LONDON (Reuters) – The newspaper notice sat next to advertisements for tarot-card readings, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and children’s tap-dancing lessons. The Naftiran Intertrade Company, an oil-trading firm owned by the Iranian government, announced plans to close its registered headquarters in the British tax haven of Jersey and move to a tax haven in Asia.
That advertisement, in a Jersey newspaper last September, came as Iranian companies were stepping up efforts to get around Western sanctions designed to slow or stop Iran’s nuclear program. But the Iranian oil trader’s retreat from the West has been only a partial one.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Galena, the fund arm of trading house Trafigura, aims to grow by almost 50 percent this year to around $3 billion (1.9 billion pounds) as opportunities abound in a choppy market for commodities and energy, the fund’s head said in an interview.
Galena is already a large hedge fund manager in commodities and uses the know-how of its parent to glean on-the-ground knowledge from Mozambique to Mongolia, spot new projects and sift value out of distressed assets.
GENEVA (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill plans to continue grain shipments to Iran, its vice chairman said, despite signs the Islamic Republic is struggling to process payments as U.S. trade sanctions bite.
“Like all the international companies, we do business there, but you have to be very careful,” Paul Conway told Reuters in an interview.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Swiss-based commodities trader Trafigura has bought oil which the South Sudanese government claims was seized by Sudan, its northern neighbor and former civil war foe, industry sources told Reuters, and is now in a legal dispute over ownership.
The tanker of crude oil is one of three seized cargoes forming part of some $815 million in oil revenues that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir accused Sudan of “looting” and which the government in Khartoum said provided compensation for unpaid transit fees.
GENEVA, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Petroplus’s UK administrator
said on Sunday that it had bought a cargo of crude oil for
processing at its Coryton plant as it seeks to conclude
negotiations with interested parties to save the plant.
Switzerland’s Petroplus, the owner of the 175,000 barrel per
day plant near London, has filed for insolvency, and
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has maintained operations at
Coryton since Jan. 24.
NEUCHATEL, Switzerland, Jan 31 (Reuters) -
Switzerland’s Cressier refinery, owned by debt-crippled
Petroplus, has obtained a two-month grace period under
Swiss law to keep creditors at bay as it seeks to reorganise its
business, a regional court ruled on Tuesday.
The court said the ruling would be in place until March 31,
2012 and obliged the refinery to maintain a minimum level of
activity and to pay its workers.
NEUCHATEL, Switzerland, Jan 30 (Reuters) -
Switzerland’s Cressier refinery, owned by ailing independent
oil firm Petroplus, has attracted as many as 10
interested parties, Thierry Grosjean, economy minister of the
Swiss canton of Neuchatel, told Reuters on Monday.
Petroplus is filing for insolvency after battling with high
debt and poor refining margins, leaving the fate of five
European plants unclear.
ZURICH/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU is banning not only imports of Iranian oil but also crude purchased by European companies, including Total and Royal Dutch Shell, for sale to non-EU destinations, lawyers and officials familiar with the terms of the sanctions told Reuters.
The European Union on Monday embargoed imports of oil from Iran and imposed a number of other economic sanctions, joining the United States in a new round of measures aimed at slowing Tehran’s nuclear development programme.
GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – Turkish refiner Tupras plans to cut its dependence on imports of Iranian oil and will meet Saudi Arabian authorities this month, industry sources familiar with the company’s strategy said on Thursday, as Western powers crack down on Iran’s oil sales.
Turkey imports more than 30 percent of its daily consumption from Iran and has so far given no indication that it will comply with a planned European Union import embargo on Iranian crude.
GENEVA, Jan 13 (Reuters) – A Swiss union has launched
an online petition calling on its economy minister to match the
French government’s pledge and intervene directly in talks with
bank lenders to protect refiner Petroplus from
The Swiss-based refiner has reached a temporary agreement
with 13 banking lenders who froze about $1 billion in December
but Petroplus investors and workers are still concerned about
the future of the firm and its five European plants in the
absence of a long-term deal.