Crude oil prices rallied to $70.43 last week Friday, ending the week bullish for the first time since November 2018. This means Brent closed last week 2.9% higher. Meanwhile, oil prices maintained its bullish run yesterday, as it closed at $70.76 a barrel.
Brent oil prices rose, as expectations of tight global supply outweighed pressure from rising U.S. production and less robust global demand indicators.
Similarly, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled 98 cents higher at $63.11 a barrel on Friday, rising 1.6% to a new five-month closing high. WTI posted its fifth consecutive weekly gain, rising 4.9% over 5 days.
Both contracts hit new five-month highs
Oil prices are rallying in reaction to the U.S. employment report. According to John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York:
“Signs of global economic slowdown had been a headwind for oil prices, but this morning’s report seemed to dispel at least some of those concerns.”
Meanwhile, Crude futures received a boost from news of a potential slowdown in crude production out of Venezuela, as U.S. sanctions and energy blackouts hit the OPEC nation’s oil industry.
Over-delivering Saudi Arabia is OPEC’s Bull
The combined production of all 14 OPEC members reportedly stood at 30.4 million bpd last month, down by 280,000 bpd compared to February and the lowest level of OPEC production since February 2015.
However, Saudi Arabia’s production cut has pushed down OPEC’s crude oil production by 570,000 bpd from February to 30.23 million bpd in March. According to the monthly report of S&P Global Platts survey, OPEC’s current production represents the lowest production in more than four years.
OPEC’s de facto leader and biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, reportedly cut its crude oil production in March to the lowest level since February 2017. The Country delivered on its promise to cut more than pledged in the pact and slashed output by another 280,000 bpd last month, with March production at 9.87 million bpd.
The U.S ‘NOPEC bill’ – Saudi Arabia threatens to ditch dollar oil trades
Saudi Arabia is reportedly threatening to sell its oil in currencies other than the dollar if Washington passes a bill exposing OPEC members to U.S. antitrust lawsuits.
The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) which was first introduced in 2000, is a U.S. Congressional bill aimed at removing the state immunity shield. By extension, allowing OPEC and its national oil companies to be sued under U.S. antitrust law for anti-competitive attempts to limit the world’s supply of oil and the consequent impact on oil prices.
Report has rightly indicated that the chances of the NOPEC bill coming into force are slim and Saudi Arabia would be unlikely to follow through. Sources within the Saudi’s oil industry reportedly disclosed:
“let the Americans pass NOPEC and it would be the U.S. economy that would fall apart. The Saudis know they have the dollar as the nuclear option.”
Trump’s factor and U.S trade influence
The NOPEC bill has gained momentum since President Trump came into office. Prior to Trump’s election into office, he reportedly backed NOPEC in a book published in 2011. However, despite Trump’s continued tirade against OPEC, he has not yet voiced support for NOPEC as president.
On the contrary, while global trade has been advocating for moves to diversify trade from the dollar, economic superpowers are equalling plotting moves to dilute U.S influence over the world economy. Hence, it would resonate well with oil giant like Russia and consumers such as China and the European Union (EU) if Saudi’s move to ditch dollar sail through.
Saud Arabia’s influence and its Oil firm “Aramco”
Saudi Arabia reportedly controls a 10th of global oil production, roughly on par with its main rivals – the United States and Russia. Its oil firm Saudi Aramco holds the crown of the world’s biggest oil exporter with sales of $356 billion.
Recently, it was reported that Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company, Saudi Aramco, recorded $111.1 billion in profit for FY 2018 as the world’s most profitable company.
Prices to rise as Venezuela’s Blackout lingers alongside Iraq Production Cut
An earlier report has shown that OPEC’s oil production in March 2019 fell to its lowest level since February 2015, as Saudi Arabia cut more than it had pledged. Also, Venezuela continued to struggle amid U.S sanctions and a major blackout.
The power blackouts currently witnessed by Venezuela has crippled its oil industry and exports. The country reportedly saw its production drop to a 16-year-low, at 740,000 bpd.
Also, OPEC’s second-biggest producer Iraq, cut its production by 100,000 bpd, making its production reduced to 4.57 million bdb in March. This, however, was still slightly above Iraq’s 4.512 million bpd production cap under the deal.
PAC Trustees webinar highlights seamless access to credit facilities for organizations
The webinar was geared towards enlightening the general public about the necessary requirement for ensuring a smooth lending process for corporations irrespective of size.
PAC Trustees Limited, a leading Trust company in Nigeria on Tuesday 24th November hosted financial experts in a conversation about the role of Corporate Trustees in Credit administration.
The one day-event, which held virtually, was geared towards enlightening the general public about the necessary requirement for ensuring a smooth lending process for corporations irrespective of size.
The Virtual discussion follows the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the reduction of the benchmark interest rate to 11.5%, from 12.5% amongst other updates from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held in September.
Kicking off the virtual event with his opening remarks, the Managing Director of PAC Trustees, Yinka Adegbola highlighted the current standing of PAC Trustees as a Corporate Trustee to many organizations including the Lagos state government, Ogun State government as well as the 50 Billion Agro Bond when he listed some of the services and products offered.
In his remark, he added that the role of credit administrators is only one of the many services the Trust company offers including products such as, PAC Celebrity Trust, PAC Diaspora Trust and PAC Education Trust can attest to this.
Taking the first shot as a speaker at the webinar, Heritage Bank’s Acting Chief Risk Officer, Enterprise Bank Management, Kehinde Olugbemi began by stating the relevance of credit administrators in the borrowing process while emphasizing on the necessary qualities these administrators should possess which is mostly obtainable among Trust companies.
During his presentation, using significant scenarios, he reiterated the relevance of Trustees in credit administration. However, he urged Trust Organizations to stay abreast with regulations and governance guidelines.
