BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq is planning to raise emergency funds by pre-selling oil reserves for the first time and will kick off economic reforms by revising its oil contracts with major Western companies, Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Wednesday.
Details of the volumes and value of the sales, known in the industry as pre-financing, are still to be finalised, but Iraq needs cash to fund its military campaign against Islamic State and to compensate for revenue lost to the slump in world oil prices, Zebari told Reuters in an interview.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s President Fouad Massoum said on Wednesday that the U.S.-led coalition will soon carry out air strikes against Islamic State in the Sunni city of Tikrit, after starting aerial reconnaissance flights this week.
A three-week offensive by Iraqi government forces and Iranian-backed Shi’ite paramilitaries has failed to flush out Islamic State fighters from Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s request to the U.S.-led coalition for air strikes in the campaign to retake Tikrit from Islamic State insurgents is “imminent”, a senior diplomat from a Western nation that is part of the coalition told Reuters on Tuesday.
If the coalition accepts the request, it would see by far the biggest collaboration so far against the militants by Iraqi forces, the Iranian-backed paramilitaries and their Iranian advisers on the ground, and the United States and its allies.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam believes a deal settling the Iranian nuclear dispute could help pave the way towards ending the political deadlock that has left his country without a president since May.
The Mediterranean country of about 4 million has been hit hard by the war in its much larger neighbor Syria, with violence spilling across the border and threatening the fragile sectarian balance that has largely held since Lebanon’s own 1975-90 civil war.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the general who ousted an elected Islamist president and is set to become Egypt’s next head of state, called on the United States to help fight jihadi terrorism to avoid the creation of new Afghanistans in the Middle East.
In his first interview with an international news organization in the run-up to the May 26-27 vote, Sisi called for the resumption of U.S. military aid, worth $1.3 billion a year, which was partially frozen after a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Switzerland stands to lose more than the EU from a vote to restrict immigration because it cannot enjoy all the benefits of the world’s biggest market without reciprocal access, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.
In an interview for a Reuters Euro Zone Summit, Barroso said the narrow Swiss referendum vote to restore quotas for migrants in breach of an agreement with the EU, would have “serious consequences” for relations between the wealthy Alpine nation and the 28-member union that surrounds it.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has blocked efforts by oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) to settle a $2.3 billion (1.5 billion pounds) debt it owes Iran by paying in kind with grains or pharmaceuticals, industry sources said.
Shell has been trying for months to find a way to work around international sanctions that prevent it paying in currency for crude it bought from the National Iranian Oil Company before a European Union embargo on Iran that started last July.
LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) – Britain has blocked efforts by
oil major Royal Dutch Shell to settle a $2.3 billion
debt it owes Iran by paying in kind with grains or
pharmaceuticals, industry sources said.
Shell has been trying for months to find a way to work
around international sanctions that prevent it paying in
currency for crude it bought from the National Iranian Oil
Company before a European Union embargo on Iran that started
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch/Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is seeking to work around international sanctions by repaying a $1.4 billion oil debt to Iran with a grain barter deal via U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill CARG.UL, industry sources said.
Shell wants to repay a debt that is growing larger because of unpaid interest, having failed to settle its accounts with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) ahead of a European Union embargo on oil imports that started on July 1.
DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) talks with Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund over the sale of its commodities business have run into difficulty, and the deal may need to be reworked if it is to go ahead, banking sources said.
One of the top banks in commodity trading over the past 30 years, Morgan Stanley has been in discussion for more than a year with Qatar over the sale of at least a majority stake in the energy-focused trading business, the bankers said.