Egypt Independent: Business-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/Economy/rss.xml en Oil falls as investors cash in on month-long gains http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469382 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/04/16/505021/oil_feild_.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Oil prices fell on Friday as investors cashed in on a 20-percent rise over the past month, outweighing the impact of crude production cuts in Canada where a huge wildfire has disrupted oil sands operations.<br /><br />Oil prices were down around one percent by 1234 GMT (7:34 a.m. ET), with global benchmark Brent prices set for their biggest weekly loss in nearly four months.<br /><br />&quot;Currently prices are falling even with only few bearish fundamentals,&quot; said Frank Klumpp, oil analyst at Stuttgart-based Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg.<br /><br />&quot;It seems that investors take profits regardless of the newsflow which should be supportive.&quot;<br /><br />Despite Friday&#39;s losses, Brent crude prices have risen 64 percent since a near 13-year low reached in mid-January and as much as 20 percent over the past four weeks, triggering some profit taking among investors.<br /><br />Brent futures LCOc1 were down 48 cents at $44.53 a barrel at 1234 GMT. WTI futures CLc1 traded at $43.90, down 42 cents day on day.<br /><br />The dollar, which has a huge impact on greenback-denominated commodities such as oil futures, was also on track for a weekly gain. This in turn weighed down oil prices.<br /><br />At least 690,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude production capacity were offline because of the Canadian wildfires, an issue that was not having much influence on the market on Friday.<br /><br />Adding to the supply outage in Canada is an ongoing decline in U.S. oil output.<br /><br />Data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows U.S. crude oil output has fallen by 410,000 bpd this year, and by 800,000 bpd since mid-2015, as producers succumb to a rout that saw prices tumble more than 70 percent between mid-2014 and early-2016.<br /><br />Analysts said the drop in North American output, combined with disruptions in Latin America, were contributing to a fast erosion of global oversupply that peaked as high as 2 million bpd last year.<br /><br />&quot;Unplanned oil supply disruptions have been a key element so far this year that have contributed to a tighter oil market than was otherwise expected,&quot; said analyst Guy Baber of Simmons &amp; Co.</p> Fri, 06 May 2016 13:19:00 +0000 Reuters 2469382 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/04/16/505021/oil_feild_.jpg China to invest $11.9 billion in aviation infrastructure in 2016: Xinhua http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469369 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/05/05/504802/china_aviation.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>China will invest 77 billion yuan (US$11.9 billion) this year in building aviation infrastructure, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Wednesday, citing the country&#39;s civil aviation regulator.<br /><br />The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said the investment, which will focus on airports, will initially lead to 11 key construction projects and 52 aviation-related upgrades to existing facilities, Xinhua reported.<br /><br />&quot;The general aviation sector, especially aircraft research and manufacturing, has became a hot spot of both industrial upgrading and social concern,&quot; Feng Zhenglin, head of the CAAC, told the official news agency.<br /><br />China&#39;s cabinet separately said late on Wednesday it would support the development of the country&#39;s aviation industry and opening up low-altitude air space, an issue that constrains a fledgling market for helicopters and small aircraft. It did not provide details.<br /><br />&quot;Opening up will especially benefit China&#39;s tourism, emergency medical services and pilot training sectors, which operate light aircraft and helicopters,&quot; said Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor at industry publication Flightglobal.<br /><br />Civilian air traffic controllers handle low-altitude air space and work with the military to manage both civil and military traffic in most parts of the world.<br /><br />China&#39;s military controls the country&#39;s air space, and its planes have priority over civil aircraft. Special military-only zones also force other aircraft to take a longer route.<br /><br />Over the last few years, Beijing has relaxed some restrictions on flights below 1,000 meters &mdash; although civil aircraft still need military approval to fly through some areas.<br /><br />Industry observers expect the approval process to be further relaxed and the ceiling to increase to 3,000 m, in line with Western norms. Some, however, are cautions.<br /><br />&quot;I doubt they will let people get into their aircraft and fly off without approval like in Australia and the U.S. This is still China and there will still be restrictions,&quot; Waldron said.<br /><br />The relaxation could boost demand for light aircraft. China had only 1,600 light aircraft and around 80 airports to handle them in 2013. It will need 10,000 light aircraft this decade to meet demand, according to some projections.<br /><br />The U.S., by comparison, had about 300,000 GA aircraft and 24,000 airports for them in 2013.