“Trust Companies inclusive of PAC Trustees are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other guidelines. There is therefore an expectation that they work within the confines of the law. As such, the Trust Administration Memo should explicitly capture salient issues and relevant administrative charges as dictated by governing regulations,” he declared.
On his part, the Global Chairman, Tokunbo Orimobi Legal Group, Michael Orimobi, shed light on security documentation.
The astute commercial lawyer shared that, “nomenclature can be confusing and it has therefore become necessary to go into the substance of the document to actually understand what it is really referring to.”
He concluded by admonishing lawyers to not only focus on documentation but to most importantly advise clients on the appropriate transaction and security structure for the deal which often determines the documentation process and helps in avoiding the common problems of over-collateralisation and under-collateralisation.
Following the presentations, attendees of the virtual event were given the opportunity to ask questions, many of which were succinctly answered by Mr. Orimobi.
After which, the Executive Director of PanAfrican Capital Holdings Limited, Eric Okoruwa shared a vote of thanks with honourable accolades to attendees and panelists.
PAC Trustees Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of PanAfrican Capital Holdings Limited. Incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission and duly registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the organization focuses on providing Trust services in three (3) major areas – Private Trust, Public Trust and Corporate Trust
A recording of the session can be found here https://bit.ly/2JaSbb4 using the code, FkTw7iO!
Benefits of having an immutable ledger to the healthcare system
EHR Data’s vision is for both the healthcare industry and individual patients to benefit from the blockchain platform housing healthcare records.
Technological progress has paved the way for advancements in medical science; and ample healthcare data that has made momentous contributions in the treatment of various diseases. However, there is still a lot more to be done. The current pandemic has shown everyone that data silos are not equipped to handle a huge amount of healthcare information. So many people are dying all over the world; and many of these can be prevented with enough transparent patient data within the healthcare sector.
In the latest Bitcoin news, on the second day of the CoinGeek Live conference, data platform EHR Data presented their concept of clinical healthcare data that are stored, shared and managed at an individual level on the blockchain, which is a globally distributed digital ledger.
Currently, healthcare data are stored and accessed only on private servers and transferred to third parties who request for the data. According to Chief Clinical Officer Cheryl Jorgenson, real-time clinical information cannot be accessed, clinical services cannot be tracked and there is nonexistent workflow integration in data structures at present. Patients also have no say in how their healthcare history is stored. Many even find themselves in a bind when trying to access their own personal healthcare data.
Blockchain Technology Used for Healthcare Data
Satoshi Nakamoto first used blockchain technology as an immutable database where all Bitcoin transactions are stored. It is distributed in that all nodes on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) network have a copy of the blockchain; and it is immutable because data recorded on the blockchain cannot be changed or altered.
Headed by Jorgenson, Chief Scientist & Consultant Ron Austring and Director of Product Design Joseph Eckstein, EHR Data proposed that a marriage between healthcare data and blockchain technology is the solution to the lack of transparent healthcare data. This will then create the world’s biggest health data set. EHR Data envisions healthcare records to be stored at a personal level, meaning patients will have control over who can access their data, on what terms and for how long.
Healthcare data on the blockchain can have multiple uses through micro transactions and smart contracts. In building this blockchain platform, EHR Data said they hope to improve the way private healthcare data is accessed, managed and even monetized. This is certainly big Bitcoin news for blockchain technology to be used in such a relevant manner.
Benefits of Housing Healthcare Data on the Blockchain Platform
EHR Data’s vision is for both the healthcare industry and individual patients to benefit from the blockchain platform housing healthcare records.
- This data model is built with the capacity to assimilate to the various systems being used by hospitals and other medical organizations. Inter- and intra-operability of data is the main objective—being able to provide “a single source of truth powered by the BSV blockchain.”
- Through the use of the BSV blockchain, which is highly scalable, this new data system can widen its range to more states, more countries and more drug types. It will consolidate healthcare data and systems into a more practical and accessible format.
- Consumers of healthcare need not remain as mere consumers anymore. This proposed model allows patients to benefit from more positive health results and lowered healthcare costs brought about by an upgraded data structure. Individuals can also earn money by allowing medical and pharmaceutical institutions to gain access to their personal healthcare data for research and other uses.
This most recent Bitcoin news could not have come at a better time. With the ongoing pandemic, this proposed model of using the BSV blockchain to power a new healthcare data system not only serves to benefit national and global healthcare, but also provides individuals with a new source of income.
Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine
The AU and Africa CDC have revealed that they have reached out to both China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union announced they have been in talks with China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships to ensure that Africa is not left behind when vaccines become available.
This was disclosed by John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Chief, at the Bloomberg Invest Africa online conference.
“We are not limiting ourselves to any particular partner. As a continent of 1.2 billion people, we are willing to work with any partner who adheres to our strategic plan for vaccine development and access in Africa.
He said that the WHO Covax programme only covers 20% of the population, but Africa will need 60% of its population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
“There are multiple avenues being explored now to make sure Africa has the appropriate doses of vaccines and also that we have that in a timely fashion, not in a delayed manner,” Nkengasong said.
He revealed that the AFREXIM Bank agreed to finance vaccine procurement with $5 billion and is waiting to see how much it will receive from World Bank’s $12 billion vaccine procurement fund for developing nations.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Pfizer Inc. disclosed that its experimental vaccine, which is jointly developed with BioNTech, was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on initial data from a large study in the ongoing phase 3 trials.
Last week, a pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc., stated that its COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.
The G-20 nations also announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that could not afford it. The leaders also unveiled a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.
The Federal Government of Nigeria also announced through the Ministry of Health, that it would inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.