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Strong Programme Raises Profile of the Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference

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Strong Programme Raises Profile of the Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference

The programme for the fourth annual The Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference, which will take place on November 6th 2018 at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, is set to be the strongest yet.

The theme of the event will be: “Converting greater optimism into sustainable trade growth”, which is highly topical and builds on the discussions that took place at last year’s event.

Clive Woodbridge, Editor and Conference Chairman, says, “There is a growing consensus that markets in many different segments of the shipping business are improving. Making the right decisions now as we hit the upturn will be crucial and this Conference is perfectly timed to signpost the way forward.”

The popular one day event is expected to attract over 150 senior executives from across the shipping, ports, finance, banking, trade and legal sectors, who will gather to debate and discuss the key issues and challenges facing the industry. In particular the conference aims to encourage dialogue and cooperation between the various sectors to achieve sustainable growth within the regional shipping and ports businesses, as well as an overall increase in trade activity.

Abu Dhabi Ports is a strong supporter of the Ship Finance and Trade Conference and believes the event is in a tremendous position to add value within the region. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chief executive, says, “We are very excited to be hosting The Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference once again in Abu Dhabi. This conference brings together banks, financial institutions and shipping companies under the same roof and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East & Indian Subcontinent. I would encourage any business active in the shipping, ports and maritime sectors, as well as the financial world, to support, participate and attend this important conference.”

The event will kick-off with keynote presentations from renowned business and political leaders. There will then follow distinct conference sessions that will tackle topical themes. The main session in the morning will look at investing in infrastructure delivery, with a view towards unlocking trade potential. Topics that will be addressed include port investments in the Middle East, India and Sri Lanka, as well as the need to invest to capitalise on China’s New Silk Road and One Belt programmes.

Session 2 will look at the future of ship finance, and the implications of change in this sector for the shipping business in the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Topics will include an assessment of alternative lending platforms, merger and acquisition activity and the requirements of the shipping industry from financial sector.

The third and last session will assess how best to support regional trade development. This will include case studies from the UAE commodity markets, maritime law issues, environmentally inspired investments and the development of new trade-supporting financial products.

Trevor Pereira, managing director of The Maritime Standard, says, “We are delighted to be returning to Abu Dhabi to hold this conference for the fourth time. The programme is an exciting and challenging one, with plenty to engage all sectors of the business. Our aim is to provide something that really sets it apart from other conferences in this sector and we are confident that we can achieve this goal.”

A top quality panel of expert speakers is being lined up by The Maritime Standard, and will include representatives from leading ship owners and managers, port operators, trade organisations, brokers and analysts, law firms and financiers.

The event has also secured sponsorship support from a number of top maritime companies and organisations, including Abu Dhabi Ports as the host sponsor, Kuwait Oil Tanker Company, Dubai Trading Agency, Bestar Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, International Shipping and Logistics FZE, ADNOC Logistics & Services, Dubai Maritime City and Sharjah Ports Authority.

The event is endorsed by The Federal Transport Authority-Land & Maritime. Supporting Associations for the event include: UAE Shipping Association (UAESA), The Organisation of Islamic Shipowners’ Association (OISA), The Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries (DCMMI); Dubai Ship Agents Association (DSAA); Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA); Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers; Nautical Institute; Indian National Shipowner’s Association (INSA); Pakistan Ship Agents Association (PSAA), Jordan Shipping Association, Supply Chain & Logistics Group, the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) and the Baltic Ports Organisation.

The TMS Ship Finance and Trade Conference is certain to generate a high level of interest and places are strictly limited. For more information about how to register go to: http://www.tms-shipfinanceandtrade.com/conference/delegate-registration/

(from left to right) Trevor Pereira, The Maritime Standard; H.E. Dr. Ali Obaid Al Yabhouni, UAE Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; Abdulkareem Al Masabi, ADNOC Logistics & Services; H.E. Dr. Abdullah Salem Alkatheeri, FTA; Khamis Juma Buamim, Gulf Navigation Holding

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart 1

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.

Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.60 a barrel by 1212 GMT, and U.S. crude rose 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.09 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier in the session.

“Vaccine news is helping oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions over the coming months on the back of vaccine rollouts should further boost the oil demand and price recovery,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said optimistic oil price forecasts issued by leading U.S. brokers had also contributed to the latest upswing in prices.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.

Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude to climb to $70 in the third quarter.

“New COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.

Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 per barrel in the second quarter.

Disruptions in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some U.S. shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.

Stockpiles of U.S. crude oil and refined products likely declined last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

A weaker dollar also provided some support to oil as crude prices tend to move inversely to the U.S. currency.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by David Evans and John Stonestreet)

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deal with Japan settled the nerves of a lot of Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom and gives them confidence about their future prospects there, a senior Honda executive said on Tuesday.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has since the 1980s made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda using the country as a launchpad into Europe.

But Britain’s shock 2016 decision to leave the European Union had prompted Japan to express unusually strong public concerns. Their companies and investors warned that a disorderly exit from the EU would force them to rethink their four-decade bet on Britain.

“We welcome very much the Japanese trade agreement which as a Japanese businesses was very welcomed,” Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, told a parliamentary committee.

“On the point around confidence, that certainly amongst my peers in Japanese companies was very much welcomed, and probably settled a lot of nerves in terms of their trading prospects in the UK going forward.”

Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement in October, marking Britain’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade. It has also made a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is also a member.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)

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UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says

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UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says 3

LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales fell in the year to February as stores cut jobs at a rapid rate, with only supermarkets reporting any growth during the latest COVID-19 lockdown, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Confederation of British Industry’s gauge of retail sales stood at -45, up only slightly from January’s eight-month low of -50. The measure points to falling sales and is below the consensus forecast of -38 in a Reuters poll of economists.

Retailers’ expectations for March – when non-essential shops will remain closed to the public as part of lockdown measures – fell to -62, the lowest since the series began in 1983.

In another sign of a changing consumer habits during lockdown, the survey’s gauge of internet retail sales hit a new record high.

“With lockdown measures still in place, trading conditions remain extremely difficult for retailers,” said Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI.

“Record growth in internet shopping suggests that retailers’ investments in on-line platforms and click-and-collect services may be paying off, but the re-opening of the sector can’t come soon enough to protect jobs and breathe life back into the sector.”

Job losses among retailers accelerated according to a quarterly question in the survey. For the distribution sector as a whole, which includes wholesalers and car dealers, employment fell at a record rate, the CBI survey showed.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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