GENEVA, Oct 1 (Reuters) – A Swiss political party is seeking
to drum up support for a national vote to ban banks and other
financial institutions from speculating in agricultural
commodities, in the latest sign of growing political backlash
against record food prices.
The exact size of investment in agricultural commodities
from Switzerland is unclear, although it hosts banks UBS
and Credit Suisse which both invest in the
sector through either index funds or exchange traded funds.
GENEVA, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Switzerland would have to charge
higher end-user power prices and resort to new gas-fired plants
to fill the supply gap created by its planned nuclear phase-out
prompted by Japan’s Fukushima accident, the Swiss energy
ministry said on Friday.
The country, which voted last May to phase out nuclear by
2034, on Friday unveiled an ambitious energy strategy intended
as a road map for coping with the transition.
GENEVA, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Governments should let
regulators step into commodity markets to pop price bubbles,
prevent crashes and combat powerful financial investors, a U.N.
report showed on Tuesday, a day after a sudden oil price plunge
Financial players such as hedge funds and high-frequency
traders are to blame for increased volatility in commodity
prices and urgent action should be taken to increase
transparency and boost regulators’ powers, the paper said.
BERNE, Sept 13 (Reuters) – A new “golden age of gas” could
derail global efforts to fight climate change as indebted
governments mull a switch to the cheaper fuel, the International
Energy Agency’s chief economist said on Thursday.
Government subsidies designed to promote renewable energy
currently amount to around $70 billion globally, he said.
CAIRO/GENEVA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Egypt’s cash-strapped
government owes foreign energy producers at least $3 billion,
industry sources told Reuters, as cancelled oil import tenders
and lengthening queues at petrol stations point to fresh strains
on fuel supplies.
Economic turmoil since a popular uprising unseated Hosni
Mubarak last year has stretched Egypt’s finances and inflated
the premiums the state petroleum company pays for fuel.
GENEVA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Small to mid-sized oil firms are
stepping up exploration off Greece and Spain as the indebted
governments look to their own offshore territory in the
Mediterranean to cut dependence on expensive imports, executives
A huge gas find off Cyprus last year has raised hopes for
further discoveries in other little-explored parts of the
Mediterranean at a time when oil prices near $115 a
barrel are hurting European importers.
GENEVA, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Hungarian oil and gas group MOL
said on Monday a Syrian firm was continuing oil
production at its Hayan field, even after MOL suspended the
field’s activities in February, adding this was “illegal.”
Foreign oil firms in Syria such as MOL as well as majors
like Total and Royal Dutch Shell have
suspended or severely reduced their Syrian production due to
violence and international sanctions targeting the sector.
LONDON/ZUG (Reuters) – Glencore’s $34 billion takeover bid for miner Xstrata appeared to be back on after the commodities trader postponed a shareholder meeting on Friday that had been expected to vote on the faltering deal.
Glencore Chairman Simon Murray gave no details, telling shareholders in Zug, Switzerland, only that there had been “developments overnight”, hinting at an improved deal.
GENEVA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – A clampdown on trade finance by
some of Europe’s biggest lenders is proving a windfall for one
regional bank in Switzerland, home to some of the world’s
biggest commodity traders.
Banque Cantonale de Geneve (BCGE) is seeing strong demand
for commodity trade finance as trading houses become more
desperate for funding following the retrenchment of traditional
lenders, its Chief Executive Blaise Goetschin said on Tuesday.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Battles between the Syrian army and rebels in Aleppo have forced many terrified civilians to flee the city by perilous routes or take refuge in safer areas, a United Nations official said on Tuesday.
“Thousands of frightened residents are seeking shelter in schools, mosques and public buildings,” said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).