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Top 40 miners’ good performance not enough for investors

The world’s 40 largest mining companies continued to consolidate their stellar performance of the past several years by delivering steady growth in 2018 according to PwC’s Mine 2019report released yesterday.

  • Revenue up 8% to $683 billion
  • EBITDA up 4% to $165 billion
  • Record dividend paid to shareholders of $43 billion up 13%
  • Market capitalisation of the Top 40 down 18% to $757 billion, 31 Dec 2018 with partial recovery thereafter

As a group, the Top 40 increased revenue by 8%, buoyed by higher commodity prices and marginally improved production. They also boosted cash flows, paid down debt and provided a record dividend to shareholders of $43 billion.  Forecasts indicate continued steady performance in 2019. Revenue should remain stable, with weaker prices for coal and copper offsetting marginally higher production and higher average prices for iron ore.

Yet investors seemed unimpressed by the Top 40’s result, judging by market valuations, which fell 18% over 2018. While total ...

July 1, 2019


Gold jumps to 6-year high on low rates, slowing economy and heightened geopolitical tensions

Gold prices hit their highest level in six years on Tuesday as investors plowed into the precious metal amid the prospects for lower interest rates, a softer global economy and increased geopolitical tensions.

Futures for August delivery hit a high of $1,442.90 per ounce overnight, its highest level since May 14, 2013, when it reached $1,444.90. Gold settled slightly higher $1,418.70.

Gold has been on a tear, rallying more than 8% this month and over 9% for the quarter. Those gains put the metal on pace for its best monthly and quarterly performances since 2016.

In that time, expectations for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates have increased sharply. Traders are currently pricing in a 100% probability of a rate cut in July, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The Fed said last week it will “act as appropriate” to maintain the current economic expansion. The announcement sent rates along with the ...

June 27, 2019


Europe Aims to Produce Prototype for New Fighter Plane by 2026

France, Germany and Spain will move a step further to building a new combat plane on Monday at the Paris Air Show when defense ministers will sign a cooperation accord to produce a prototype.

The three European countries are aiming to produce the prototype in 2026, the French president’s office said. The project was launched in 2017 by President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Read More: Airbus Calls on Europe to Present United Front on Future Fighter

Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA and the German arm of Airbus SE are part of the alliance to manufacture the plane and will jointly submit their industrial plans to produce the prototype, officials in Macron’s office told reporters in a briefing on Friday. They declined to comment on specific industrial contracts -- on engines or avionics -- but indicated announcements may come Monday.

France and Germany are still in talks over the export policy they will adopt ...

June 24, 2019


U.S. solar power installation outlook brightens on falling costs -report

The U.S. solar energy industry lifted its installation outlook for this year and beyond thanks to robust demand for large-scale projects by utilities buying the clean energy source for its low cost, according to a report published on Tuesday.

In 2019, installations are expected to be up 25 percent from 2018 to 13.3 gigawatts, the report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie said. The groups' previous forecast called for 14 percent growth this year.

The change is primarily due to late project announcements in Texas, the report said.

The rosy outlook marks an about-face from 2018, when installations fell 2 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped 30 percent tariffs on overseas-made solar panels.

Since then, global panel prices have fallen dramatically due to an oversupply of panels in top producer China, which cut incentives for installations there. Between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, monocrystalline ...

June 20, 2019


Norway forces sovereign wealth fund to go greener

Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest at more than $1 trillion, is set to become greener by withdrawing further from fossil fuels, the Norwegian parliament decided on Wednesday. 

To comply with the new directive, the fund looks set to divest assets in mining giants working with coal, such as Glencore, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, and energy companies such as Germany's RWE and Italy's Enel.

Previously, the fund was told to only keep clear of mining companies or energy producers whose coal-related activities represented 30 percent or more of their business.

But that allowed large coal players to slip through the cracks since most of their revenue came from other activities.

Going forward companies will be judged on production levels and the fund won't be able to invest in companies producing more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year or more than 10,000 MW of electricity from coal.

According to several environmental groups, ...

June 14, 2019


KKR to buy Axel Springer for 6.8 billion euros

KKR & Co. KKR, +0.87% is making a public takeover offer for the shares of Axel Springer SE (SPR.XE) after reaching an agreement with the German media company.

