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According to the IMF: Mideast oil exporters’ foreign reserves to rise

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According to the AP, “Oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa region are expected to increase their international reserves by over 100 billion dollars in 2010 as oil prices rebound, the IMF said on Sunday. The rebuilding of reserves will help governments of the region maintain public spending, which has mitigated the impact of the global financial turmoil on their economies, the International Monetary Fund said in report released in Dubai.

‘With higher oil prices and the anticipated re-emergence of global demand, oil revenues are expected to increase, allowing oil exporters to rebuild their international reserve positions by over 100 billion dollars in 2010,’ the Middle East and Central Asia Regional Economic Outlook said.

Oil exporters — Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen — have suffered as oil prices dropped to near 30 dollars per barrel around the turn of the year from an all-time high of 147 dollars per barrel in July 2008.

As a result, the current account surplus of these countries dropped by nearly 350 billion dollars. Since then, the price of oil has rebounded to around 70 dollars per barrel.

‘The use of reserve buffers for countercyclical spending by oil exporters mitigated the impact on their own economies and generated positive spillovers for their neighbours,’ IMF Middle East and Central Asia department director Masood Ahmed said in a press release.”

read more: AP

Saudi Aramco Contemplates SABIC Stake from PIF

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Oil giant Saudi Aramco is in early discussions on whether to pursue an ownership stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund (PIF). At the moment, Saudi Aramco has no plans to buy publicly-held shares of SABIC. SABIC was founded in 1976 by Saudi royal decree to convert oil by-products into useful chemicals, polymers, and fertilizers.

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SWFI First Read, July 19, 2018

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GIC Eyes Provenance Land

GIC Private Limited is nearing a deal to purchase up to 50% of Provenance Land. Provenance Land owns India’s first Four Seasons hotel.

Eduard van Gelderen Leaves UC Regents for PSP Investments CIO Role

Eduard van Gelderen exited his position as Senior Managing Director at the University of California Regents’ Office of the Chief Investment Officer. His role will not be replaced. He accepted an offer to be Chief Investment Officer of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

PAAMCO Prisma Holdings CEOs to Exit

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Google Fined Big Time by EU Regarding Antitrust Violations

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The European Union (EU), through its competition commissioner, levied a €4.34 billion fine against Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google. The fine is over Google having “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search,” according to the European Commission (EC).

The European Commission is requiring Alphabet to cease from its conduct that it is accused of within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a press release, “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

The EC press release added, “In particular, Google: 1. has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store); 2. made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and 3. has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).”

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