, calling the protesters “domestic terrorists” who have taken over Seattle.
“This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped (sic) IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST,” he said in another tweet.
Durkan replied, telling Trump to “go back to his bunker” a reference to when Trump sheltered in the White House bunker after D.C protests and riots got too close.
Inslee tweeted: “A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. ‘Stoop’ tweeting.”
Two people – including a 16-year-old boy – were shot and killed around CHAZ – with police finally moving in on July 1st and cleared up the area.
Seattle’s city council also decided to transfer parking enforcement officers, mental health workers and 911 dispatchers out of the police department.
“I believe we are laying the groundwork to make systemic and lasting changes to policing,” Mayor Jenney Durkan said in a statement.
Durkan will sign the police cut order this week.
“We have rightly put forward a plan that seeks to ensure SPD has enough officers to meet 911 response and investigative needs throughout the city, while acknowledging and addressing the disproportionate impacts policing has had on communities of colour, particularly Black communities,” she said.
“I applaud the City Council for taking a more deliberate and measured approach to the 2021 Seattle Police Department budget than occurred this summer which led to the resignation of former SPD Chief Carmen Best.”
The budget will spend up to $100 million for projects in communities of colour and the hiring of 100 police officers in 2021.
The budget moves come as the Seattle marked the 55th murder of the year Monday.
The city had 28 homicide victims last year and 32 in 2018.
Burglaries are also up. There have been 8,418 burglary incidents, compared to 7,634 in 2019.
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