GENEVA, Jan 19 (Reuters) – More than 140 countries have
agreed on the first global treaty to cut mercury pollution
through a blacklist of household items and new controls on power
plants and small-scale mines, the United Nations said on
The legally-binding agreement aims to phase out many
products that use the toxic liquid metal such as batteries,
thermometers and some fluorescent lamps, through banning global
import and exports by 2020.
BERNE, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Swiss officials said commodities
companies should voluntarily police themselves, rather than face
legally binding rules, as the government ponders its first set
of national transparency measures for the $20 billion sector.
Switzerland has come under pressure by other western
countries to close regulatory gaps, but many fear that strict
rules could harm the traditionally secretive business that now
accounts for nearly 4 percent of Swiss gross domestic product.
ZURICH/GENEVA, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Swiss testing and
inspection services company SGS cut its dividend on
Thursday after booking a charge for restructuring its European
operations, saying it needed cash to continue making
SGS, whose activities range from testing toys to vetting
seven-star hotels, said that most of the 47 million Swiss franc
($51 million) charge was related to the planned closure of its
clinical trial activities in France.
GENEVA, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Qua Iboe oil grade will
suffer delays in February, trade sources said on Tuesday, just
one month after operator Exxon lifted a force majeure on
the major export grade.
Oil supplies in the top African producer were due to rise in
February by around 10 percent after flooding and theft late last
year caused major disruptions to exports.
LAGOS/GENEVA, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Nigerian state oil firm NNPC
has obtained a $1.5 billion syndicated loan to help it pay debts
to international fuel traders, a senior banking source with
knowledge of the deal said on Monday.
The deal was struck at the end of last year and is seen as
crucial to easing the burden on big commodity traders facing the
prospect of painful multi-million dollar write-offs, oil trading
sources told Reuters.
DUBAI/GENEVA, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Iran is becoming
increasingly creative in dodging Western sanctions, managing to
sell a rising volume of fuel oil to generate revenue equal to up
to a third of its crude exports, which have been badly hit by
Compared with the first half of the year, Iran has on
average exported more fuel oil per month since July, when
European Union oil and shipping insurance sanctions came into
effect and more than halved its crude exports.
GENEVA (Reuters) – “Happy Taxation” is a 2011 book by Pascal Broulis, finance minister of the Swiss canton of Vaud and celebrant of the low taxes that distinguish Switzerland. But as times get tougher, discontent about Swiss tax breaks is mounting.
Cash-strapped foreign governments have already chipped away at the secrecy that allows rich individuals to store tax-free funds in Swiss bank accounts. Now Europe’s governments have turned the spotlight on the incentives Switzerland offers companies.
GENEVA, Dec 18 (Reuters) – “Happy Taxation” is a 2011 book
by Pascal Broulis, finance minister of the Swiss canton of Vaud
and celebrant of the low taxes that distinguish Switzerland. But
as times get tougher, discontent about Swiss tax breaks is
Cash-strapped foreign governments have already chipped away
at the secrecy that allows rich individuals to store tax-free
funds in Swiss bank accounts. Now Europe’s governments have
turned the spotlight on the incentives Switzerland offers
GENEVA, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Glencore has signed a
contract with Chad’s state oil company to export crude in 2013,
industry sources said, after the commodities trader agreed to
invest more than $300 million in the central African country’s
Chad’s oil production is around 120,000 barrels per day and
has until now been mostly sold by long-standing upstream
partners such as ExxonMobil and Malaysian company
Petroliam Na s ional Berhad.
VIENNA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil
exporter, has no plans to reform its state oil company NNPC and
the way its crude oil is sold, its oil minister said on
“The issue of changing the way we sell our oil has been
looked at by NNPC who do not feel there is a major problem with
that,” Diezani Alison-Madueke told reporters after an OPEC
meeting in Vienna.