KKR will offer all Axel Springer shareholders 63 euros ($71.31) a share in cash, Axel Springer said Wednesday in a press release. The takeover offer will be subject to a minimum acceptance of 20%, Axel Springer said.

According to FactSet, Axel Springer has 107.9 million shares. Based on this, the private-equity firm's offer values the company at EUR6.8 billion.

Axel Springer's executive and supervisory board said they will support KKR's takeover offer, and KKR has entered a shareholder agreement with Friede Springer, widow of the company's founder and Chief Executive Matthias Doepfner. They won't accept the public takeover offer and will continue to be involved in Axel Springer to the same extent as before, Axel Springer said.

Axel Springer shares closed at EUR56.00 on Tuesday. Last ...

June 12, 2019


Geothermal electricity contributing to energy security in Turkey

Reporting on the released provisional electricity data for April 2019 by the Turkey Electricity Transmission A.?., the Turkish Geothermal Power Plants Investors Association (JESDER) highlights the increasing contribution by geothermal energy power plants to electricity generation in Turkey.

In April, the share of natural gas power plants in electricity production decreased by half, while the share of geothermal power plants (GPP) increased from 2.36 percent to 2.83 percent.

Geothermal power plants (GPP) increased their electricity production in April by more than 10 times the increase in total electricity production. In April, the amount of electricity generated in GPPs increased by 23.4 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

Despite the 0.3 percent decline in total electricity production in the first four months of the year, the production of GPPs also increased in this period. In the first four months of the year covering January-April, the amount of electricity produced by ...

June 10, 2019


Michael Bloomberg to plunge $500M into clean energy effort

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is plunging USD500 million into an effort to close all of the nation's remaining coal plants by 2030 and put the United States on track toward a 100% clean energy economy. The billionaire Bloomberg's investment in the Beyond Carbon initiative marks the largest ever philanthropic effort to combat climate change, according to the mayor's foundation. 

The organisation will bypass the federal government and instead seek to pass climate and clean energy policies, as well as back political candidates, at the state and local level. 

Bloomberg considered but ultimately passed on seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. 

Instead, he vowed to point his vast wealth and political connections toward fighting climate change and defeating President Donald Trump. 

Bloomberg will formally unveil the Beyond Carbon effort Friday during a commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The initiative mirrors Bloomberg's work on gun control, which has focused on bolstering ...

June 7, 2019


Enel Green Power to invest EUR 138m in geothermal work in Italy

Reporting on a meeting with Italian trade unions with Enel Green Power back in April, where the company provided a report on its activities in 2018, with particular reference to safety on the working in the geothermal field.

To tackle issues of the future of geothermal in Tuscany, also due to regulatory changes luring over the industry in Italy, work groups have been established dedicated to “Construction and maintenance” and “Drilling”.

As regards the technical results, 2018 ended with a production decrease of 0.2 percent, attributable to a progressive decline in the potential of geothermal fields (in Tuscany). The company is planning to mitigate the phenomenon by increasing operating costs and planning investments in development, approximately EUR 38 million ($43m) for renovations, repowering and new wells.

There are EUR100 million ($112m) for new drilling in the three-year period 2019-2011 , which will be able to guarantee the full employment of the three teams ...

June 5, 2019


Fund manager Glennmont raises 850 mln euros for clean energy investment

Fund manager Glennmont Partners has raised 850 million euros ($947 million) at the final close of its third clean energy fund, which will invest in renewables projects in Europe and Britain, it said on Tuesday.

London-based Glennmont has 2 billion euros of assets under management and says it is the world's largest fund manager in terms of investment in clean energy infrastructure.

It had aimed to raise 600 million euros through the Clean Energy Fund III but exceeded the target thanks to the high level of interest from Japan and the United States as well as the European Investment Bank among others.

"Institutional investors globally recognise that energy transition and climate change is of key relevance to the performance of their portfolio," Glennmont Chief Executive Joost Bergsma said in a statement.

More than 70 percent of the fund will be invested in projects in the euro zone and Britain. The fund's lifetime will be ...

June 4, 2019