<br /><br />Since 2000, Western firms like America&#39;s Cessna and Austria&#39;s Diamond Aircraft have set up joint ventures with Chinese partners to produce light aircraft in the country.</p> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:23:00 +0000 Reuters 2469369 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/05/504802/china_aviation.jpg Oil rallies as Canada fire and Libya violence threaten supply http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469367 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/05/05/504802/oil.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>A huge wildfire near Canada&#39;s oil sands region and escalating tensions in Libya stoked concern among investors over a near-term supply shortage, driving crude prices up for the first time in a week on Thursday.<br /><br />Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose $1.19 on the day to $45.81 a barrel by 0845 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 rose $1.45 to $45.23.<br /><br />&quot;The difference today compared with a year ago is the market is starting to price in supply disruptions, whereas in a market that is totally oversupplied, you don&#39;t care about losing half a million barrels a day (in production),&quot; Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said.<br /><br />&quot;The market is becoming much more sensitive to supply disruptions.&quot;<br /><br />The wildfire has forced the evacuation of all 88,000 people in the western Canadian oil city of Fort McMurray and burned down 1,600 structures, and has the potential to destroy much of the town, authorities said.<br /><br />With evacuees being told to head north towards Alberta&#39;s oil sand fields, and some pipelines in the region being shut as a precaution, output at several facilities has been disrupted. The volume of the decline was unclear.<br /><br />The premium of Brent over WTI futures shrank to its narrowest in six weeks, while the premium of front-month June WTI futures over the July contract fell to its smallest in seven months, driven by the potential for reduced shipments of Canadian crude to U.S. refiners.<br /><br />&quot;Events in Canada are yet another example of what has turned out to be a key feature this year, which is a sequence of unexpected supply disruptions supporting prices,&quot; wrote PVM Oil Associates analyst David Hufton.<br /><br />Investment firm ETF Securities said unplanned outages within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, including Libya, stood above 2 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest in at least five years.<br /><br />&quot;Investor optimism for oil has markedly improved. We believe the gains in price are sustainable and not just driven by speculative gains. We are likely to be in a global oil supply deficit by Q3 2016,&quot; said Nitesh Shah, director of commodity strategy at ETF Securities.<br /><br />Libya&#39;s already crippled oil production is at risk of further disruption from a stand-off between eastern and western political factions, which prevented a Glencore cargo from loading.<br /><br />U.S. production continues to fall, with the latest official figures showing a decline by over 8 percent since mid-2015 to 8.825 million bpd.</p> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:16:00 +0000 Reuters 2469367 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/05/504802/oil.jpg EFG-Hermes to more than double renewable energy investments it manages http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469365 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/04/02/505021/sunedison.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Egypt&#39;s EFG-Hermes is planning to increase the investments it manages in renewable energy to 1.5-2 billion euros in the next two years from 730 million currently, said Bakr Abdel-Wahab, its managing director of infrastructure private equity.<br /><br />EFG-Hermes, one of the Middle East&#39;s largest investment banks, has a renewable energy portfolio concentrated in Europe, but Abdel-Wahab said the firm was seeking to manage investments in the sector in Egypt within the next two years.<br /><br />&quot;We have spoken to Egyptian and foreign companies working in the local market which have projects that need capital. We will provide them with the capital and help them to manage,&quot; he told Reuters in an interview.<br /><br />&quot;We are initially targeting projects of around 500 megawatts of solar and wind energy in Egypt&quot;, he added.<br /><br />Last month, EFG-Hermes&#39;s Vortex business signed an agreement with EDP Renewables Europe SL to acquire a 49 percent equity shareholding and outstanding shareholder loans in a portfolio of onshore wind assets in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and France for a total of 550 million euros ($629 million).<br /><br />Abdel-Wahab said Vortex may acquire shares in other companies in Europe this year and had submitted letters of intent to two companies.<br /><br />&quot;We aim to increase the investments managed by EFG-Hermes in renewable energy to 1.5-2 billion euros ($1.7-2.3 billion) within the next two years to 2018,&quot; Abdel-Wahab said, adding the firm also planned to increase its production capacity to 1,000 megawatts of wind and solar energy from 460 megawatts currently.<br /><br />Abdel-Wahab said EFG-Hermes was planning on expanding to manage renewable energy investments in other markets as well, including the United States and eastern Europe.</p> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:04:00 +0000 Reuters 2469365 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/04/02/505021/sunedison.jpg