NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The British fossil-fuel giant and the largest U.S. airline have each pledged to effectively stop emitting carbon over time. The ambition is encouraging and puts them ahead of most rivals. But both fall short on all-important details. There’s plenty of runway to do better.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Looney is shifting BP investors to a better sort of limbo. The oil giant’s new chief executive on Wednesday set out long-awaited ambitions to mostly eliminate carbon emissions. That puts BP at the front of the industry pack but keeps investors largely in the dark for now.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s virus crisis is highlighting the country’s role as oil’s swing consumer. Crude-watchers often see Saudi Arabia as the swing producer in the 100 million barrel per day industry, given its 10% share of the global market and control over the biggest chunk of spare capacity. As demand from the People’s Republic shrinks and the oil price sinks to $55 a barrel, the challenge is working out what to anticipate from the world’s biggest oil importer.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - BP’s new boss almost has the keys to the car. The UK oil major on Tuesday delivered a solid last set of results under departing Chief Executive Bob Dudley, the day before his replacement Bernard Looney formally takes over. While Dudley is handing over a well-oiled machine, Looney’s scope for an opening gear-change is less than he might have hoped.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Larry Fink seems to be listening to his critics. The BlackRock boss on Tuesday published his annual letter to CEOs of the companies the $7 trillion fund manager invests in. To a greater degree than in the past, tackling climate change is the priority.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Omani Sultan Qaboos is gone, but his legacy of peace lives on. The Gulf’s longest-serving ruler, in power for half a century, finally succumbed to illness late on Friday. That the iconic leader’s reign would soon end was expected. More surprising has been what appears to be a smooth succession.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Saudi Aramco has been handed a curse disguised as a blessing. The fallout from the U.S. strikes that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, plus bellicose talk by President Donald Trump about sanctions on Iraq, pushed oil prices above $70 a barrel on Monday morning. Yet shares in the Saudi oil giant slipped to 34 riyals ($9.1) – their lowest level since last month’s initial public offering, and 11% below their post-listing peak.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Market ructions triggered by flaring Middle East tensions have a lot further to run. Oil prices rose more than 3% and stock markets around the world fell after a U.S. air strike killed Iran’s top military leader, Qassem Soleimani. The scale of these price moves understates the dangers of such a destabilising act.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The business of adding some kind of environmental, social or governance analysis to investment decisions is snowballing. Such practices grew 34% in the two years after 2016 and are now a factor in $31 trillion of assets under management, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. In 2020, the downside of that surge could put certain players in the dock.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Saudi Arabia’s Plan A for its crown jewel hasn’t gone to plan. The kingdom’s original goal of selling 5% of energy giant Saudi Aramco in an initial public offering to foreign investors at a $2 trillion valuation got downsized to a 1.5% offload to largely domestic punters at $1.7 trillion. That implies Saudi’s Public Investment Fund might only get about a quarter of the $100 billion it originally envisaged to help diversify the country away from oil.