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Say goodbye to OPEC, powerful Putin pal predicts

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Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin attends a briefing dedicated to the signing of a contract between Rosneft and Essar Oil Ltd. companies in Ufa, Russia, July 8, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin attends a briefing dedicated to the signing of a contract between Rosneft and Essar Oil Ltd. companies in Ufa, Russia, July 8, 2015.

Internal differences are killing OPEC and its ability to influence the markets has all but evaporated, top Russian oil executive Igor Sechin told Reuters in some of his harshest remarks ever about the oil cartel.

Russia, which has been hit hard by the oil price collapse, was flirting with the idea of cooperating with OPEC in recent months until tensions between OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Iran ruined a global deal to freeze output.

Sechin – one of the closest allies of President Vladimir Putin – was the only Russian official to consistently oppose the deal with OPEC even after the Kremlin effectively endorsed the plan.

Now that his gloomy predictions about talking to OPEC have come to pass, Sechin feels vindicated and wants to help Russia avoid similar embarrassment in future.

“At the moment a number of objective factors exclude the possibility for any cartels to dictate their will to the market. … As for OPEC, it has practically stopped existing as a united organization.”

“The company (Rosneft) was skeptical from the very beginning about the possibility of reaching any sort of joint agreement with OPEC’s involvement in current conditions,” said Sechin, in comments over the weekend which were embargoed until Tuesday.

“Just to remind you, the only one question with which we responded to those who were interested to know our position: ‘Who should we agree with, and how?’ The development of the situation has clearly shown we were right.”

Sechin’s comments about the end of the era when OPEC could influence prices chime with those of Saudi Arabia’s newly appointed energy minister Khaled al-Falih.

Falih, who took over on Saturday from long-serving Ali al-Naimi, has been very vocal in the past year about his views that the oil market needs to rebalance through low prices and that the Saudis have the resources to wait.

Falih’s ultimate boss, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversees Saudi oil policies, has also signaled that the world is moving to a new era where supply and demand rather than OPEC will determine prices.

Sechin, who was born in 1960 – the same year as Falih – is also calling on Russia to abandon any hope that prices can be fixed by anything other than market rebalancing.

“At the moment, key factors which are influencing the market are finance, technology and regulation. We can see this with the example of shale oil which … became a powerful tool of influence on the global market,” Sechin said in the emailed comments.

 

Source : http://www.reuters.com/

Business

Amazon in talks to buy stake in Bharti Airtel

In just around a month, RIL has sold over 17 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for a combined Rs 78,562 crore.

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airtel

New Delhi, June 4 : E-commerce giant Amazon is in talks to purchase a stake worth at least $2 billion in telecom major Bharti Airtel.

According to reports, the Jeff Bezos-led Amazon would acquire around 5 per cent stake based on the current market value of India”s third largest telecom company in terms of subscribers.

Describing the reports as speculations, an Amazon spokesperson said: “We don”t comment on speculation about what we may or may not do in future.”

An Airtel spokesperson said: “We routinely work with all digital and OTT players and have deep engagement with them to bring their products, content and services for our wide customer base. Beyond that there is no other activity to report.”

Reports suggested that the talks are in initial stages currently. The talks come at atime when Jio Platforms has attracted several investors in the past one month led by Facebook which took up around 10 per cent stake.

In just around a month, RIL has sold over 17 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for a combined Rs 78,562 crore.

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Lockdown period helped us grow business, say digital marketers

India”s Internet consumption rose by 13-14 per cent since the nationwide lockdown was put in place.

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Digital-Marketing

New Delhi, June 4 : During the time of Covid-19 pandemic when most of enterprises have cut down on traditional marketing and publicity spend, the scope of digital marketing has increased manifold as target audiences are home in social distancing times and remaining online for more hours has become the new normal, some leading digital marketers said on Thursday.

While lockdown has done serious damage to a lot of businesses, there are some for whom it has become an opportunity and digital marketing agencies are one of them.

“With the world being connected via Internet, things were gung-ho in the digital marketing world using the right digital strategies to reach out to people,” said Kapil Jain, Founder of Graphitto, a Mumbai-based digital agency.

“For the survival of business operations, we are considering each and every step about our future business operations, including burn-rate, debts servicing cost, sales forecasts, supply-chain challenges, team headcount reduction, and optimizing capital spending,” Jain added.

According to Sudhanshu Kumar, MD of Digital Sukoon digital marketing agency, they are in a relatively better position to withstand the lockdown impact.

“We used the time really well and understood the fact that lockdown is going to increase consumption of data in India and we had to put our clients where the audience was. We managed to bridge the gap with all the hard work from our teams while adhering to the norms,” said Kumar.

Digital Sukoon is handling digital promotion for Prakash Jha Productions, Rohit Shetty Pictures, Pooja Entertainment and Panorama Studios, among others, along with artists and popular influencers.

Digital Sukoon is among few firms that has retained entire staff and helped them in need.

“These are an unprecedented time for everyone and we at Digital Sukoon would love to help out people as much as we possibly can,” said Kumar.

India”s Internet consumption rose by 13-14 per cent since the nationwide lockdown was put in place.

According to Anoop Mishra, Co-founder of Publicity Mantra, a strategic marketing and brand communication agency, usually an average company invests two-three per cent of their total marketing budget on digital platforms but since online time per user has increased, companies can pay more attention to it and this is going to be a good opportunity for digital marketers.

“If we talk about Internet users and consumers, we are going to experience more ad floats and digital agencies reaching out to more customers seamlessly,” said Mishra who has also launched OnlyforStartups.com to support and guide the early startups in India.

–IANS

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Why was Rajiv Bajaj asked not to speak to Rahul Gandhi

“The first reaction (of the person who discouraged Bajaj from speaking) was no no. Don’t do that. This can get you into trouble.”

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Rajiv Bajaj

Today (June 4), Industrialist Rajiv Bajaj was in conversation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, which is part of the on-going series organised by Gandhi to engage with economists and businesses. But during the conversation, Bajaj informed the audience that someone he knows advised Bajaj not to talk to Gandhi over the fear of backlash from the present BJP-led government.

Citing that incident, Bajaj said, “The first reaction (of the person who discouraged Bajaj from speaking) was no no. Don’t do that. This can get you into trouble.” But Bajaj stressed why should that be of concern considering, he has spoken to many media houses and given more harsh messages to the government.

Linking the freedom of expression with business, he said, businesses cannot function under fear. He added that investments will dry up — fear will stop investors from coming into the country. For businesses to invest in the country, there is a need to build business confidence.

He added due to irregularities in the part of the business, they refuse to speak up as they are afraid of the skeleton in the closet. Then there are some businesses who will never speak over the fear of backlash and that fear needs to eliminated as that is not good for the economy, Bajaj reiterated.

Rajiv Bajaj’s father, Rahul Bajaj, has been very vocal about the issues business have faced in the country. In the past, Rahul Bajaj had spoken about the issues faced by the businesses to Amit Shah.

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